How to Make Work More Fun with Dr. Bob Nelson

Reading Time: 24 Minutes

In this interview, Dr. Bob Nelson explains how Incorporating fun at work is integral to business success today. 

About Dr. Bob Nelson

Bob Nelson, PH.D., is the president of Nelson Motivation Inc. He’s worked with 80% of Fortune 500 companies. He’s a Senior Fellow for the Conference Board, a top thought leader for the Best Practice Institute, and was named a top-five management guru by Global Gurus. Known as “Dr. Bob,” he has authored over 30 books on employee motivation and engagement, which have collectively sold over 5 million copies and been translated into more than 30 languages.

Read the Transcript

This transcript was auto-generated from the original video recording using Otter Voice Meeting Notes. While the transcript has not been human edited, we hope it will still help you to quickly find or reference useful information from the interview


Deliberate Leaders I am your host Allison Dunn, Executive Coach and Founder of the Deliberate Leaders podcast dedicated to helping leaders build strong, thriving businesses. Each episode we featuring inspiring interviews to help you on your leadership journey. I am excited to introduce our returning podcast guest of ours. We have Dr. Bob Nelson with us. He is the president of Nelson Motivation, a leading authority of employee recognition and engagement. He’s worked with 80% of Fortune 500 companies, which I think is super impressive. He is a senior fellow for the Conference Board, a top thought leader for best practices Institute and was named a top five management guru by Global Guru, finally known as Dr. Bob. He has also authored over 30 books on employee motivation and engagement, which has collectively sold over 5 million copies, and has been translated in more than 30 languages. I don’t think I could even list 30 languages, which is sad, but true. I’m not gonna lie. Um, he is the co author of the new book, work made fun gets done easy ways to boost energy, morale and results. Dr. Bob, it’s so great to have you back with us here today. Thanks for joining us, it’s glad to be back with you. So I know what your tip was last time, I’m going to guess what your tip might be this time. But I like to kick these off with a deliberate conversation about what your number one leadership tip is for our listeners today.


Well, for the purposes of our conversation, it’s got to be ways we can have more fun.


Awesome, and I’m hope I hope this episode dives deep into all the hows and whys in ways to do that. So I’m not gonna ask you for clarification. It’s your number one tip. So, you know, we’re in an amazing position in our world today, where we have a lot of opportunity, right, we’ve got new ways of doing work. We have new ways of recruiting talents, and ways to retain the talent that we want to keep. So how do we keep our good people and attract new people, like go brace that go?


Well, and that’s critically important today, we’re actually experiencing what’s been called the Great resignation. In just the last three months, over 11 million employees in America have quit their jobs at all levels, and are looking to do something more fulfilling, more convenient, and perhaps more enjoyable. So fun is no longer on in the optional category, you have got to work fun into the workplace, the jobs, the interactions with those that you work with.


So it’s one of my one of my top criteria, when I’m working with someone is, you know, from a coaching standpoint, like it’s gonna be fun, like, if this is not going to be fun, I don’t want you to want to do it. But also having it be part of the work, the work component. I think that when I listen to the news, like there’s the talk of so many businesses that are just absolutely desperate to get back to work. But as you say, the best way to do so is to have more fun. So tell me more like how are people doing it? What are some creative ways?


