#SniffingClothes #FabricSofteners #ads #motivators #WorkplaceMotivators

Most fabric softener TV ads have people gleefully sniffing their clothes.
When was the last time you did that? More to the point, do you buy a certain brand of fabric softener just so you can gleefully sniff your clothes?
Who’s creating these ads anyway? Not only are they not terribly entertaining, but they hardly persuade us to buy a certain brand of fabric softener.
Many employers are searching for certain motivators in the work place. Most see the motivational attempts as goofy.
What would really motivate a work force is to improve pay, working conditions and the overall lives of the staff.
Yet, goofy attempts at motivation are much cheaper. The employers figure that if even one employee buys in to the motivational trick, it might be worth it.
Look at it this way: at least goofy motivation attempts are more than most employees received in the past. Then, you did your hours, kept out of trouble and got a paycheck every week. That check was the sole motivator.
But employees want more these days. They want to feel their employers care about them. They want to believe their employers take a genuine interest in them. They want the employer to see them as people, not just tools.
In short, in most circumstances, if you want to be motivated, you have to find that motivation yourself. If you don’t find it where you work, you may have to look elsewhere.
Meanwhile, keep scratching your head at the folks who create goofy ads and goofy motivational exercises.
Look for what really motivates YOU. And, refrain from sniffing your clothes after they go through the wash.


#Nonplayer #jobs #complainers “LaborMarket #employers #employees
A line from a Dilbert cartoon, by Scott Adams, says. “I’m a non-player character. I can only complain about my job and comment on the weather.”
The cartoon was published July 14, 2022, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The purpose of the line is to humorously illustrate how people think – or don’t think – at work.
People may complain about a job, but take no action to improve their situations.
In other words, “I’m here. I’m stuck. And I hate it!”
One may not be able to do much about the weather, but one can certainly do something about his or her work situation.
If you like WHERE you work, but don’t like WHAT you do, perhaps there are other jobs in that locale for which you can apply.
If you like WHAT you do, but don’t like WHERE you are doing it, you can look at other employers.
Today’s labor market is the best in decades. There are employers begging for help. Your options are probably greater than you imagine.
One should not feel he or she has to stay where he or she is, because there is nowhere else to go.
Employers in this market have to be creative to not only find the help they need, but also to keep the help they have.
This kind of labor market, plus disruptions in supply chains, oil markets, the food industry etc., coupled with post-pandemic pent-up demand for goods and services, are causing inflation today.
In the Dilbert cartoon, the question posed before the non-player statement was, “What do you think the government should do about inflation?”
The government has little control, and few available actions, to curb inflation. Politicians like to blame opponents for problems no one can really control single-handedly, but the reality is that foreign wars, pandemics and other phenomenon can dictate our terms of living.
Given how good the job market is, employees can be fortunate that they are getting raises that can help mitigate inflation, though most raises are not enough to make those employees feel significantly better off in these times.
Regardless of the uncontrollable problems in one’s life – the weather, inflation etc. – being a “non-player” and just complaining about things is not an option. YOU still have some control over your life. Work on the things you can control, and work around things you can’t.
Complaining and blaming are not strategies. You may not like someone or something, so you either improve your own situation, or move away from it.
Here’s hoping the labor market stays strong, inflation eases and storms are minimized.


