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Organisational Behaviour Expert Siphiwe Moyo’s Insights Into Keeping Your Employee’s Motivated

Motivating employees to give their best is the cornerstone of high-performance, high-growth organisations. Organisational culture expert Siphiwe Moyo shows you how to boost employee morale.

Nadine Todd




Vital stats

  • Player: Siphiwe Moyo
  • What he does: Expert in organisational effectiveness and organisational behaviour, part-time lecturer at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), and a professional speaker.
  • Visit:

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Pay attention to the intrinsic motivators of your team. If you can tap into that, you’ll link their purpose to that of the organisation, driving productivity.

Related: Got What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur? International Speaker Justin Cohen Tells You How

What is the biggest influencer or detractor of productivity?

Ultimately, it all comes down to whether an individual is in the correct job, position and department. There must be a job and culture fit. In my experience, organisations often don’t look closely enough at culture. They look at the right skill sets when hiring, but don’t consider the individual.

You can have the same person, with the same skills, in the same position, thriving in one organisation and a disaster in another. If someone isn’t performing optimally, start by asking if there’s a culture fit, or a mismatch.

If there’s a mismatch, consider moving the individual to a different department. They might excel in a different role. I’ve had personal experience with this. As a star performer, I was promoted into a middle management role. On paper it looked great — a better title, more responsibility and a salary increase.

Once I started the role, I realised it was the wrong fit for me. I went from being a star performer to mediocre at best. Because I was able to have an open and honest discussion with the organisation, I was able to move into a different role, and ended up being awarded employee of the year again.

As an organisation, keep lines of communication open, and allow employees the space to feel safe enough to voice these concerns. People are often too scared to speak up, and so remain stuck in a role they hate, and aren’t performing in. It’s a waste of time and resources for everyone.

How do you keep the right person motivated and productive?

Siphiwe Moyo

Ultimately individuals need to be held personally accountable for their own success. Individual effectiveness leads to organisational effectiveness. People make organisations a success, not the other way around. This means you want to create an environment where personal accountability is expected and rewarded.

Fostering accountability begins with fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship within the organisation, also known as intrapreneurship. We recommend giving your team work as if they’re consultants.

Hold one person accountable from beginning to end

Each project should have a start and a finish date; one person should see it through from beginning to end, even if additional team members need to be involved; that individual is held accountable for the ultimate success of the task. This creates an owner/manager culture.

For it to work, you need to give your team members autonomy. Be very clear about the objectives and expectations, what they are accountable for, and that the ultimate profit or loss of the project rests with them.

It’s very difficult to do this with someone who takes no accountability — but on the flip side, within this culture you quickly see who doesn’t fit, and you generally part ways reasonably quickly. Just as you don’t want an individual on your team who doesn’t take responsibility for their own success, so too do these individuals generally not want to be under that level of pressure.

Related: How Maditsi Mphela Pushed Through Business Stagnation To Successfully Scale

What happens if an employee needs to be micro-managed?

Always be transparent. These are tough conversations, we know that, but they have to happen. Generally the employee will complain about being micro-managed, so be frank about why it’s happening.

Tell them that no one trusts they will deliver, and as a result they need to be managed closely. Explain that you’d love to give them more space, but that it must be earned. Start with something small, and then build on it.

Remind them that credibility is not immediate. It needs to be built up over time. Colleagues and managers need to see people deliver before they start to trust their ideas. It’s an incredible thing to achieve though, because once you’ve built that credibility up, people say yes to you. Not your proposals or ideas — to you, the individual.

Remind them about that end goal and why it’s to their benefit to achieve credibility.

For employees who simply do not develop a sense of accountability, you need to have the really tough conversation. You need to remind them that the organisation owes them nothing. They aren’t doing you a favour by coming in each day and not delivering. You are paying them to perform a role that they aren’t fulfilling.

Do performance reviews keep employees motivated?

Managing human capital requires performance management systems. You can’t run an organisation effectively without systems and processes in place. However, the role of reviews has changed over the years.

Most organisations used to have two performance reviews a year. It didn’t work. It became a punitive exercise, pointing out problems long after the fact, instead of using a review system to improve the organisation in real time.

Today, most high-growth organisations favour daily, weekly and monthly interventions. An effective manager handles issues as they arrive. Reviews shouldn’t be punitive. They should be a management tool to get the best from your team.

Related: How Bataung Memorials’ Lebohang Khitsane Disrupted The Age-Old Tombstone Industry

Effective employees require instant feedback. Otherwise what happens in a team? The accountable employee gets all the work. This overloads the star performer and demoralises everyone else. And remember this: Star performers are motivated when they’re surrounded by other star performers — you need to raise the bar for everyone, or the team spirals out of control.

Again, it’s about the uncomfortable conversation: ‘You aren’t rising to the occasion’. It needs to be said so that it can be dealt with, or the behaviour is unlikely to improve.