Well, you know, I think I think like for example, love New York firms, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, they’re saying, you gotta be back in the office, head of CEO of Morgan Stanley, if you can go to eat in a restaurant in New York City, you can come back to work in New York City. And, and it’s, it’s To me, it’s like, it’s quaint. It’s kind of it’s a it’s certainly command and control online management. And I gotta tell ya, people are done with two hour commutes. And they’re even during the, during the pandemic, there’s been close to a million people that have left New York City. And this is happening all across the country that you’re there. People are leaving San Francisco, they’re leaving the major cities and they’re going where they can, Idaho. Boise that we’re just talking about that Boise is becoming a hotspot for being a Zoom community. If you can live anywhere. If you are virtual, or Then why not go live in a place where you can enjoy where you’re living and maybe have a bigger house in a great neighborhood and you’d have to be cooped up in a little apartment in a major city, I have. This is what’s happening across the country, and people want more space. And because we spend more time at home and, and the whole work from home thing is not going away. 65% of those people that have worked for home from home during the pandemic said, they want to continue that. And if they’re, if their company says, Well, no, you got to come back to work. 58% said, Well, I’m gonna quit that. Because guess what, they’ve got more, they have more options. Now. My, my son was one of those, he, he had a great job, and it’s time to leave. And he got, I think five or six job offers and just a short while and he’s now working for a company that’s 100% 100% virtual, there’s no office to go to, there’s no headquarters, there’s no place to mail stuff. 100% virtual, and you know, what, they haven’t missed a beat. They have they and the way that they communicate the way they meet, it’s not the same way that we used to do in the office, they don’t all pound to the conference room. And we go, you know, and we are a captive, they post presentations before the meeting. And they asked everyone to view them before the meeting. And when it comes to the meeting, they just take questions. And then the whole thing’s documented for a new hire to see the issues have been discussed. They have once a once a week, they connect them with another person in the company working virtually at random. So over time, you get to know the who’s you’re working with. And they he’s in Seattle, now he was working for a company out of virtually out of San Francisco now. So they did a meet up of other company, other employees that work for the same company. And they got together face to face just to get to know each other, you can make it happen virtually he knows. Now of course some jobs, you can’t if you’re working a meatpacking plant, you’re gonna have to do it there if you have to, you know if you have. So yes, not everyone can do that. But of all the people that do it during the pandemic, they want to continue doing that or with slight deviation say they will, you know, Apple asked people to come back three days a week, and they got heavy pushback for that. And what was employees were upset about was that, you know, they were saying, Well, we know y’all are anxious to get back to work. No, we’re not anxious to get back to work. We enjoy our home and more time with our family and, and working when it eats, you know, maybe that’s after dinner, maybe it’s not eight to five, you know, when they know best when they’re most productive. And it was insulting for them to for the management to say we know you’ve been anxious to get back to work. They’re saying that without checking with us first, we are not anxious to get back to work. So can we talk about this, they’re getting pushed back on three days a week. And so maybe it’s gonna be you know, less than that. My, my wife who’s a Virtual Employee, and she started the job during the pandemic. They said, Well, we’ve got, you know, we have to get back to the office. And it’s like, it’s your it said, Well, if I have she loves her job, she’s very dedicated. If I have to get go back in the office, that’s it, I’m quitting to find something else. And they said, Well, you know, and say, well, well, sometimes she’ll office to meet face to face. Okay, so it’s gonna be, so they settled on one day, a week, one day a week, come into the office, and then actually had to buy or rent an office building just for that one day of the week. It’s mainly empty, which is silly. And so she did that. She’s kind of the whole way. The whole commute. She’s going, I can’t believe in wasting my time, you know, but she gets there. And what does she find? The same people she’s already got to know on zoom, are now just sitting around the same table physically. Nothing else has changed. Did we have to all pile here to make it happen? No, we didn’t. And now and now that’s off. So they’ve, you know, because the Delta variant they’ve pushed that off. Now they actually have one person, one for an admin comes into this empty office and make sure the coffee machine is working for when people come back and it’s just it How silly how silly. It’s like, we’re all we’re turning the corner on this. We were definitely turning the corner and