#HardSkills #SoftSkills #JobSkills #LearnedBehavior #ChangingWorkplaces
The hard-skill needs in the workforce change constantly.
But, it seems, the so-called “soft” skills stay consistent and are always needed.
Gwen Moran addressed this in an article for Fast Company published October 27, 2020, and republished by Firefox online July 4, 2022.
Here are the six skills Moran says will be desired by companies in a post-pandemic workforce: self-direction, digital capabilities, empathy, communication management, adaptability and motivational skills.
With perhaps the exception of digital capabilities, all of the traits listed are considered “soft” skills.
Because they are “soft” skills, they can come naturally to people, or they can be learned or acquired by almost everyone.
Some people may have to work harder at acquiring them, if they don’t come naturally.
Self-direction has always been an asset. Employers like people they don’t have to micro-manage. They prefer people who understand the job and, to borrow from Nike, Just Do It!
Chances are, if you are the type who always needs direction from your boss, you may not last too long in the job. Of course, there are bosses who insist on micro-managing. Perhaps, if you naturally have, or have learned, self-direction, you would not be a good fit under such a boss.
The digital requirements are constantly changing in the workplace. Employers want someone who is digitally competent and able to learn new computer skills quickly.
Empathy involves, as Moran puts it, understanding “the challenges other employees and organizations are facing and help management” adapt. Some workers have a tendency to resent change, particularly if the employee is adversely affected. As a worker, you may not embrace every change deep inside, but you need to have the sense to work with it on the outside.
Communication management simply involves not only being careful what you say, how you say it and when you say it, it also, as Moran writes, means being comfortable with all communication platforms, like videoconferencing, e-mail etc. Many people are now working remotely, and, if you are one of them, letting your employer know what you are doing is critical.
Adaptability goes along with empathy. Workplace changes come quickly in these modern days. They don’t necessarily evolve over time. You need to react positively and quickly as those changes come.
Motivational skills involve interaction with others. You may not buy in 100 percent to everything that’s happening, but you need – particularly if you manage others – to be able to motivate others to get with the program.
Good managers don’t rule with an iron fist. They get others to WANT to do what’s needed. That may involve finding out how others think, and how best to get them to respond to the task at hand.
In past decades, “soft” skills were undervalued. It was more important for a person to know how to do a particular job and take orders from above. Today, as change comes more quickly to the workplace, it’s more important for workers not just to have the hard skills, but also the soft ones.
Adaptable companies are less a top-down operation and more a collaborative one. You have to fit in, or you have to make yourself fit in. That’s doesn’t mean you can’t suggest ways to make things better. And, if you really can’t make yourself fit, you may need to go out on your own or find a better workplace.


#teachers #schools #students #education
The thrill is gone.
So says Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, when talking about why teachers are leaving the profession in droves.
Certainly, teachers, in fact schools, are being asked to do more than just teach kids. They have to be a psychologist, cook and other things for children under their care.
Teacher pay is relatively low, and the responsibility keeps increasing.
On top of that, teachers are being used as political cudgels when parents protest the teaching of “critical race theory,” which is not taught in any K-12 environment.
Downey talked about all of this in her column published Nov. 23, 2021.
Many non-teachers have, over time, thought teachers had it pretty good. They made “decent” pay, and had great benefits, including three months off every year, the thinking went.
If teachers thought their pay was low, they could augment it during the summer and on extensive school breaks. In fact, many teachers had summer jobs, and worked in department stores over the Christmas holiday break to supplement their income.
At the same time, back then, parents had a good deal of respect for teachers. If a child’s teacher reported to parents that their child did something wrong in school, the parents almost automatically believed the teacher.
Today’s parents seem to have less respect for teachers. The parents, particularly those who’ve experienced hard economic times, see them as public employees who have economic protections many parents don’t have.
The teachers have become handy targets for abuse – much of which is unjustified.
Therefore, teachers are walking away in large numbers. They are looking at other opportunities that seem to be popping up. To them, teaching has become something they didn’t sign up for. Even the dedicated teachers who love what they do are becoming increasingly frustrated.
This begs a question: what will public education do to keep teachers in the fold? Many locales are reluctant to significantly increase school funding. In fact, many taxpayers want their schools to do even more, with even less than they get now.
We consider our teachers as essential workers. The pandemic made teaching children even more difficult.
School systems will have to reckon with these problems for the foreseeable future. How they attract and retain teachers will be a big part of that reckoning.
To parents who unfairly criticize teachers and schools, think of what it would be like without them.