Should all promotions come from your star performers?

Absolutely not. There’s a perception that a star performer will make a good manager, and this simply isn’t true. Often people are promoted because the organisation feels they’ve earned that promotion, with the end result that they get pushed into a position that doesn’t suit them. Many star performers don’t actually want to be managers — and they’re not good at it. They want to get on with doing what they’re good at.

Okay, but what’s the solution?

Steven Drotten developed a leadership principal that advises two pipelines. One is the traditional management route, and one a specialist route, where you can progress up the ladder without managing people.

These individuals head up projects, budgets, mandates and so on at a senior level — but they aren’t managers. Similarly, if you really get to know your team, you should be able to identify individuals who aren’t necessarily star performers, but who understand the business, their departments and people — in other words, who would be great managers.

Remember, managing is all about getting results through other people. And with a star performer, you might change the job and title, but many just end up doing it themselves anyway, because it’s quicker and easier than managing other people.

It feels normal and natural to a star performer — but it’s the wrong way. If as a manager you aren’t doing what you should be doing, your boss is probably doing your job. There will be a pile-up somewhere. You’re clogging your leadership pipeline.

Is there an effective way to motivate employees?

Unfortunately there are no quick fixes. You can try your best to match them to the place where they can be excited, create a culture of accountability and support them, but ultimately motivation is an inside job. It’s internal. The level of an individual’s intrinsic support determines how motivated they will be in their role. No one will ever be completely motivated by external factors.

So, what can you do? First, hire the right people. Then, link your needs to their purpose, skill-set and motivation — in other words, understand your people, have one-on-ones with them and create safe spaces where they can voice their needs.

Being an effective manager

Effective managers find a way to tap into their team members’ passions and purpose. They trigger their intrinsic motivations, and link them to the organisation’s goals.

Finally, understand how hygiene factors influence motivation. A hygiene factor won’t increase motivation, but it can play a large role in killing motivation across an organisation.

You wouldn’t believe what a big role hygiene factors can play, and yet they are so often dismissed as unimportant. This isn’t unimportant stuff. It can boil over and cause serious organisation-wide demotivators, and yet they’re relatively simple to fix if you look into them. Hygiene factors include lighting, the look and feel of a building, and available parking spaces.

How serious is demotivation?

I consulted for a large organisation that had serious demotivational issues. After interviewing everyone, from management down, we realised that all non-management staff were unified in their hatred for powdered milk — not only that, but managers got fresh milk, and that upset them to an almost unbelievable degree.

It was a massive organisational problem, and yet the solution was so simple that at first the client didn’t believe us. Give everyone fresh milk. That’s it.

The improvement in employee morale was dramatic. We were looking for a serious issue, and yet this was the fix. Never discount hygiene factors.

Nadine Todd is the Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Magazine, the How-To guide for growing businesses. Find her on Google+.

Lessons Learnt

SA Entrepreneur Takes First-Of-Its Kind Business To An International Level

Jo Farah shares some insights on his entrepreneurial journey as Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) gets underway.





South African-born entrepreneur and creator of the world’s first environmentally friendly sneaker care product – Jo Farah says entrepreneurship has always been part of his DNA, and making a valuable contribution to society his ultimate goal.

The founder of Sneaker LAB – an innovative business that’s managed to create a first-of-its-kind, biodegradable sneaker care product, delivered his sentiments on entrepreneurship and his entrepreneurial journey as Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) kicked-off in 170 countries around the world this week.

Farah, who’s been mentored and groomed by his entrepreneur father, says developing a successful business has always been part of his life’s plan. And while he managed to establish a few start-ups during his entrepreneurial journey, which includes founding a guerrilla marketing agency in South Africa, and producing ads for the likes of Adidas, New Balance and Puma it still wasn’t enough.

After returning from the United States in 2008 with just one thing on his mind – to help cure South Africa’s conundrum by creating jobs for the unemployed, and in-turn fostering economic growth, Jo invented a one-of-a-kind sneaker care product, and put shoulder to the wheel to establish his business in 2013.

Related: How Lorenzo Escobal Bootstrapped His Way To Competing With Titans And Attracting Top-Tier Clients

sneaker-lab-founder-jo-farahStarting a sneaker care product range was a natural choice, especially considering Jo’s passion for sneakers, street wear and urban culture. He also wanted to create a complimentary product to accompany the list of sneaker brands that has inspired him over time. Jo’s work behind the scenes commenced in earnest and in no time he conducted enough research to support his theory – there was a gap in the market for branded sneaker care products. He knew that he was on a good wicket.

“There already was a range of non-branded products on the market, but my research revealed there was a healthy appetite for branded, environmentally friendly sneaker care products. That spoke directly to my business model,” he says.