Whether it’s by car Train or van that, that’s done that is so done. And that’s why we’re having this massive Exodus. And already that was on top of labor was already short at all levels from entry level to higher, high tech, all up and down the scale, hard to find good people because they’re reevaluating what they want their life to be and their connection to work and the type of work they’re doing. And are they valued for that? The days are just saying, well, we paid you we paid you a paycheck that may come on, you know, and we gave you some benefits. So you know, come on, yeah, no, that’s not good enough, I can get a paycheck anywhere I work. If I want to work for a place that has more meaning where I have more purpose, where I’m part of something larger than myself, where I’m valued for my contribution, which is not that hard to do, by the way, but it’s still very rare today in 85% of employees feel overworked and underappreciated. Right now. 85%. And so it’s not, it’s not good enough to say, Well, you know, hey, we gave you a, we gave you a 2% increase. That’s gonna keep me committed for another year, you got to do a lot more here. And it starts with a thank you, you did a great job on that assignment. I always can count on you. And that’s, that could be a comment, you know, on zoom in the hallway, it could be a note here, it could be a meeting, hey, I want to talk to you just to say, I reflected over our the time you’ve been with us. And I can’t tell you, I can’t be more proud of a hiring decision than the one I made with you. Who’s had that conversation? And how would that make that person feel if they get it, you know, I can tell you how it can make them feel make them feel like a million dollars, you don’t have to give them a million dollars, they can feel that way.


I totally agree with you that it’s it is honestly, it’s the very small things that actually keep that stickiness, organization and being environmentally friendly, primarily no and low cost too, by the way, just delightful. So it starts with thanking people catch them doing something right, praise, which can be personal, could be electronic, it could be on zoom, it could be it could be in a meeting, or the beginning of a meeting, it could be publicly, it was whatever network with the department, the company, the community, you know, all sorts, those are all those are all valid, you know, and you got a wide smorgasbord to draw off on. So if you’re just doing one thing, and you’re not doing enough, open up your head and your heart to start valuing people and start managing from the heart instead of the checklist.


Bob, I think I’d like to kind of just ask a couple questions and open it up to thinking some of the challenges that at least I recognize are happening. So there’s this work from anywhere movement, right? Like you don’t need to be in the office in order to be able to get work done. 100% agree. And then there’s this other aspect where it is about more money driven is if you’re an expect me to show up, then it’s being driven on the dollar. Are you finding that’s the case with some of your clients as well, meaning if I need to come here, I want top dollar for exposing myself or showing up?


Yeah, and we don’t have a COVID policies, now you’re risking my life. And because you’re, you know, no matter how you cut it, you people are gonna jacked if you Everyone has to be vaccinated, then people object if everyone doesn’t have to be vaccinated, and you just have to have a COVID test once a week, guess what 40% of employees say, if I’m going back in the office, and everyone’s not vaccinated, you’re putting me at risk?


I don’t care.


So no, no, it’s you. There’s gonna be a little bit more combat pay here because you’re putting me in the line of fire. And so yeah, that that is that is true. But also, even combat pay wears thin, you know, you can, well, that’s a terrible place to work, but at least they pay you goodwill that they’ll carry you for a while, but even then it’s like it’s not worth it. You know, I want my life back. And so that’s a short term solution. And right now we’re seeing a short term solution on that work. We’re people desperate to hire people, they’re raising the minimum wage. And it’s funny, like hospitals, they’re, they’re, you know, in the same community side by side, and they increase their pay and, and everyone’s one hospital goes to the other one. And then another hospital does the same thing and they get a hiring bonus. So they get five or $15,000 and they go there. They say what’s the minimum three months, okay, three months, they go back to the hospital and get paid again. This is great. You know, when all said and done, nothing’s changed. How about just having it be a better place to work? Here’s an idea. Once you give the employees the resources, they need to do a good job, instead of instead of asking nurses to work double shifts, and it’s like, Are you kidding me? Are you really, and now they’re just telling me that a nurse had worked a dual shift, they, they, they hit someone on the way home because they’re half asleep, it’s like, really, you know, it’s like, let’s start taking care of people. If they value if you value them start treating the way that they matter, then, and it’s not, it’s not just the money. 92% of employees want to have better communication where they work. two way communication, they want to be, they want to, they want to be transparent. They want transparency to know, they want to be able to ask a question, get an answer, not be embarrassed by asking a question. 89% of employees right now want to be involved in decisions, especially those decisions that affect them in their job? What does that? How much more common sense? can you get? Hey, can you include me in the decision that’s going to affect me, and actually, I’ve been doing this job and you haven’t, maybe it’s a good place to start with me to see how it might be done better. And just saying, just say 2% of people want that 18 89% 11% I’ve given up, you know, you’re just showing up in the community, not too bad, and maybe retire, I’ll retire in three years, you know? And there aren’t those I do? See, some of that’s from the pandemic where people had to cut back and they go, I can’t, you know, I’m like, in a steady paycheck then. And then they said, well, they made some cuts and actually kind of worked. Okay, we’re not we’re not panicked. And guess what, I’m kind of enjoying life better. It’s just the pace has gone down. And, you know, I see the family. And, yeah, it’s got a lot more planning that I can decide, you know, I’ll still work hard to do the job. But, you know, it doesn’t have to be it in that location at that exact time, you know, doesn’t really well, if your boss still thinks he doesn’t know, Okay, I’m gonna find another place. It doesn’t feel that way. My I just mentioned my son, he took a new job and 100% virtual not only was it a new job, but he let me see what was it he, he jumped his salary by? Man, you see. $80,000 Wow. Because guess what, he can deliver the goods. And he and he’s very comfortable managing virtually. And he’s done. He’s done that he’s hired people around the world and managed them. So that’s he’s fine tune that skill set. And, and so that’s gonna be in higher demand, because it’s all the people say, Well, I’m just not comfortable. Unless I can see the people I can’t trust that they’re working. Well, guess what? You don’t have to worry about because no one’s gonna work for you anymore. Anyway. You’re and the way you show that trust is by micromanaging?


