Karen Cathcart, Manager of Golden’s College of the Rockies campus, started her presentation by saying the least important part in motivating staff is salary. Although many might disagree with this line, Cathcart, who was leading the Kicking Horse Chamber of Commerce Let’s do Lunch series last Wednesday with a presentation called “Money Isn’t Everything, backed up her argument with a presentation that revolved around a few fundamentals: respect, kindness and being open to anything that comes your way.
Over ten locals, whether they were managers, staff or just people trying to run a family, came out to the presentation to learn from Cathcart and share their own methods of how to keep a happy, healthy and dynamic workplace.
So what is important?
“People want to be recognized for a job well done,” said Cathcart. “What I’m telling you isn’t rocket science. None of this is new.”
Cathcart explained that two thirds of our lives are spent at the workforce, and if a job is not a good fit, we need to move on. Just as important is interviewing the person who is interviewing you before you even get the job. It has to be a good fit on both sides.
Cathcart continued by explaining that it’s important to include employees in the discussion of a decision if it’s going to affect them at all. Open communication is such an important part of keeping a healthy workplace.
“You need to pay attention to non-verbal cues,” said Cathcart. “Watch your employees while they walk in in the morning, non-verbal cues can tell you so much.”
Other tips included celebrating staff successes, apologizing when you’re at fault and learning from the mistake, drawing a line of respect and balancing friendship with professionalism, and going into work every day without an ego.
“This is about clearing a path for your employees so they can be leaders in their own area,” said Cathcart. “Your job (as a manager/boss/etc) is to assist your employees to be the best they can be.”
The workshop wrapped up with participants sharing their own techniques in being a leader in the workplace, which ranged from a group huddle at the beginning of each day to how to keep up motivation if you’re a sole proprietor and even touched on keeping a “sick sweater” at work for anybody to put on when they’re feeling under the weather so staff know to treat that person with fragility. Maybe a catalyst in the spreading of germs, it was decided, but a good idea, nonetheless.
During the presentation Cathcart said small, simple gestures like chocolate, taking them out to lunch and recognizing their good work frequently, whether that’s verbally, written or in the form of some sort of gift. She finished the session with a few last words of advice.
“Be genuine and sincere,” she said. “And kill them with kindness. It really works.”