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Tag: Attitude

Employee Engagement and the 4-Drive Model

Much of the work that I’ve done in the past has been on how the 4-Drive Model impacts employee motivation.  The research that we did as well as the work that we implemented, focused mostly on large scale initiatives / programs that helped to satisfy these different drives (sales incentives, contests, recognition programs, award trips, performance management systems, etc..).  Recently, I’ve been asked to develop some workshops, using the 4-Drive Model as the foundation, but that focus on helping managers better engage their employees – at a local level.

Putting these workshops together has been fascinating because it takes the 4-Drive Model to a much more specific place.  Working one-on-one with an employee to help them feel more engaged at work.  Even after 6 years of working with this model, I’ve identified a few new key pieces.

1. We all know that different people have different motivational profiles – but we’ve found that individuals motivational profiles can change very quickly (unlike someone’s personality profile – which changes little over time).  Motivation, we found, is very context dependent.  This is an important aspect when thinking about engagement.

2. Team environments within a larger organization are more important than any large scale initiative.  Again, this is not ground breaking, but it does go to how team cultures are created or destroyed.  One key piece that I’ve recognized, is that one bad-apple, can have an overly large negative effect on overall engagement of the team.  In the past, I would have suggested working with that person to help develop them and coach them to improve – now I recommend that managers get rid of them as quickly as possible once they are recognized.  It sounds harsh, but those individuals can poison the entire team to a point that makes it very hard to recover.

3. Most managers are too busy to focus on engagement.  They have a hard enough time getting all of the work done that they are tasked to do – much less spend time thinking about how they can or should engage their employees.  They often are so busy that they don’t stop to look around at what their employees are doing or saying.  It is important to help them focus a portion of their energy on understanding what makes their team tick.

4. Most managers have not developed the skills and knowledge needed to effectively engage their employees.  Some managers are naturally talented in this, like the sports phenom who at 18 possesses all skills necessary to be at the professional level.  Most managers are on the JV team (if they even make the team).  They need the coaching and time to develop their skills.  Engagement is not hard, it just takes time and effort.  

5. Probably the number one issue that managers have is that they don’t know what to focus on to increase engagement.  Is it purely recognition, is it collaboration, is it tying to the larger purpose, is it compensation?  This is where the 4-Drive Model really helps and can provide some guidance for managers and a way to understand their team.

Let me know your thoughts on this and any examples you’ve seen of good or poor management with regards to engagement.

Thank you!


The plan was to take this week off and use it to get some much needed down time and relaxation.  I was going to use it as a mini refreshabattical and recharge my batteries, get a fresh perspective on the upcoming months and years, and maybe even have some fun.

I had intended to go to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and actually get to spend time there without feeling rushed; take a few walks around Lake of the Isles or Lake Calhoun – maybe sit on a bench and just watch the people go by; spend a few hours in the garden; go to a daytime Twins game at the new stadium; sit back with a drink on the front porch in the afternoon and say hi to all my neighbors; go camping for a night with my four year old son; take some time to do some fun reading and writing…but then, real life comes crashing in.  A client  decides that they finally need to finish some compensation plan books that we started in January – and now there are changes that require significant rework.  Tenants call and complain about sash cords being broken – and need them fixed now (even though they’ve been that way for a few months).  Dissertation committee needs to have a draft of Chapter 5 – sooner than expected.

So much for my relaxing week.

I have to say that I started to feel pretty bummed out about this yesterday.  I had these expectations for this week and those expectations were definitely not being met (not even close to it).  Then I started to really think about it – was this week that bad?

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Motivation and Attitude: Half Full or Half Empty


So how do you perceive the world?  Attitude has a lot to do with motivation – or is it that motivation has a lot to do with attitude? 

Half Full Perception

We have officially hit our high season at The Lantern Group.  The media may be talking about gloom and doom in the economy but our high season has returned like summer turning into fall.  We are busy.  Our funnel is full.  We are grateful and appreciative for the work that we are engaged in and the clients we are working with during a time of uncertainty in our world. 

Half Empty Perception

We have officially hit our high season at The Lantern Group.  We are busy.  Time is too short and our clients want things faster and cheaper than ever before.   It is going to mean late nights and long hours to get everything done.  Plus we have more projects in the pipeline.  How are we ever going to get through this and stay sane?

When opportunities arrive at your doorstep, which lens do you look through, the lens of half full or half empty? 

Some factors that might influence your perspective include:

  • how do you set goals and drive toward achievement
  • do you work as a team to reach the goal line
  • do you try to learn new skills and add new products to fulfill customer needs
  •  do you focus on the big picture and look towards the future
  • have you spent time upfront looking at how to streamline your work and focus in on what you do better than anybody else and get rid of the fluff
  • have you asked your employees what would they do if they were running the company and then listen

How do you perceive the world today half full or half empty?

We would love to hear from you, let us know how you perceive the world by adding a comment below.



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