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Friday, March 16, 2007

Finding Out What Makes Your Employees Truly Happy

For me, it's food.

Just kidding, although food is nice. Penelope Trunk at the Brazen Careerist, posted a video blog by Bruce Tulgan regarding employee requests.

He tells a fabulous story about an absurd request for different cubicle furniture.

Why is that our first reaction when someone asks for something extraordinary is "no"? Because it's never been done before? Because I'm the manager, dang it, and I'll decide what goes on here? Because I don't want something like that, therefore, this person can't possibly want something like that, therefore they are just pushing my buttons?

Practice saying this instead, "I don't see any reason why not. Let me think on it over night just in case there are unseen problems and we'll see what we can do." Of course, if the request is illegal or cause department strife, you, as the manager, do have to say no. But if it's cost neutral and won't bother anybody else, why not?

There, is that so hard?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

<< Practice saying this instead, "I don't see any reason why not. Let me think on it over night just in case there are unseen problems and we'll see what we can do." >>

Ohhh! I love you! I so wish that the new job as a Senior Business Analyst I'm about to start at a Fortune 500 Company is the same one you work for :-).

Why is it that even the most reasonable requests that could actually make a difference in people's productivity are met with a "no" simply because it is out of the ordinary ? HR departments definitely need more people like you - I hope your peers are reading your blog and learning from it!

Evil HR Lady said...

Thank you! If your new job entails at least a 15 minute walk from where you park your car to your desk, we just may be in the same company! (On the plus side, we're guarenteed a little exercise each week.)

Wally Bock said...

I don't see this issue as much about "happiness" as about "control." I teach folks in my supervisory skills class that part of their job is creating a great working environment for their people One component of that is that people have the maximum control possible over work life.