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Thanks, Margaret, for reconfirming that all motivations are individual. What drives management will usually be different from what engages laborers, especially at the very bottom income levels where they typically have the least control over (and view of) the long-term strategic mission of the organization. It resonates as true no matter what behavioral model you use (Maslow, Herzberg, Jaques, etc.).

Establishing a valid mutually reinforcing link between top and bottom is greatly needed in every enterprise. Humans cooperate best when they share a common understanding and act in unison towards the same ultimate objective. A great ideal, rarely achieved! This article should help.

Couldn't have said it better myself!

If you look at why employees leave a company one of the top three are because of their direct supervisor/manager.

Trying to walk employees through the process of how their goals impact the next layer of employees' goals, then the next layer up to the top of the company and how all that linking leads to the company's success may not really resonate with them at first.

Perhaps getting them more connected with their immediate colleagues in their work group/department and their managers --- building up those relationships --- would help for starters.

Then build on that in having them collaborate in setting goals, and how their colleagues in other work groups can help each other. Make them part of the goal setting and they have more ownership.

I think it boils down to meeting employees where their heads are at first and then building on that to get to the eventual success you want.

I remember doing focus groups in a factory in LA about 15 years ago. I asked the employees if they would appreciate seeing having the CEO visit their plant so they could hear about his vision for the company. One worker said, "That would be OK, I guess, but the only guy who really matters here sits in the corner office of our plant. He's the one who decides whether I get to keep my job or get a raise."

In so many ways, employee engagement, like politics, is local.

How great! a familiar voice in my (blog) ear!

I think I was running the focus group next door . . .

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