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What’s in Your Bucket?

Every employee, including management, has a bucket of motivation that can be filled or drained empty. Some employees enter the workplace with filled buckets because of what was deposited from a previous job or service provided. Others come with half-filled or empty buckets as a result of issues and circumstances they’ve experienced on and/or off the job.

As with buckets, each employee also has a dipper or ladle that can be used to dip into someone else’s bucket and take out things that drain motivation and desire. Some employees have big dippers with long handles that can do much damage not only to an individual, but an entire group or organization.

As a leader in any organization, there is a responsibility to ensure that buckets are filled with motivation and desire and the dippers that drain it are minimized or eliminated when possible. But, how does one accomplish this? Well, the most effective way to accomplish this is through communication. Let’s briefly look at four actions that help keep buckets full and even overflowing.

  1. Make sure employees know what’s important in accomplishing their job. Be clear and concise about what the main thing is or what the end product should be. Leaders should be focused and give specific direction versus creating confusion and inconsistency.

  2. Feedback!! Let employees know how they are doing ALL THE TIME! Make sure you follow the rules of effective feedback: Be Sincere, Be Specific, Be Timely, Be Value Aligned

  3. In addition to giving employees a paycheck each week or two weeks, routinely do things to let employees know you care. Simple and consistent actions work best just like pennies in a jar add up to dollars over time. Examples: Make coffee, give birthday cards, eat lunch with employees in the break-room

  4. Let the entire group of employees know how they are doing as a whole on meeting goals and objectives. Get them involved in improving company performance.

The four bucket filling actions are simple but necessary when changing and maintaining a motivated workforce.

Here are a few questions to think about:

  • Do your employees know what’s important in getting their job done?

  • Do you routinely give feedback?

  • How do you show your employees that you appreciate what they do?

Need help on filling your employee buckets? Click Here to Contact Janet Ford or visit our website at

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