Let me see that.


Let me see that, you know, and, and this is done right? And then you do it for them. Management isn’t. That’s abdication management isn’t being a super worker where you do everyone’s job and, and you’re the one that tells them what’s right. And what’s wrong. Management is getting the work done through others says, Peter Drucker, it’s being there for them. How can I support you? What do you need to do a better job? How can I help you deliver to our customer, I can’t talk to every customer. That’s why I hired you to begin with. I need to trust you. And I need you to do a good job. So how can I best help you? I’ll do Call me when you need we can role play whatever you need, you need certain resources. Let me go to bat for you. This is a job of management, not being you know, command and control. I’m calling the shots. I told you don’t ever wear that outfit to the office again. You know, it’s like, come on. That’s so out of sync with the day we’re in.


Yeah. Can I ask you do me a favor? So you have your book right there? handy. Right? Could you hold it up? Yes. All right. Fantastic. All right. So in your book, your hundreds of ideas to make work fun for a little class. Can you share some examples with us that everyone should be able to implement, regardless of whether they’re working from anywhere in place in zoom in office? Whatever? Yes,


Yes. And we ended up when we collected all these ideas. The organization we used was kind of a concentric that we started with, with one individual and their own work they’re trying to do and then we talked about the group activities and then thing things a leader can and needs to do and then ultimately, what an organization can do. So I can give you examples of each type. So Individually, you know, for everyone, everyone has rote routine and boring tasks, they got to do the paperwork or whatever it is, and, and or cold calling or whatever, you know, there’s some part of your job that you just kind of hate, you know? And so how can you make that more fun?


