At Happier @ Work we want to share what other front line leaders are doing to create happier workplaces for their teams. We’ll be doing this with Q & A’s. If you have a question you’d like to ask a manger or know of a manager we should interview please let us know.
March 2, 2017
Name: Mary Ellen George
LinkedIn Profile: Mary Ellen George-Hess
Company Name: HRG
Title: Senior Vice President Sales, North America
Number of Employees You Manage: 6
Do You Manage On-Site or Virtual Employees: Virtual
How would you describe your management motivation philosophy?
I use a lot of positive reinforcement in managing to results. In sales, numbers say a lot but they aren’t everything. Sometimes employees just need to know you’re there to help and cheering them on every step of the way even when the Win escapes them. I like to consider mistakes as an opportunity to learn not be condemned.
If I asked your employees, “What’s the best part of working here?” how would they answer?
My company has a heart and those I work with are passionate about the role we play for our clients, their world is our world.
Do you think a manger should try to make the workplace happier? If yes, how do you do that?
I do believe there’s management accountability in making the work environment one that happiness can thrive. In sales its all about keeping a positive mind set, I like to check in with people on how they are doing and let them know I’m available for coaching and help.
Is there a difference in how you motivate virtual employees?
I make myself very accessible and we stay in touch. It takes a bit more rigor and discipline with weekly coaching calls and virtual monthly sales team meetings but it works. We also find that incorporating video whenever possible really helps and using chat via our office communicator keeps us connected.
How are millennials different to motivate? Do you do anything specific to motivate them?
This is where recognition and positive reinforcement is especially important. Also a bit more sensitivity towards work life balance and need for time off.
Do you have a team or corporate rewards and recognition program? If so, what does it include:
We have several programs to reward our top performers and employees are eligible at all levels in the organization. One of our most coveted recognition programs allows top performers to go on an exchange program and work in another country of their choice for a month.
Do you have corporate or team building events? If so, what kind:
We encourage this in all our locations around the world. Typically they are centered around a philanthropic cause or wellness challenge that’s locally relevant to our employees.
How do employees provide feedback about making the team culture happier?
We conduct an annual employee survey and share those results with all our employees globally.
What’s your biggest challenge in motivating a team?
In Sales it’s all about the Win, the sales person can do everything possible but sometime’s the deal just doesn’t go their way. Looking for what we learned though as an organization still counts…not as great as the win but we most likely made progress.
What’s your favorite inspirational quote for work?
Zig Ziglar – Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.
Would you like to share anything else?
Motivating others is a leadership attribute not to take lightly. I recommend reading at least 10 pages of any personal development book a week to stay on point and in the game.
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