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Managers don’t understand employee motivation

Managers don’t understand employee motivation
January 5, 2010

Authors Shaun McKeogh and Ann-Maree O’Neill believe that employees need to be motivated and engaged for businesses to maximise productivity and profits.

In Reasons 2 Reward, their just published leadership book, the pair provide a formula for general managers, frontline managers, human resources managers and anyone else who is influential in designing and implementing a reward program that assists in creating a motivating work environment.

O’Neill and McKeogh fear that many managers just don't understand the importance of motivating employees or how to do it. As O'Neill explains "there is no more relevant time than now to focus on improving your companies reward and recognition processes and programs ... businesses that do, will reap big rewards.”

Launched at the recent International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Convention and Expo in Las Vegas, the book has already been recognised as a significant management text for the leisure industry. The authors were guest speakers at the event, presenting the arguments from their text to an eager audience of senior management, human resources and business leaders. Speaking on the importance of valuing employees especially in budget cutting business environments, the audience were inspired by low cost ideas for creating productive and motivating work environments.

Speaking of Reasons 2 Reward, O'Neill states "our book tells the story of the management team at the fictitious Wally World Theme Park as they transform their culture, productivity and profits" adding that examples in the work "team demonstrate how simple it is for the management team to transform the workplace and motivate their employees to perform at their very best."

Explaining why Reasons 2 Reward was launched in Las Vegas, O'Neill adds "the similar challenges faced by large and small businesses in the entertainment capital of the world are very similar to the challenges faced by the management team in Reasons 2 Reward.

"Las Vegas seemed like the perfect fit to launch our book where the highest concentration of amusement and leisure industry employees work, and so inspire leaders, managers and human resource professionals from all over the world to take note and value their employees.”

Management from some of the world’s most successful theme parks were present at the launch of Reasons 2 Reward, including representatives from Disney, Universal Studios, Merlin Entertainment and Sea World.

Shaun McKeogh adds that "the overwhelmingly positive response from participants, especially smaller businesses eager to implement many of the simple value driven concepts detailed in the book is a strong indicator for the need for both structured and unstructured reward and recognition programs in workplaces."

O’Neill and McKeogh believe that Reasons 2 Reward is a must read for managers and human resources professionals who will find the story both inspirational as well as a great resource for developing or improving reward and recognition programs. The easy to read story has a message and leadership tips for all involved in creating motivating and productive work environments.

The text focuses on Max Grimshaw, who returns to Wally World Theme Park as General Manager, to find that things are not like they used to be. In a park full of thrill rides, spectacular shows, and the smell of cotton candy, Max finds the employees unmotivated and disengaged from what Wally World is all about.

Max’s journey sees him transforms Wally World by using a simple formula: look after your people, look after your customers and you will maximise profit.

Max proves that by simply rewarding employees any business can:

• Create a motivating work environment
• Retain engaged employees 
• Increase your revenue and profits

Reasons 2 Reward also highlights simple ways for managers to create motivating work environments including:

• Seeking to understand your employees
• Leading with passion
• Recognising something personal contributes towards creating a motivating environment
• Coaching and motivating the team generates respect and loyalty
• Team members perform better when they are valued, appreciated and informed
• Get out of the office and recognise team members
• Acknowledge the small achievements and celebrate big workplace wins

About the Authors
Shaun McKeogh
is currently Training and Development Manager for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Shaun has contributed to the development of numerous theme parks and schools both in Australia and overseas. Having worked and consulted to some of the world's leading theme parks, Shaun is convinced in the power of personal recognition to change employee behaviour. His expertise is people development, while his passion includes creating fun memorable moments and motivating people in workplaces. Shaun is a currently an international Human Resources committee member for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. (IAAPA)

Ann-Maree O’Neill is currently a Human Resources consultant with twenty years experience in Human Resource Management working for Australia’s top Theme Parks including Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet‘n’Wild Waterworld, Paradise Country and Australian Outback Spectacular. Ann-Maree has developed and implemented Human Resource programs that have had a direct impact on business success through the maximization of employee performance. Key to success was the establishment of innovative and effective Reward and Recognition programs.

While working as a school teacher and as a Human Resources Manager, she witnessed the positive effect of reward and recognition programs on both children and adults. She is now fulfilling her lifelong dream of creating a range of motivational, inspirational and recognition products for businesses, schools, and families which deliver a strong message that people are our greatest asset.

Reasons 2 Reward, by Ann-Maree O’Neill and Shaun McKeogh, is published by Getting On Track.

For more information contact Ann-Maree O’Neill on 0407 282 204, E:

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