Well, surprisingly, there’s quite a lot of things you could do you can you can play a game with yourself, hey, well, I know someone that just and again, it sounds silly. They take their to do list, and they relabeled it their fun list, things they get to do. Dallas, but what to Dallas? Today Ah, there you go. And so already, you’re setting an attitude, you’re framing it, you can you can, you can set your timer for 20 minutes is actually establish technique, how fast can I get it done, and it’s a, it’s a race. And then if I and then if you meet the goal, you can reward yourself? Well, that could be that could be taking a quick walk that could be calling a friend, you haven’t talked to him a long time your choice you pick the friend you want to call, it could be going online shopping for a couple minutes, you know, it’s so what would do it for you and then put a spark in your day, it could be having a buddy you know, I know when I get stuck on work I’m doing. I talk it through with my wife and I say I’m really just by talking out loud, then I can solve the problem or wait to get started. And that’s again, simple. And that’s powerful. I had and it goes on from there. One of the major things of doing research for this book was that no two people had the same things that were fun to them. If you at the start of the project. Yeah, it started the project. If you ask me what’s fun? Well, that’s easy. It’s when you’re laughing. You’re having fun. But you know, that’s, that’s no one else said that. If you asked my wife, what’s fun for her. She literally would say, when I get home at the end of the day, and I got a lot done at work. I feel good about myself. And I feel I feel it was a fun day. Wow. Okay, that’s not that’s not my definition of fun, but it’s hers, let’s do more than I had. And just it was so it was so fun collecting these ideas. I had a I had a woman say. And I didn’t know about that. She said, YoYo Ma, the famous, you know, classical soloist, he did a performance in 2015. He played for 8000 people, he played box, six concert CEOs in their entirety, three hours straight from memory. He only took like a five minute break in the middle there. And to 8000 people from memory. She says, when I put that on, I feel like the hands of God, I run you through music. I put it on when I work. And it’s free. It’s on the internet look at and you put it on and I tried to do she’s right. All of a sudden, nothing, everything you’re doing has more meaning to it, it has more importance to it. Because you’re touched by this music.


It’s like, what if you haven’t tried that you got to try it.


Other people are, you know, are inspired in other ways. So find out what, what does it for you, that puts a perk in your day. And all of a sudden, it’s not working anymore. It’s Time flies and you’re in the flow and, and so that’s, that’s, you can do that individually. And that’s what really is to start because there’s a frame of mind. If you can start with making your own world fun, how can you help to make it fun with other people. So now if you’re working with others, and we’re doing a lot of that on zoom right now, as you and I are it’s good, you know, you can have a lot of fun on Zoom. Actually, a lot of people don’t think about that just crunching through the agenda. And it’s hard, you know, there’s this zoom fatigue, and talk to people and they have eight hours of non stop zoom meetings and their face is frozen, you know, and they always have to be on because the whole group is there. And it’s like, oh, yeah, yeah, you know, and all of a sudden, you want to shoot yourself, you know, so you gotta, you gotta actually have some fun there. Well, here’s an easy one that I really recommended and it’s, you could do it in person, but you can also do it on zoom. It’s called a praise barrage of praise for the next few mean, hey, before we get started, I just want to go around the group, as I call someone’s name. I like everyone else to say what they most value of about working with that person 100% positive start with john. Okay, Mary, let’s go to Joe, and hear the whole activities five, maybe 10 minutes. And what you just do, everyone got specific feedback from they who they work with, about what they most value about what they do. So john, john got called out, john Yeah, I just love how you always jump in and are ready to help. That means so much to me, because it makes my job easier when you jump in and makes me want to help you and, and thanks for doing that. Guess what, john? Now that’s practical feedback, it’s gonna make feel john feel good. But it’s also could make him register. And without asking, you will get more of that from john, guaranteed what is recognized gets repeated, hands down. And so and so people that are good at something, they can become great at something, and help be a better contributor as part of the team. So that’s just one, one simple thing you can you could do that. And the next time you’re together in person, you could do it with index cards, right? Write a thank you note to anyone in the group, do a thank you, you haven’t gotten to and someone gets, you know, four, or five or six, thank you is on index cards for something that I’ve done, that that’s going to resonate, and you feel a pride, and you get to feel a stronger attachment to this group of people. So that you look forward to seeing within and working with them, because they’re great people and they value who you are, and, and all of a sudden, you’re gonna start feeling that way it’s gonna come across, and how do you deal with the customer? guaranteed, you know, I worked with Disney for 15 years. And Disney is based on the foundation of recognition. This is the founding It started with an epiphany, Walt Disney had early in his career, when he was working somewhere and, and he is he realized that, you know, you can’t yell at someone in the back room, expect them to go out and do what the customer like, nothing’s wrong, none of us can disengage like that you, you just get yelled at, you come out, and then you’re on edge, and you’re kind of short with the customer.


