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How to motivate employees with lower salaries | Dale Carnegie Blog

How to motivate employees with lower salaries | Dale Carnegie Blog | Cultural Trendz |

Recently, a Dale Carnegie Training-lead European study found that those who made $200,000 or more were typically the most fully engaged. That leaves a large chunk of lower-paid employees who can be better engaged. Of course, it’s not altogether surprising that higher paid employees would be more motivated than those with lower compensation packages. Money is an excellent incentive! But replacing any level of employee is considerably more expensive than retaining them, so your goal should be to motivate all of your employees. Here’s how to motivate employees and make sure everyone is happy, healthy and working at their full potential — no matter what their pay rate.

Value your team

Dale Carnegie Training research has found that the single most important factor affecting engagement and employee motivation is one’s relationship with his or her immediate supervisor. “Therefore, managers must develop outstanding people skills if they want to cultivate and maintain positive relationships and engaged employees,” says career consultant Debra Davenport. “Today’s manager should serve as a coach, mentor and facilitator, guiding employees to successful completion of tasks and projects.” Even if you’re swamped, take five minutes and reach out to your most vulnerable employees — particularly the lowest paid ones. A crucial step in this process? Calling them by name.

Find out what motivates employees

Yes, raises and bonuses can motivate employees, but in today’s economy, that’s not always an option. So take a moment to speak to individuals on your staff about how they would like to be recognized. “Consider the sales manager who decides to motivate his sales team by offering a trip to Hawaii as a reward for the highest quarterly sales. This particular tactic may resonate with some staff members, but perhaps not to the individual who is afraid to fly,” says Davenport. “Reward and recognition programs should never be designed with a one-size-fits-all approach.” For instance, a busy mom might appreciate a flexible schedule or a couple of Fridays off more than a fancy celebratory party. Dale Carnegie Training research has shown that when a manager takes an interest in their employees’ lives (including their work/family balance), engagement is increased.

Be generous with praise

Thanking someone for a job well done costs nothing — but can mean everything. “At the bottom end (as in a support or admin role) employees often feel unrecognized and unappreciated,” says career coach Elizabeth Lions. Dale Carnegie trainers teach that it is essential for leaders to focus more on praising what’s going well than criticizing what is going wrong. Even small “thanks” can motivate employees. “You’d be surprised how far a 10 dollar Starbucks card means to a lower end employee. Again, low cost, but shows effort and appreciation,” says Lions.

Show them their impact

If your employees feel valued, they will value their position at the company. “But the reality is that the more someone is paid the more they are valued by the company that is in fact paying them and therefore they are in turn more likely to feel valued,” says workplace consultant and author Michael Carroll. At the bottom levels of your corporation, your employees may simply feel like cogs in a wheel. They don’t get to see success up close — and may only hear from senior management when something goes wrong. For instance, an administrative assistant may not be present when a big deal is signed, even though he or she contributed to it. But that same assistant will definitely hear about it if a mistake gets made in their department. So make sure to thank people, and explain how they contributed in some way to your company’s success. This will help them feel valued, even if their salary remains lower.

All four of these actions will help raise engagement, improve retention and create loyalty among all of your employees — whatever their salary.

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Negotiation Q+A: Is it possible to ask for too much?

Negotiation Q+A: Is it possible to ask for too much? | Cultural Trendz |

We all know it's important to ask for more. But when you're offered a low salary, how much is too much when it comes to negotiating?

I love this question because it really hits home. In 2001, I interviewed for a management position in a nonprofit in Santa Barbara. I was offered a salary that was 20% less than my former job for the same title and function. I knew it would be a battle to bring my salary up to researched standards because every professional in our gorgeous destination city has to do battle with what I call the “paradise penalty.”

In other words, if I take what’s offered, I still get to go to the beach.

Right. But just how many quesadillas can paradise put on my table? Well, 20% less, for starters. I had to ask for more. And you know what? It worked.

So “Afraid to Ask”—I’m going to give you the acronym AA and give you a 12-step program.

Steps 1-11: Kill the Fraud Monster

As a woman, you are a product of our culture and the collective mythology about what’s expected of and “acceptable” for our gender. On any given day, this is the conflicting advice women are given:

    Ask for more, but don’t be greedy.
    Be strong, but speak softly.
    Sing your own praises, but don’t be arrogant.
    Speak up, but don’t be harsh or shrill.
    Get what you want, but do good for others.

The cumulative effect of ingesting all these directives is the sense that you are not enough; if you ask for more than is offered, it will soon be discovered that you’re not all that deserving of it anyway. You’re a fraud.

The Fraud Monster may take a few rounds to kill, but know this—for this job, or for any: You are not missing a piece, you don’t need another credential, you don’t lack skills or experience, you don’t need to prove yourself one more time to get what you deserve.

There is nothing wrong with you. Got it? So let’s flip your closing question around and ask, “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I don’t negotiate a lowball offer?”

First and most obvious, if you don’t negotiate, you’re leaving money on the table. Multiply that by a career of 30 years or so, and research tells us you’ll lose up to $1 million.

Second, negotiating is a demonstration of your leadership and signals to your potential employer that you’ll have the company’s back. When you’re working with vendors, clients, and other partners, the company will want you to get the best deal possible for your team, right?

