Depending on who you are, the word ‘minion’ will have various connotations. For fans of Pixar, or people with young children you’re likely familiar with the yellow-tube like characters made popular in Despicable Me and their spin-off film Minions. The gibberish- speaking creatures have a penchant for mischief and destruction, but under the right leadership have the potential to accomplish great things. Others may think of the word minion in the more traditional sense- an employee who feels like just another cog in the wheel with little agency of their own. We can compare the minion’s behavior to common behavior in today’s work environment. Although cute, Minions tend to be on the verge of making matters miserable for each other and their employers. Many of us have experienced working for employers who hold us back from our full potential, or don’t appreciate our work, and this kind of work culture often leads to disengagement. So what can one do during a challenging stage of an employee and employer relationship? What can an employer do to improve relationships with their employees?
First - Don’t be a Minion!
How can you do this? There are many ways to give your life at work more meaning. You can figure out a way to be a driving force behind an important project, if you run out of work ask a different director or department head if they need any help, and if your company has a philanthropic group or foundation volunteer to help plan an upcoming event.
Second- Don’t Create Minions.
Inspire your teams by providing the right incentives for your employees. The 2013 Xactly Insights™ study shows paying employees more matters! When employees work hard it is reflected in the success of the company. While compensating thoughtfully and creating effective incentive plans is critical to employee happiness there are also other non-monetary or inexpensive activities and incentives that can add value to an employee and employer’s relationship. Lets look at five ways you can improve employee moral: 1. Free or discounted movie tickets can put a smile on any employee. It acknowledges their hard work and this appreciation encourages them to work harder. 2. A clean the beach day gives management a relaxed space to interact and connect with their teams on a human level while also doing a good deed. 3. On-site meditation classes are a way of showing employees that the company cares for their employee’s physical and mental well-being. 4. Bring an Improv instructor onsite for the day. This can bring shy employees out of their shell and encourage sales reps to improve their story telling skills. 5. Start a lunch- time running group with employees of all levels to facilitate healthy habits and increased communication. In order to make the work environment productive and harmonious for both employees and employers, both parties have to take initiative. As a leader it’s important that your workforce doesn’t feel like a minion, and is given enough responsibility and recognition to feel that their work has meaning. An Xactly product can help you keep track of your employee’s progress and wins so that you can incent them in a way that inspires top performance.