And so he decides, if I ever have a company, I will treat my customers, I will treat my employees as though they’re my customers. Knowing that if I do that well enough, they will naturally pass it on to the end customer. And that’s the secret of Disney right there. And that’s at Walt Disney World. They have 250 ways to recognize people, and performance and behaviors and core values and excellence 250. Now that might sound like overkill to people, but it’s not to them. It’s not they still brainstorm, what else could we do? What else could we do? You know, they’re not resting on their laurels. They’re doing the same thing since 1955. They get they have perfected it, but they’re still exploring. They’re still I did a backstage tour of Disneyland a couple years ago. I remember going to the kitchen, there was this whiteboard up. And I said, Hey, what’s up with this? I go, Well, well, we use this to explore new ideas that employees have for how we can do things better. And there was really, you guys, you guys have been doing catering and food services since 1955. You have it all figured out? Oh, no, no, no, we don’t, we are only as good as keeping on top of it constant innovation. And that comes from connecting people and ask them for their ideas, and then thanking them for their ideas. And a lot of times leaving them pursue their ideas and supporting them who’s having more energy for the idea that the person came up with it. And so we’re constantly working progress perfecting, polishing the diamond, you know, there’s no one there saying, Now we told you what to do. You know, before just do what I tell you. Boy, that’s abdication. Because the person you do that to say, Well, great, I got a better idea. I’m just you could check my brains at the door when I walk in, because you just could tell me. And if I if I don’t do it, then you’re gonna yell at me and maybe take it back, give it to someone else, great. less work for me to do. This is great. And that’s what happens people. I’m chagrined by people, they take a job, they come to hate it. They go someplace else, and they repeat the cycle. And they go from job to hate to job they hate the job and then they retire a whole chain of jobs that they hated, you know? Wow, really? How about starting with what you really want to do with your life? And where could you make a contribution and maybe taking that hobby that you love so much? And how could you make that into a job and how could you and off you go as you go, I can give you 100 stories on what that looks like. And the smart companies do that in the company. How can we capture people’s ideas? is nothing wrong with it, you know, I’ve met art fry. And you probably heard the story he, he’s the inventor of the post, post it note from three m, okay. And he and he, he sang in the St. Paul Cathedral. And he did stick Nick’s card and the hymnal for the next, you know, and it fall out. And then you have to find this place and stuff because it’s got to be he works at 3pm there’s gotta be a way to put a load adhesive glue on a piece of paper, so it sticks and, and you know, what? 300 and I don’t know, 20 years old, and they innovation is their thing. So you think that will they, they would welcome that open arms. We took it to the technical team on adhesives. And they said, No, no, we can’t do it. It would be too hard to get consistency and a low grade adhesive that that won’t work. And you know what he said? He said, That’s great news. Because I know once we crack the code, it’ll be hard for anyone to imitate it. He didn’t sway him a bit. And he took it to marketing. And they tested it in seven markets. They came back, you know what they said? It’s a bust. No one wants it. No one knows, knows what it was. He said, you test. You tested it wrong. You tested it wrong, can you imagine? And so what he did he in a in a buddy got a bunch of them. And they walk the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota, going in store after store and giving away a free sample first time in the history of the company, where they gave away a free sample. Yeah, we call it we call it as a sticker on something when you want to note and then. And then a week later, they came back the visit the same stores 90% want to place an order for more of them. Okay, it still wasn’t done.