Today, Sneaker LAB has placed Cape Town on the map with its premium global status – it’s the only sneaker care product range in the world to be Green TAG certified, environmentally friendly and biotech driven. Its products are water-based, readily biodegradable, and the packaging is suitable for recycling. The business also operates internationally, in 50 countries across Africa, with an experiential brand store in Braamfontein Johannesburg; as well as downtown Los Angeles in the USA; Asia and Europe.  The business is growing by the day, with a store in Tokyo set to open soon.

As an entrepreneur he’s grown in leaps and bounds, and despite many changes along the way, his sentiments on entrepreneurship remain.

“Inspiring potential entrepreneurs to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and embark on an entrepreneurial journey is one way of solving some of the world’s most critical problems, and freeing the economically marginalised,” Jo says.

Related: Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

He urges young aspiring entrepreneurs with an entrepreneurial mindset to take the plunge and to channel time and energy into developing their business ideas into something tangible and workable that could generate good long-term financial returns.

“People will tell you that it can’t be done, but believe me, it can. All you have to do is to believe in your idea and to work hard and smart and you’ll reap the benefits,” Jo says.



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Lessons Learnt

9 Ways Successful Entrepreneurs Spend Their Weekends

All work and no play makes for a very dull entrepreneur.




Successful entrepreneurs have a passion for what they do, so working hard is part of their DNA. But anyone who is successful also recognises that life and work are a marathon, not a sprint. Even they need downtime on the weekend to ensure they’re up to the task of being creative problem solvers and innovators Monday through Friday.

Sure, they may spend some time catching up on administrative work. They may spend time on a big project that needs special attention. And they should definitely spend time thinking about the future and considering the big picture.

But what successful entrepreneurs don’t do is spend the entire weekend buried under work. We all need a break, and entrepreneurs are no less immune to burnout than anyone else. Their weekends are spent restoring their bodies and minds, and getting prepared to function optimally come Monday.

Here are nine things successful entrepreneurs do over the weekend to unwind and re-energise for the week ahead.


1. Wake up at about the same time

Successful entrepreneurs understand that staying on track for the week ahead means keeping the same sleeping patterns, even on weekends. That means going to bed and getting up at about the same time all week. This is because your circadian rhythm will stay consistent, so your body will naturally know when it’s time to sleep and wake up.

As tempting as it might be to sleep in, doing so can throw off your sleep/wake cycle, disrupting sleep patterns and giving you a poor night’s rest. Make sure you aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night to avoid a sleep deficit. Also, getting up early means you’ll be ready for whatever the day brings and you’ll have time to accomplish all the things you hope to do.

Related: 20 South African Side-Hustles You Can Start This Weekend

2. Spend quality time with loved ones

It’s no surprise that weekdays can be hectic and filled with obligations. There’s a good chance you spent more time in front of your computer (and with co-workers and colleagues) than with the most important people in your life. Make sure you’re tending to the quality relationships in your life by making them a priority on the weekends.

Have a date night with a partner. Go for a long walk or enjoy a leisurely lunch with a friend. Make sure you’re building and maintaining those relationships by really listening to them. And then share what’s on your mind and how you’re feeling. The support and connection you feel with others will give you resiliency and can support you in stressful times.

3. Pursue a passion

Is there some hobby or activity you’ve been wanting to try but have never made time for? Dedicate some weekend time to pursuing a passion that’s outside of work and beyond your normal day-to-day obligations. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to paint, take up photography or write a novel.

Whether it’s a long-lost hobby or a labor of love you’ve dreamed of embarking on, stop telling yourself that you’ll get around to it “someday.” Set aside a quiet weekend morning or afternoon to work on it. Pursuing your interests beyond work improves your mental health and reduce stress levels. Plus, focusing on activities outside of work will improve your creativity and give you a chance to look at life from a new perspective.

Related: How To Work Less And Still Get More Done

camping trip

4. Find time for a mini-adventure

Weekends give you a chance to unplug from life, put aside your daily responsibilities and go have some fun! Let loose and break out of your rut by taking yourself on a mini-adventure. Get out of the house and find a change of scenery.

A mini-adventure means sticking close to home, so hiking the Grand Canyon may be a bit much, but an overnight camping trip or a day hike is totally doable. Spend an afternoon at the beach or take your bike out for a long ride. The point is to get out and make a memory that will give you a smile for the rest of the week.

5. Fuel their creative mind

Successful entrepreneurs make sure they take time to feed their creative minds by finding ways to connect with the arts. You don’t need a degree in art appreciation or music theory to enjoy the benefits of engaging with the arts. Simply visiting a local museum or spending time listening to music will suffice.

Viewing art can be like a mini-vacation for your brain. It activates areas of the brain that are involved in processing emotion and engaging your pleasure and reward systems. Listening to music can have an even more dramatic effect. In fact, music has been found to stimulate more parts of the brain than any other human function.

