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How to Energize Your Employees

By Marty Nemko

Here are my favorites from among Bob Nelson's 1001 Ways to Energize Employees:

  • An MCI supervisor converted the worst-performing telemarketer group to the best by calling their mothers each time they achieved a goal.
  • In meetings at General Electric's Puerto Rico facility, workers sit at the table while managers sit off to the side. Managers may give opinions only when a worker asks for it. That plant has 20% higher productivity than GE's next best facility.
  • A London graphic design firm adopted the James Brown principle: make employees feel good. All employees get free fruit and vitamins delivered to the workplace, plus an open account at a local pub.
  • Las Vegas' Mirage Hotel uses planned insubordination. All employees may ignore an order unless the supervisor provides a reason that satisfies the employee. The Mirage's turnover rate is half the industry average.

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