Well, how much evidence do they need? They went to administrators, administrative assistants, and the company gave them all ones. And when they came back, and they said how do I reorder that? It’s ago we’re doing this that the post that became in his first year a $300 million line of business, because of one guy that wouldn’t take no for an answer on a simple idea that and everyone has ideas, you know what? Well, and you have the most ideas about the job we’re doing and we’re working. I worked I worked with the company and in Connecticut boardroom, Inc. They do newsletters, five of the top six largest selling newsletters, there’s in the country. And they did they do a thing, they still do it called ipower, where they ask every employee to turn in two ideas every week, every employee to ideas now that they’ll get every employee doing it every week, but they get most of the people doing it. And they and then they instead of giving those ideas to a suggestion committee or putting the suggestion box, it never gets open, or goes to a committee that once a quarter looks MSA, we’re not we’re not doing this idea What gives you the right to tell us what we should be doing in purchasing. Now. Who the heck are you, you’ll never happen again. Instead, they have volunteers from the employee population review those ideas, in most cases, and then they teach them to say, we’re trying to encourage ideas. So most cases, do the idea to say, this is a great idea, Charlie, you should really do that one, they give it back to the person with permission to proceed. Let us know how we can help you with your idea I had. And as a result 1000s of ideas. They told me that just doing this one simple thing, but doing it very well to keep it keeping at it making it real. They that they increase their revenues fivefold in three year period. And they had just as one example they had a shipping clerk that they have these hard bound books. And they they’re expensive to mail and a shipping clerk one of the ideas he turned in one of the weeks he said next time we get this book printed at the printer, if we trim the paper size, he calculated a 16th of an inch. It will come in a lighter weight. It will save some money in postage, and they go out and it is right. He’s true. They did that. In the first year they saved $500,000 in postage. The CEO of the company, Marty Elsas. Told me said Bob I’ve worked in direct mail for 27 years. I didn’t even know there was a fourth class postage rate. But the young kid that’s staring at the chart day in and day out he knew it was oh, we missed it again. We missed it again. Wow, everyone’s got it. I really believe this everyone’s got a $50,000 idea if we can give it some airtime and not and assume that we’re smarter than them and that’s why I couldn’t be the new hire. So yes See what I’m about. And part of the mix is, is making the whole thing fun and even just getting ideas like what did they have meetings have ideas? No, they’ll still people, you know, candy for the idea they submitted and so they have fun in the work itself. Certainly when you finish the project, or you got to have some celebration, and that’s, that’s, so there’s different types of fun at different levels. For a lot of a lot of employees that they tell me, you know, the only time they hear from the bosses when they made a mistake, and if they do finish a big project, the reward they get, we talked about celebrating, but we usually don’t celebrate. Instead, we got we get two new projects to work on, you know, like, what is the exact opposite. So we’re not, we’re not thanking people for the job they did, as easy as that can be, or even better, at the start of the project saying, hey, if we make this happen, I’m gonna be pretty excited. What do you all want to do to celebrate, we’re able to finish this project, this is gonna be key to our success, and see what they come up with. You don’t have to have all the answers and then make that happen when you know, this. Maybe it’s presenting their findings to the management team, maybe it’s doing something without the management team has just for them and their families, whatever it is go with that.


Dr. Bob, thank you so much for sharing so many examples. Is there one, one chapter in the book that you would most recommend people check out if you were to say, like, do this one time?


Well, that’s easy, because I’m known as the guru of Thank You. So is that one thing, if you just find the one thing to improve morale performance, and a bond with any workers start taking time to catch them doing things, right. And it could be a note, it could be, it could be writing some notes, at the end of the day, before you go home to that it’s gonna take you a couple seconds, but it could be a highlight of their day, we leave it on their desk, and they’re going to save that note and put in their victory file and review it when they’re having a tough day. So just doing that, that one thing. It’s called the greatest management principle in the world, what you get what you reward, what you recognize what you inspect. So that would be it. And I’ve done, did my doctoral dissertation on that and did a book of 1001 ways to reward employees, which is now in an expanded edition 15 101 ways to reward employees that isn’t 64th printing has sold 2 million copies. So again, you don’t even have to reinvent the wheel, you can open that book, or really any of my books, because all of them are filled with real life examples. You can open anywhere and find a usable idea. If that what happens to not be able to be usable for you just flip the page and the next one will be you know, so given the game, getting the game and the main way is all we have is conversation, start having the conversations about the things that matter to employees. And by doing that, there’ll be more they’re more likely to do the things that are important to you and to the company.


For sure. I’m going to include in the show notes, my top favorite three or four books that you have. Thank you didn’t t get access to and with that final thoughts.


Dr. Bob, thank you.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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