Addressing Passion And Motivation

It should come as no surprise that passionate, motivated employees are more productive, produce better quality, help the company retain customers and attract other high-caliber employees. So how do you build a workforce of passionate and motivated employees?

 

What are your biggest expenses and most important assets? Ask any successful shop owner, and I guarantee they will not say it’s the newest CNC machine they purchased. They will say their employees are their greatest assets. A common trait among all successful businesses is that they value their employees, and the employees are proud of the company they work for and the work they do.

It should come as no surprise that passionate, motivated employees are more productive, produce better quality, help the company retain customers and attract other high-caliber employees. So how do you build a workforce of passionate and motivated employees?

It’s not by paying more than the next shop, although you do have to be competitive. It all begins with the hiring process. Be very selective. Of course, technical skills and experience are important in an industry, but I would argue that attitude and passion are by far the most important characteristics to look for in a new employee. Any employee with a great attitude and passion will learn very quickly and be an inspiration to the rest of the team.

Conversely, a wonderfully skilled employee with a bad attitude is cancerous to an organization and will infect the whole company, costing you a lot of money. If you have an employee with a bad attitude, cut them out. I know it can be difficult to get rid of a skilled employee, but I assure you that it’s the right thing to do, and your company and customers will be better off in the end. Plus, the rest of your employees will applaud your dedication to a positive work environment. In fact, they’ll probably tell you the person you got rid of was draining and made the situation stressful.

Once you have a team of employees with the right attitude and passion for the trade, your most important role is to inspire, motivate and retain them. Take care of your employees, and they will take care of the customers. I know it’s a cliché, but it’s true.

People in general want to feel needed, appreciated and feel they are contributing to the betterment of the world. It’s no different when people play the role of employee. One of the best books I ever read on this subject is the classic “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.

The best way to make employees feel needed and appreciated is to notice and to comment on the work they do. Take a walk around the shop and spend a few minutes with each employee admiring the skill and attention to detail with which they are doing their job. It doesn’t matter if they are machining the most complex parts or sweeping up chips. They are making a positive impact on the company, and they deserve to be told so. I guarantee that their level of productivity and passion will go up significantly as soon as you walk away. Why? Because people crave praise and will want to do even better so that you keep coming around and noticing the job they are doing.

It’s also important to take the time to make sure these employees know who the customer is for the job they are doing. Tell them how the customer will use the parts they are making. Let them know how important that customer is to the company and that you appreciate them taking care of the customer, as it results in job security for everyone.

Successful companies are made by the employees. Hire for attitude and passion. Make sure every employee knows his or her contribution to the company is valued. As George Bernard Shaw once said, “What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering.”