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How to Upgrade Employee Enthusiasm

Transform walking dead employees into raving fans…without paying more

by Mike Campion
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turn your employees from the Walking Dead into enthusiastic workers

Have you ever had a company outing at a golf course? Ever have one end with an “invitation” from the local authorities to vacate the premises? Would you feel that outing was a total success? Want to find out how you can do just that and have it be a total success? Here’s how... 

If you’ve been tasked with hiring, developing, and keeping top quality talent on a budget for any length of time, you know engaged, committed, and talented people are crucial. 

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You may even have dreams of talented, honest, hardworking employees ready to give their left kidney for the good of the organization. You imagine them sitting at home wishing the weekend weren’t so long so they can get back to work for your company. 

Related Article: Look for Enthusiasm in Job Candidates

More often than not, that dream ends with a Monday morning bucket of ice water to the face as you return to find the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses. Your team appears to slog through the office; mindless, uninspired, and drained of all energy. There has been no zombie apocalypse, but your entire staff seems plucked from the cast of The Walking Dead

You know that committed, talented, engaged people are the lifeblood of your company. But how on God’s green earth do you find these unicorns and keep them fired up, committed, and on point? 

You are in the right place dear reader. Here are three keys to do just that: 

KEY #1- The RIGHT people come because of who you are - NOT what your compensation package looks like 

It is so much easier to attract people who share your values than to hire first and “convert” later. Be clear about who you are and what you believe and you will attract the right people. Just as importantly, you will repel the wrong people who end up making your life miserable. 

Before you can hire based on your core values, you need to define those values and communicate them in word and deed until you and your employees are saying them in your sleep. 

If you asked your employees “What are our core values?” today, how many different answers would you get? If that answer is anywhere north of one—keep reading. 

Here are some fun ways to communicate your core values to your employees, prospects, customers, vendors, and the community at large: 

  • Company parties
  • Your interview process
  • Email signatures
  • Business cards
  • Voicemail/ phone system recordings
  • Hiring ads
  • Hiring an airplane to skywrite them over your office every other Thursday… 

Too much on the last one? Good catch—back to filling your company with amazing employees. 

KEY #2 - Not only do you have to clearly understand your company core values, you must be able to communicate them clearly and consistently 

Do your employees come to you with some questions you have answered dozens of times? Does fear of a bad decision hold you back from freeing them to be more independent? Do you want them to figure things out for themselves? 

Often, employees make what seems to them a small mistake from their perspective, yet you lose your mind. Why is that? Generally, they have violated one or more of your core values. The problem is—they didn’t know it. Your job as the leader is to communicate those values early and often! 

Next time an employee comes to you with an idea or question—don’t answer it. Ask a question instead: 

  • Does this idea fit into our core values?
  • How can you best reflect our core values based on what you just told me?
  • Which core value comes to mind first in dealing with this? 

Key #3 - You can’t just talk the core values talk—you’ve got to live and breathe them. Even when your employees get sick of hearing them! 

Start consistently asking these questions instead of providing answers. Your staff will become more independent, stop asking the same questions over and over and become better decision makers. 

Imagine it was you and your company’s outing was ended abruptly by getting kicked off of that golf course. Imagine the ability to see that not as a “bad day.” To realize that you provided your employees and their families with stories for a lifetime. Arriving at work tomorrow not to find the walking dead, but to find a community. A special place in the world where your people are raving fans. 

Related Article: Concrete Core Values: The Driving Force to Business Success

You offer something they have never had before. More than a paycheck. Community. A sense of belonging. Of purpose. Something special that none of you could have built alone. 

You have the keys to the kingdom! Clarify your core values, communicate them early and often and try not to get thrown off of any golf courses.

About the author

Mike Campion is a celebrated speaker, entrepreneur, and author of I’m a Freaking Genius, Why is This Business So Hard? A small business expert, Mike has built several multi-million dollar businesses, the most recent achieving $4.3 million in sales in the first 18 months. As the host of the “Conversations with a Genius” podcast, Mike imparts his business wisdom on his listeners. For more information about bringing in Mike Campion for your next event, please visit