Plus, if you know how to approach the conversation, there’s no real downside. If you ask for too much (highly unlikely) and your potential employer winces, an open-ended question or two will keep the conversation moving:

“Seems like that took you by surprise. Tell me more…”

“What is the budget for this position based on?”

“How can I help you move more in my direction?”

Step 12: Learn to Wiggle

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the actual negotiation.
Negotiation conversations are made up of anchors (putting a number on the table), counteroffers, and concessions. Simplifying wildly, you need to know two things—your target (what you really want) and your reservation point (your walkaway or resentment number).

For example, if your potential employer offers $75K for your dream job, and your research and preparation sets you up with a target of $90K and a reservation point of $80K, here are two possible scenarios for how the wiggle might go:

1. Counter With Your Target TGT -0.39%

You counter offer with $90K, and your partner counters with $82K, basically splitting the difference. You then concede $4K and counter with $86K, and your partner agrees to split the difference again by offering you $84K, to which you agree.

You’re below your target, but $4K better than your walk away number and $9K better than the original offer.

2. Counter Above Your Target

You counter offer for $95K, and your partner counters with $80K—a bump up of $5K. You match that by conceding $5K and counter with $90K. Your partner splits the difference and offers you $85K. You split that difference again and offer $88K, to which your partner responds with an offer of $86K. You say yes.

You’re $6K above your reservation point, $4K from your target, and $12K better than your original offer.

Of course, each counter offer you make needs to be backed up with credible reasons—stock phrases you develop in advance that are designed to express the value you bring to your potential employer. It sounds like you’ve you’re your research already, so try things like:

“My research shows the market value of this position is between $85K and $95K. With my experience in X, and my training in Y, I think $95K is a more appropriate place to start the conversation.”

“Your offer is exactly what I’m currently making, yet this position has more responsibility and requires the specialized experience I have to help you accomplish your strategic plan.”

If all this back and forth makes your head swim, consider that research shows the more concessions you make, and the more give and take that happens in a negotiation, the happier both parties are with the outcome.

So AA, the upshot (besides, of course, a significant amount of money)? Negotiating will look good on you. And once you have the experience of asking for more, it will be in your bones and at your service forever.

This article was originally published on The Daily Muse. For more on negotiating, check out: .

Vilma Bonilla's insight:

A very good question and very candid advice.

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Stopping excessive payments for contractor compensation | The White House

Stopping excessive payments for contractor compensation | The White House | Cultural Trendz |

Next week, the Administration will be transmitting to Congress a legislative proposal to stop excessive payments to Federal contractors. The proposal builds on previous Administration proposals and language included in the President’s Budget, and marks another important step in our ongoing effort to buy smarter and end wasteful, fiscally imprudent contract spending.

Under current law, contractors that are paid based on their incurred costs (which represents about one-third of current contract spending) may demand reimbursement for executive salaries, bonuses and other compensation up to the level of the Nation’s top private sector CEOs and other senior executives. This taxpayer reimbursement level has skyrocketed by more than 300 percent since the law was enacted in the mid-1990s. Taxpayers have been required, by law, to foot this unaffordable expense, despite the fact that this rapidly increasing cost has had little bearing on the value agencies receive under their government contracts.

When the cap was raised to $693,000 for FY 2010, the President called on Congress to repeal the current statutory formula and replace it with a lower, more sensible limit that is on par with what the government pays its own executives and employees. The last Congress considered several reform proposals, but ultimately could only agree on a modest change that expanded application of the statutory cap for defense contractors from the contractor’s senior executives to all of its employees.

As a result of Congressional inaction, the Administration was forced to raise the cap to $763,000 for FY 2011. In the coming weeks, the cap will need to be raised again for FY 2012 - this time to more than $950,000 - continuing down a path of cap increases that is far outpacing the growth of inflation and the wages of most of America’s working families. This wasteful expenditure of taxpayer resources must stop.

The Administration’s proposal calls on Congress to abolish the current formula and instead tie the reimbursement cap to the President’s salary and apply it across-the-board to all defense and civilian cost-reimbursement contracts. Tying the cap to the President’s salary provides a reasonable level of compensation for high value Federal contractors while ensuring taxpayers are not saddled with paying excessive compensation costs.

Importantly, the proposal provides for an exemption to the cap if, and only if, an agency determines such additional payment is necessary to ensure it has access to the specialized skills required to support mission requirements, such as for certain key scientists or engineers. And to be clear, nothing in the proposal limits the amount contractors pay their executives. The cap only limits how much the government will reimburse the contractors for the services of those executives. Taking these steps has the potential to save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over what they would have to pay if the cap remains unchanged.

This proposal is part of the President’s broader Campaign to Cut Waste and the Administration’s ongoing effort to eliminate inefficient spending in contracting – an effort that has resulted in a noteworthy decline in annual contract spending since the President took office in 2009. We hope that this Congress, unlike the last one, will heed the urgent call to restore fiscal responsibility before additional taxpayer dollars that could be used to fund critical agency mission work are wasted unnecessarily to pay for costly overhead in the form of excessive contractor compensation.

Joe Jordan is the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy

Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Direct from the source. The Administration is proposing to "tie the reimbursement cap to the President’s salary and apply it across-the-board to all defense and civilian cost-reimbursement contracts. Tying the cap to the President’s salary provides a reasonable level of compensation for high value Federal contractors while ensuring taxpayers are not saddled with paying excessive compensation costs."


No one can make more than Obama? Salary envy, perhaps..

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