Teambuilding: Finding a Fix That Ticks

In March, when NASA's Phoenix Mars Mission delivery vehicle let go of the lander just prior to descent a voice came over NASA's control room loudspeaker informing workers that "Your mission is completed." The team of scientists and coordinators looked relieved and elated – their hard work had paid off. But if the later landing phase had not succeeded, these workers would have been profoundly disappointed in the total mission's failure. This illustrates a fundamental lesson about teams – in a truly collaborative, team-oriented environment, workers are contributing to the overall success of the organization. A team must have a specific focus, but they should know they are part of a bigger picture.

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A Lesson for Managers from the World of Sales
by Ian Cook

By far the single biggest concern I hear from managers I work with is, "How can I get my people to do more?" Their number one challenge is how to ensure their employees are motivated. For the answer to this question we turn to the sales professional.

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Book Review

The Carrot Principle: How the Best Managers Use Recognition to Engage Their Employees, Retain Talent, and Drive Performance
by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

Recognizing employees is often relegated to sporadically rewarding individual efforts as opposed to creating a company wide carrot culture. The Carrot Principle uses the metaphor of a carrot to embody what employees really desire — to feel valued and be recognized accordingly. The book employs consistency, specificity, and timeliness into rewards programs, and any manager looking to boost morale while increasing profitability and productivity will welcome its lessons.

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Q. We had an employee who left a few years ago. Now he's applying for an open position in my department. He's qualified, and my boss thinks that the experience of the company is a big plus, but I can't help wondering. Is it a good idea to hire somebody who wasn't happy here before? Won't he just slide back into the same dissatisfaction that caused him to leave in the first place.

A. There are as many answers to this question as there are individuals in the world. Everybody is different. It could be that your employee left, got a new perspective and now realizes that he left one of the best situations he could possibly have. His experience of your company combined with the new experiences he gained while pursuing other opportunities may be a very valuable combination. Or, it's just as likely that you are right and that returning will end up being a step backwards creating the same dynamics that caused him to leave in the first place. As with any prospective employee, you'll need to speak with him. Raise your concerns and see what he says to ease those concerns for you.


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Question: Would you hire back somebody who left?

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