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The Keys to Highly Motivated Team Members for Championship Performance in 2019

It’s not as hard as most business leaders make it to motivate employees.

It comes down to a few simple strategies to create the conditions in your work environment that condition employees’ motivation.

About 10-years ago I wrote a short guide called The Employee Motivation Equation which is still absolutely valid (free download available at

That equation is still part of Your Championship Company Game Plan.

There is significant research by Gallup and others showing the rate of employee engagement in the United States at 33%, meaning two-thirds of employees at U.S. companies are just going through the motions collecting a paycheck.

My clients would tell me those non-engaged employees are “doing just enough not to get fired.”

This is an even bigger problem in today’s economy with the unemployment rate at record lows, the U.S. is at “full employment,” meaning it will hard and expensive to replace current employees.

Add to that the challenge of finding competent employees with the specialty skills you make it exponentially difficult to find replacements while hoping those mediocre team members with the skills you need don’t look elsewhere.

In operating a small business as opposed to large corporation you have a much easier opportunity to create, and more importantly, sustain a work environment of highly engaged employees.

But, it will take an effort.

In the Executive Summary of Gallup’s 2017 “State of the American Workplace” report Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton wrote encouraged readers to “switch from a culture of employee satisfaction to a “coaching culture.”

One of the key reasons for that recommendation is that survey results showed that only 21% of employees responded that they were managed in a way that motivated them to do outstanding work.

Un-engaged and underperforming employees with less than positive, “can-do” attitudes are not the fault of the employee but the work environment that has conditioned them into approaching their jobs in this manner.

To have engaged employees you have to have an engaging work environment.

It’s important for small companies to understand that an engaging work environment doesn’t mean you have to have the bells, whistles, foos-ball and ping pong tables with cappuccino machines you might see in a Silicon Valley tech firm.

An engaging workplace is more about how people are communicated with and treated than anything else. If more people felt the way they were managed in a way that motivated them at work the engagement scores would rise significantly.

To do this, most small business leaders need to transform the type of conversations they’re having with their team members. As Gallup CEO Clifton suggested, it’s time shift to a “coaching culture. “

For organizations that want to create championship performance a coaching culture is what is needed and it can be similar to coaching culture in professional sports.

In organizations that develop, implement, and sustain a coaching culture five workplace characteristics manifest that will motivate team members in a way that develops in championship performance. The five characteristics are:

  • Purpose
  • Autonomy
  • Achievement
  • Respect
  • Camaraderie

Purpose: In having the right type of coaching conversations you will learn what’s most important to the team member and you can develop an overall organization purpose that aligns with it, and vice-versa. Purpose is the driving force for all motivation (the derivative root of the word motivation is motive and a motive is a reason/purpose for doing something.)

Autonomy: Human beings are autonomous creatures and the more control team members have over what, when, how, and with whom they work, will provide greater motivation and job enjoyment. With regular coaching conversations you develop higher levels of trust with your team members, gradually allowing you to provide them with greater levels of autonomy on the job.

Achievement: The right coaching conversations should be focused on specific, measurable goals to be achieved by the team member, and be tied to a conversation on how they connect to achieving overall company goals. Team member achievements will also provide you with greater certainty when assessing for performance raises and bonuses. Focusing on achievement will build the self-esteem and self-worth of your team members and move them away from the entitlement mindset that has been conditioned managing them the old fashioned way.

Respect: Regular coaching conversations put the team member on a peer level with their leaders in terms of each seeing the other as a valuable contributor in a unique role to help achieve the overall company’s vision, mission, purpose, and goals. Over time, the trust that is built with these conversations allowing for greater autonomy will build into mutual respect as team members are communicated with as human beings, not just cogs in a wheel.

Camaraderie: When coaching conversations are instituted consistently across all team members, everyone feels they are treated fairly and equitably in a system of accountability. They will trust the system and will no longer feel as if certain people are treated special, thus breaking down resistance to collaboration as resentments of past indiscretions will go away and teamwork thrives.

The key to creating this type of “championship company culture” is getting the coaching conversation right, and few organizations do.

Too many organizations are stuck in the old annual performance review process that never worked to fulfill its purpose, which is to improve individual and organizational performance.

If you tend to have “ground hog” performance conversations, which are the same type of conversation time after time from which you do not see individual performance improvement, it’s time for a change.

It’s time to move towards a coaching culture to begin your journey to a championship company with engaged, motivated team members.

‘til next time,





P.S. – The Brand New Your Championship Company Community Facebook Group is now 165 new members strong. Filled with like-minded business owners like you, discussing issues like the one above.  Are you ready to join us? Go here to learn more and request to join.

Millennials in Your Workplace – The Generational Battle That Isn’t & Shouldn’t Be

I continue to hear complaints from business owners about the younger “millennial” generation in the workplace. I find it comical. I really do. For a couple of reasons:

1) The “younger” generation has always been a problem in the workplace. Even the more senior/veteran generation in the current workplace was the problem in the workplace when they were the younger generation.

