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Archive for the ‘Employee Motivation’ Category

The Art of Facilitating Creativity

Friday, November 16th, 2012

15784168266_80c7288b1a_bI’ve been involved in dozens, if not hundreds, of creative situations throughout the years. I’ve worked with many creative people and seen many different styles of creativity and I’ve noticed some common denominators of all creative processes, sessions, activities and situations. One of the things that I have seen from a lot of people who are engaged in creative endeavors is being very playful. I think one of the problems with corporate America today is that we’ve forgotten how to be playful in the workplace. Too many places are worried only about the bottom line, and making a profit and they’ve put pressure on their workforce and that has squeezed out ‘playfulness’ from the workplace. Now, I’m not insinuating that we should all play all day long at work, because that’s not what I’m trying to suggest. Rather, a playful work environment is a space that you create in the workplace where employees are allowed to be playful and have fun. Clean fun, safe fun, fun that’s not harmful. Sure, it’s okay to play practical jokes and laugh and be giddy – there’s nothing wrong with that in the workplace. The problem is, employers look at that as being unproductive, and it stifles your company’s creativity. Your employees are your best resource, and your best motivation for your employees is to allow them to be playful because if they’re playful in the workplace they will be more creative. That’s step one in the creative process, based on my observations over the years.

The second common denominator of the creative people that I’ve worked with over the years is that they create a ‘creative space’. In other words, the opposite of what I’m trying to say is, if you walk into a closet and close the door because you feel that it’s going to be a sensory deprivation situation, that is the opposite of a creative space because you’re closing yourself off and you’re closing your mind to the world. Rather, create a space that has items that you like in it, it’s decorated and it makes you feel good to be in that space. It could include candles and incense; it could include rocks and minerals; different types of pictures and artwork; toys and trinkets that have a pleasant memory attached; crossword puzzles – anything that allows you to feel happy and comfortable in that space. Because you can’t be creative in an environment that is ‘anti-creative’ – it’s impossible.

Another component of creativity is to have creativity partners. Somebody that you can be creative with. Perhaps your company has teams of two, three or four people to whom you assign tasks to be creative. Like at Primeau Productions we have creativity teams, where employees are paired together or work together in  order to come up with more creativity than they would individually and by themselves. Highly successful entertainers like David Letterman or Conan O’Brien have creative teams that write content for their monologues and their programs. Comedians like Ron White and Jeff Foxworthy and Kathleen Madigan have creative teams that help write their material. Sure, they’re part of those teams and, sure, their life circumstances are part of the material that these creative teams use to develop more creative material but by pairing yourself up with at least one other person to help you be more creative you’re expanding your possibilities.

And some rules to consider when being creative with other people. Number one: don’t ever criticize anyone’s suggestions during the creative process. Rather, develop and build on each other’s suggestions. So if a creative partner says something that you think is hideously wrong, don’t say that – instead, say ‘hey, you’re onto something there – what else can we do to make it better?’ If you look at successful ventures, like any motion picture or talent or musical group there is more than one individual that contributed to the creativity for that endeavor. And those creative minds coming together is far more powerful than each individual would be alone. There have been a lot of scientific studies done at many different universities dating as far back as a UC Berkeley study back in the ‘70s by Dr. Donald W. MacKinnon. And they’ve studied and explored the creative processes and come up with actual scientific data as to what it takes to be creative. What I’m hoping that you get reading this blog post is that it’s important to go back to creativity, especially in times like the ones we are in when unexplainable situations happen, like hurricane Sandy, that devastate people and creative ways need to be developed in order to solve seemingly overwhelming situations.

Whenever I’m faced with a problem, as CEO of Primeau Productions, I never make a decision until I feel that I have a variety of answers and possibilities. If I’m given a situation or a problem I often take two or three days before I make a decision about solving that problem. It’s the same with creativity. You can’t sit down at a table and say ‘okay, I’ve got to be done being creative by 2:00’ – that’s not how it works! You have to have your space, you have to have your team, you have to have your circumstances, your task, and you start to build on all of the resources that you have in order to design a creative structure to whatever it is that you’re trying to be creative with. At Primeau Productions it might happen to be a documentary that we’re working on, or a professional speaker demo video. It could also be a campaign that we’ve been asked to create for video marketing.

No one person can be as creative as a team of creative people. Bringing creativity into the organization helps to breathe life back into the organization and allow incredible growth and success as a result of that creative environment.

Creativity is not something you either have or don’t have – I believe everyone on the planet has the ability and resources to be creative. Even spirituality can lead to creativity. I also believe that creativity can be developed over time, like muscle – once you tap into your creative energy you will discover what you personally need to continue to build and flex your ‘creative muscle’.

photo credit: Eugenio Cruz Vargas en su taller via photopin (license)

Employee Motivation through Leadership and Respect

Monday, September 24th, 2012

file0002096852379EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION

By Ed Primeau

Primeau Productions is a company that has worked with professional speakers and the meetings industry since 1984. One of the most remarkable phenomenon that I have experienced over the years while working with professional speakers is the effect that motivation and inspiration have on attitude and performance in the workplace. PrimeauTV is a video delivery system that is rich in video content that is both motivating and inspiring.

