Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Unrecognized Risk of Cell Phone Usage

I've learned research is showing that using a cell phone while driving is a greater distraction than drivers perceive. According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use while driving contributes to 6 percent of vehicular crashes, or 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, 12,000 serious injuries, and 2,600 deaths each year.

“Our nation has reached a point where we estimate more than 100 million people are engaging in this dangerous behavior daily,” NSC President and CEO Janet Froetscher said, adding that the issue is not the type of phone a driver uses, rather it is the distraction caused by the conversation. “Hands-free devices do not make cell phones any safer. Several studies indicate that the principle risk is the cognitive distraction. Studies also show that driving while talking on a cell phone is extremely dangerous and puts drivers at a four-times greater crash risk.” 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Motivating People

I've learned that it takes a diverse set of actions to motivate a diverse group of people. I've also learned that an action repeated too frequently can lose its effect and morph into an entitlement. So one must try a variety of actions.

Here is a wide variety of ideas that may cover the spectrum of a diverse workforce.

  1. A hand written thank you note. I keep a few in my desk at all times.
  2. A private or public verbal “Thank you”.
  3. A strong well communicated vision which is in alignment with one’s actions.
  4. Prompt proactive communication, especially in times of turmoil.
  5. Communicating in a variety of formats: bulletin boards, meetings, e-mails, mailings, etc.
  6. Opportunities to bring family to the office: “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day”, holiday parties, retirement parties, first aid training.
  7. Big prizes such as a vacation for the top producer of the year.
  8. Small prizes such as T-shirts, gift cards, coffee mugs, and paid time off.
  9. Learning each person’s strengths and interests, and creating opportunities for development.
  10. Creating opportunities to advance in a career.
  11. Deal with unsatisfactory performers promptly and fairly.
  12. Create a safe work environment. “Safe” means the prevention of injury, but it also means the prevention of retaliation. It should be safe for people to present a contrarian point of view to leadership.
  13. Care about your co-workers and demonstrate it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

People want to help

I've learned that people want to help. They may decline a request because they do not have the resources at that moment, but often that only increases their desire to do so. 

I don't have much experience with asking for money. But I've had a lot of experience with asking for an hour of time.

The request might be for business networking. Or it might be for assistance with moving a heavy piece of furniture to another room. Whatever it is, ask. People want to help.

When running a business, it's how business relations are made. When moving to a new town, it's how friends are made.