2) This “younger” millennial generation is currently leading some of the largest, most highly valued companies in the world, such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and:

  • Lyft found John Zimmer, 34
  • Spotify founder Daniel Ek, 35
  • Instagram founder, Mike Krieger, 32
  • WordPress founder, Matthew Mullenweg, 34

Before you give me a hard time that it’s all men in that list, check out this list of 15 female millennial and Generation Z (the generation after the Millennials) entrepreneurs you haven’t heard of yet, but you may very soon.

3) A generation is a very long window of time, between 15-20 years. As I have posited to my audiences in seminars on this topic, “do you think an older Millennial at 35 years of age, has the same needs, desires, and interests as 21-year-old Millennial?” They all agree the answer is “no.”

My point is that there are good and bad people in every generation, there are wide variances in needs, desires, and interests across the timeline of people in each generation. It’s time to stop blasting an entire generation.

Do those in the Millennial generation and Generation Z have different attitudes, habits, work ethics, interests than those in the older generation? Absolutely!

Just like every younger generation always does. The key is to “seek to understand” what drives them, what interests them, how they like to work, and work with them, coach them, and help them lead your company into the future.

Some may remember that back in the 1950s and early 60s when the older generation was thinking Elvis Presley and the Beatles were undermining society?

More than 10-years ago I had a client who complained to me about the work ethic and the focus of his Gen X employees.

His complaint was that they weren’t motivated enough for advancement. They were too complacent and comfortable and only wanted to focus on their personal life and family. They weren’t ambitious enough for him.

Now, this generation, for some, is too ambitious. They have an entitlement mentality, think they know it all and should be advancing before they’re ready.

You can’t have it both ways.

And, I will argue you should want more of the latter and less of the former.

They’re easier to mold and coach to become what they want and what you may need. I say embrace that latter mentality and use it to your company’s advantage.

Every one of my clients has at least one young millennial who is a superstar at their company, pushing older generation folks to get better, faster, up to speed on technology.

I think that’s a good thing.

Maybe the problem isn’t the younger generation in the workforce but the older generation doing the hiring.

And, remember, if you’re still worried about the Millennial generation in the workplace, it’s too late. You better start learning about Generation Z, which is already starting to infiltrate the workplace.

‘til next time,





P.S. – The Brand New Your Championship Company Community Facebook Group is now 165 new members strong. Filled with like-minded business owners like you, discussing issues like the one above.  Are you ready to join us? Go here to learn more and request to join.

Creating the Championship Character You Need From Employees at Your Company

Years ago the great sales trainer and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar was credited with the quote,…

“Circumstances don’t create character. They reveal character.”

Character in the workplace, whether it be the character of the business owner, the boss, or the employee is vital to a company’s success.

But, I don’t believe that it’s that black and white.

I see it similar to the concept of nature vs. nurture.  It takes both to raise an effective adult from a child.

Circumstances, or as I like to call them “conditions” influence greatly an individual’s character.

And, when conditions change, an individual’s character will adjust. Individuals can learn what’s appropriate under varioius conditions and circumstances and what isn’t and they will create their own character norms from what they learn.

I’ve seen it in my clients.

You’ve seen it in your employees.

A simple test for you is to look at your present team of employees.

How many of them did you hire with great promise and expectations that they were going to be strong contributors to your company?

Which, they probably did for some period of time.

Then, at some point, you may have noticed their attitude and performance slip.

Was this just their character waiting dormant for the right time to come forth?

I don’t think so.

It was the conditions in the work environment that influenced the change in character.

To get the old character back requires an assessment of the cause.

That assessment can only come from a direct, candid, humble, and maybe even vulnerable conversation with these employees.

This conversation is a three-step process:

Step 1:
Let the individual know you are open to their opinion and you want to hear it and you are asking because you want to create a more positive and productive work environment.

In that part of the conversation also let them know that no matter what they tell you promise there will be no negative repercussions.

Step 2:
The second part of the conversation is to ask a simple question, “what, specifically, is preventing you from doing an even better job?”

Step 3:
Is to do something with what you hear. Too many business leaders may ask similar type of questions and get answers, but the question and potential solutions go into a black hole.

Those who shared their deepest concerns feel cheated and wonder why there was no follow through on their suggestions.

Allowing these suggestions and ideas to fall into a black hole is worse than not asking at all.

Don’t fall into that pattern.

I’m wondering if you have?

This conversation is one of five steps in creating Your IDEAL Championship Work Environment.

I’m writing a new guide and report on the process that outlines step by step how you can implement it into any company in any industry of any size.

Use this process and you will change the character of the people working at your company.

If you’d like a copy of this new guide, which should be out in a couple of weeks, just write comment below with a simple, “YES,” and i’ll add you to this list to let you know when it’s available.

‘til next time,

Skip 🙂

P.S. – Remember last week I re-launched the Your Championship Company Facebook Group.  25 new members, like-minded business owners like you have already joined so, go here to learn more and request to join.


