Motivating employees by animal instinct

by Caitlin Nobes08 Sep 2014

Every employee is different when it comes to what motivates them and how they’d prefer to work, but one organisation leader says it all comes down to two types – and if you get them mixed up you won’t like the results.

“By scientifically observing…our own pets, I think I am qualified to make the leap to Situational Leadership models,” Edelmen Global Strategy head Glenn Engler wrote on his blog. 

“Dogs are loyal. They can be trained, although some have some personalities that require a bit more discipline in your approach. Some even need to go to school to get training because of their boundless enthusiasm, incredible wandering attention span, or their constant ability to leave little messes all over the place.”

These are the employees that are always upbeat. They’re happy, they make you happier, they trust you and for a little love and recognition they’ll work hard for you forever.

“Cats are smart. They scheme. They observe. They know they can rule the place without saying anything,” Engler said. “And more often than not, everybody else knows they rule the place.” 

Cats have great attention spans, as long as you give them something that interests them. Certainly you have to be aware of their moods, but the results pay off when you meet their needs.

“If the team member sounds like the cat, be more thoughtful,” Engler suggested. “Give them space, check in that all is on track, but don't be in their face all the time. Trust them – they know exactly what they're doing and everything will work out just fine.”

And the results of treating one like the other?

“Treat the cat like a dog, and you're in trouble - that superb employee will be less motivated. You may even get a good scratch out of it,” Engler warned. “Treat the dog like a cat, and that project will go off track quickly - and you'll have an office full of broken objects and messes.”

Do you work primarily with cats or dogs? Which would you rather hire?

 

 

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