Before I begin my message on employee motivation I’d like to comment that de-motivation is probably the biggest killer of productivity in the workplace. Managers that lead through fear and lack of respect will take a company down faster than lack of sales, although I suppose that could be debated. One of the tips that I learned from Floyd Wickman years ago is ‘praise in public and criticize in private’. Whenever an employee has done something that you are proud of make sure you compliment them in front of fellow employees. Conversely, whenever you have something you need to criticize an employee about, bring them into your office and close your door because you don’t want to criticize anybody in front of other people. It’s not a good employee motivator.

The late Stephen Covey, his first habit from ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders’ is “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Once I became familiar with this concept it became a habit in my life as a leader at Primeau Productions. Too often people come into the office and talk about all of the things in their life before asking the fellow employee and showing concern for them and their lives. It’s best to seek first to understand, then to be understood – “How are you doing?”, “How was your weekend?” “What’s going on in your life?” This even works when you’re having a disagreement in the workplace. Listen to the other person. It allows the person to express themselves about their discontent or concern before you jump in and step on their words with your opinion and your feeling. It’s always best to seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Teddy Roosevelt had a great quote that applies to this concept as well. “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” You can be a big know-it-all and go around your organization talking about all the things that you know, bragging about your life,  your sales, your successes, but that has no benefit to you, the other employees or the organization unless you show that you care and you display the fact that you care effortlessly.

These three quotes from these three great people are an excellent focus for employee motivation. One of the things you might want to consider is to have your employees send you their favorite quote so that you can frame it and hang it on the wall in your workplace so the employees will see that positive message throughout the work day. Another activity that you can have to motivate your employees is to give them their goals for the day in the morning and not micro-manage their activities throughout the day. Today with social media the way that it is, and texting, it’s best to let your employees live their life the way they need to throughout the work day, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the goals they have been given by you that morning. That is much more motivating to an employee than having the fear that somebody’s watching them and that they’re not allowed to text their spouse throughout the day. Encourage time for your employees to watch motivational videos during the workday as well. You might even find a motivational video that you feel is appropriate to your company’s situation or to your employee’s life and email the link to that employee. That’ll demonstrate that you care because you’re sharing something with them that may help their attitude. And employee motivation is all about attitude. When your employees come to work and you have created a good work environment they will perform so much better for you and your company than they would in an environment that is not conducive to that kind of learning experience and harmony.

Primeau TV is dedicated to creating video content that is both motivating and inspiring on demand. Coming to Primeau TV in the future will be the Napoleon Hill “Master Key to Success” video series, in both English and Spanish, as well as some never before seen 16mm film video of Napoleon Hill lectures from the late 1950s and early 60s. Subscribe to this blog so that you will receive future updates about Napoleon Hill and other Primeau TV motivation.

Video Resume Services: A Solution to Unemployment

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

As a video production company operating in Detroit, Michigan (one of the cities with the highest unemployment in the United States), Primeau Productions has discovered the power of video in the recruiting and employment industry. We have experienced firsthand the power of video for our clients on the Internet and now we have applied our video production expertise to creating video resumes.

Video resumes are attention-getters for recruiters and human resource personnel. When a typical resume is sitting in a pile on a desk, it looks the same as all the other resumes, regardless of how well it’s written and how great your credentials are. A video resume, however, adds a sight and sound aspect to your job qualification. First of all, a video resume can include video testimonials from people who know firsthand your expertise and talent. Second, your speaking directly to the camera in a video resume allows you to use the most important parts of communication: facial expression and body language, as well as voice inflection. Simple printed words and text on a resume, regardless of the color and the font and the pictures, cannot compare to video. In addition to testimonials and video of yourself, the video resume can include music, sound effects, logos and graphics that create a newsreel type of presentation.

Now, of course, a video resume is not appropriate for everyone who is looking for employment. There’s an investment in order to produce a video resume. That investment will pay itself off immediately once the candidate has been hired. We find that people looking to climb the corporate ladder or CEOs looking to move to a better paying position will use a video resume in order to stand out from the competition. If you’re a CEO and you’re looking to change positions in order to increase your salary, or if you’ve completed your task at your current place of employment and you’re looking to move on to another company where you can apply your talent, skill and ability, there’s nothing better than a video resume to help you get noticed.

The best part of a video resume is that it can be used on external media, like a DVD or a thumb drive, as well as on the Internet on your social media profiles or website. Once the video resume is complete, it could be uploaded to YouTube and embedded in your website or posted as a link shared in your social media activity.

Video resumes are the solution for many people who are either unemployed or seeking advancement in their careers.

Primeau Productions, located in Rochester Hills, Michigan, is available for questions about video resumes. Call 800-647-4281 and ask to speak to someone about creating your video resume.

*Video resumes start at $400.

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