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    Motivating employees: ideas in a tough housing and rental market

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    Word about your wisdom must be spreading, because you are asked to lunch by another seminar participant. He has been hired as an OD consultant for a small privately owned property management company which has 30 residential properties in 10 states, each of which has been run by 10 on-site staff members. The apartment sites are supported by a corporate office staff of 12 people. After several years of growth and expansion, a slump in the market for housing caused a decline in profits from which the company has not been able to recover. The company has just undergone a hastily planned reorganization, in which one-fifth of staff was laid off. The work of those jobs was in some cases, eliminated, and in other cases, given to remaining staff.

    Please answer the question below.


    Some remaining staff are complaining of burn out. He has the sense that many key employees are staying, not out of company loyalty, but rather, because of the difficulty of finding other jobs in the current economy.

    Management is beginning to recognize the gain in profits from the decrease in payroll expenses. The housing market has not improved, however, and occupancy in their apartments remains at an all-time low. Management believes that the cut in payroll expenses and focus on business essentials will bring a regain in profits long-term. They have hired your lunch partner with the hope that he will confirm their thinking, and that your analysis can be used to motivate employees for success and a return to higher levels of morale.

    What do you recommend he do?

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    Solution Preview

    There are a few things that could be done to alleviate the situation.

    First, management could finds ways to motivate employees. This could be difficult given the fact that the company is short staffed and the remaining employees are "picking up the pieces" for those no longer there. Ideas for motivation may be weekly contests for productivity with extra paid time off, gift certificates, or ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution suggests three ways to motivate employees, and within each of the three ideas are real world examples for management.