Are you with me?

If you’d like to explore how to make performance management actually work at your company, let’s jump on a call and assess you present approach, then you can begin leading to create Your Championship Company. 

Go here now to find a time that works for you.

More to come, stay tuned.

‘til then, Communicate With Power!




Ending Employee Entitlement Mindsets in Small Businesses – You’re In Control

People who run small businesses are amazing.

I’ve worked with enough to know.

One thing stands out, time and again.

It’s the business owner’s commitment to their employees.

Many business owners have said to me, “I don’t really need to do this anymore.”

“I could sell this business and retire, or go do something much less stressful and frustrating.”

I ask, “well, why don’t you?”

They all respond with something to the effect of, “I feel responsible for the lives of my employees, they count on this company for their livelihood and I can’t trust it will be there if someone else owns the company.”

I’m blown away by this attitude.

The empathy that they feel for their employees that fuels this attitude, is the same attitude that is also killing the motivation and morale in their work environment.

It’s quite a paradox.

The reason for this is that the empathy they feel for their employees causes them to dole out:

  • salary increases and holiday or year-end bonuses with no substance,
  • allow employees to work extra hours when the workload doesn’t justify, even paying the extra for overtime hours, just because it’s become an expecatation (or some would call an entitlement).

Asked, “how did you determine those disbursements?”

In return, mostly, I get something to the effect of, “I don’t know, it’s kind of a feel based on what I think they deserve or its based on what we did last year, or in terms of hours because it’s ‘expected’ and people will be upset if they don’t get it.”

When I press them on why it’s not more formalized with accountability to performance, they admit…

“Well, it’s always been this way and I don’t like it because most don’t deserve it.  The ones that do deserve it are upset because they know their teammates are getting the same or similar and don’t deserve it.

“It’s killing morale,” they add.

This is of their own making.

This is how entitlement mentalities in the workplace are created.

You probably notice that it’s not just the “millennial” generation in your workplace. My clients see it across generations.

Regardless of the generation, it is NOT the fault of the employees.

It is the fault of the business owner who continues to tolerate poor attitudes, poor behaviors, and poor performance, and still…

Doles out raises, bonuses, and even promotions!

I want to start a movement away from an entitlement culture and towards an accountability and performance culture.

Are you with me?

If you’d like to explore how to make performance management actually work at your company, let’s jump on a call and assess you present approach, then you can begin leading to create Your Championship Company. 

Go here now to find a time that works for you.

More to come, stay tuned.

‘til then, Communicate With Power!




Communicating Change in a Small Business Work Environment

Your employees continue to resist change.
This article explains why.
Basically, it’s because they don’t care. Or, at least they
don’t care enough to make their life more difficult and
Add to that the fact that you, the business owner, know
how important implementing this change initiative is to
the future of your company.
So, it’s no surprise that the real issue, is communication.
It’s both what you’re communicating and how you are
communicating it.
Chances are you are trying to sell the benefits of the change.
That makes sense, right? That’s what everyone wants to know,
isn’t it?
NO. That’s not.
As a matter of fact your employees don’t care about the
And, I don’t mean just the benefits to the company.
They don’t even care about the benefits to them.
They’re not listening.
They’re tuning out to your proclamations about all the great
benefits they’ll receive from implementing this change.
Why are they tuning out?
Because you’re not speaking to the frequency your employees
are tuned into in times of change.
Even the smallest change like just using a different software
program on their computer.
You’ve probably been taught to speak to the WII-FM.
You know, “what’s in it for me?” from the employees’ perspective.
Yet, this is ALL wrong!
People won’t listen to the WII-FM until you speak at some other
frequency they need to hear first.
You see, there is another “radio frequency” people are tuned to
when it comes to change initiatives.
If you want your employees to embrace change and actually help
you initiate the change you need to speak to the WIM-FM.
WIM-FM is an acronym representing “What’s It Mean – For Me.”
You see employees don’t care about any benefits, no matter how
great they may be, until they understand “what it means for them.”
If the effort is too hard, or the change is too complicated, or it’s
going to turn their world upside down, the benefits DO NOT matter.
Before you ever try to sell the benefits, the WII-FM, you MUST
assess what the change will mean for each employee and customize
your communication so that each and every employee understands
what it means for them.
You also need to let them know you’ve thought about what it means
for them and how you are going to mitigate and minimize the difficulty
they will experience during the implementation.
Until employees understand what the change means for them, and
that you’ve thought compassionately and empathetically about it from
their perspective, they will continue to resist your change initiative.
That’s true no matter how large or how small a change.
Remember, speak to the radio station WIM-FM
“What Does it Mean – For Me” from the employees perspective.
And you’ll get employees to listen to you, and buy-into what you’re
asking of them in times of change.

If you’d like additional help communicating to motivate employees
in your workplace I have a FREE resource for you.

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment Call would benefit you and your

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment Call would benefit you and your

More to come next week, stay tuned.

‘til then, Communicate With Power!




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