6. Relax, reflect and renew

Savvy entrepreneurs have learned that they must give themselves the space and time to decompress and mull over the events, issues or dilemmas they face. Giving yourself time for self-reflection allows you to link and construct meaning from your experiences. Reflection is one of the main ways we gain insight and foster complex learning and personal growth.

In our busy world, we are often dealing with packed schedules and juggling multiple issues. Make sure you find time on the weekend to disengage from your hectic schedule and just chill. Try journaling, going for a walk, taking in the beauty of a sunset or even just focusing on the present moment and being aware of all the sensations you’re experiencing.

Related: Get Your Weekend Started


7. Get outside and exercise

Whether it’s getting out for a walk through the neighbourhood, shooting some hoops or taking a run through the park, high-achieving entrepreneurs get outside on the weekend to stretch their legs and soak up some vitamin D. There are some great benefits to an outdoor rather than indoor workout (although the most important thing is getting exercise, however it works best for you).

Getting some natural sunlight may be a welcome reprieve from artificial lighting if you spend most of the week in an office. Studies have found that adults tend to exercise for longer when they’re outside. You also tend to burn more calories and work slightly different muscles because of the wind resistance and changes in terrain. Perhaps most important, you’ll have a chance to admire nature and the outside world, which is good for your mental health and well-being.

8. Socialise and network

Successful entrepreneurs realise that any event or gathering is a chance to get to know other people and learn something new from someone you haven’t met. Set aside time to socialise with friends and family or get to know colleagues and workmates. If everyone else is busy this weekend, look for other opportunities to socialise and do something fun and interesting.

Check out a local community event. It could be a great chance to learn more about where you live and network and make connections with others. You could also look for a volunteer opportunity with a charity or nonprofit you’d like to support, such as a local animal shelter, senior centre or food bank. If you enjoy active sports, join a local team or club. If you’re into less strenuous activities, consider a joining a bowling or bocce ball team.

9. Catch up on rest

It’s been a busy week, and you’re feeling sleep deprived and run down. While sleeping in isn’t a good idea, successful entrepreneurs know when they need to catch up on some much-needed rest. A 10- to 20-minute power nap may be just the thing to help you feel refreshed and alert – a short snooze is actually much more effective than a cup of coffee in providing an energy boost.

It’s best to keep naps short: 30 Minutes or less. Longer naps are more likely to leave you feeling groggy and can interfere with your nighttime sleep quality. So when that wave of post-lunch sleepiness hits, go ahead: Indulge in an mid-afternoon nap and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

This article was originally posted here on

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Lessons Learnt

How Lorenzo Escobal Bootstrapped His Way To Competing With Titans And Attracting Top-Tier Clients

Inception Automotive Detailing was founded in 2011 by Lorenzo Escobal. He was only 18 at the time, and the business started small, but Lorenzo has grown it significantly over the last few years and aligned it with top brands. His secret to success? Being proactive and not being afraid to ask for what he wants.

GG van Rooyen




Vital Stats

  • Player: Lorenzo Escobal
  • Company: Inception Automotive Detailing
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
  • Established: 2011
  • Visit:

As is often the case in the world of entrepreneurship, Lorenzo Escobal launched his own business purely out of necessity. Attending university in 2010, he realised that finding a job shortly after North America had experienced a financial meltdown wouldn’t be easy. If he wanted to be sure of an income, he would need to create it for himself. So, having detailed cars for friends and family since he was 15, he decided to launch his own operation called Inception Automotive Detailing.

He bootstrapped the business — launching with just $1 200 — and grew it slowly. Today, the company boasts clients like Google and Tesla. Here are Lorenzo’s tips for bootstrapping a small business capable of competing against much bigger players and attracting top-tier clients.

1. Build a great website and market online

The fact of the matter is, your company is judged largely by the quality of its website and online presence these days, especially if you’re taking your product/service to the client. Even if you don’t have fancy premises, you can create a professional appearance by investing in a great website.

Most people are going to find you through your website, so make sure it instantly impresses. Also, invest time and money in creating effective online marketing campaigns on Google and Facebook. Funnily enough, Google approached us about detailing work by finding us on Google.

A good website and good online reviews got us a foot in the door. From there, we could prove ourselves through our work.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

2. Learn to network

Attracting clients online is important, but real-world networking shouldn’t be neglected either. There is immense value in joining professional organisations and attending conferences. It’s a great (and affordable) way to market, and you never know how the connections you make may pay off down the line. Networking and being in the public eye also builds credibility for your business. I’ve put a lot of time into getting my name and brand out there, but it’s been worth it.

3. Remember that no one is truly ‘self-made’

Every entrepreneur benefits from the wisdom and hard work of others. I’ve had great mentors who have helped me immeasurably in growing my business. I’ve also had the privilege of working with a great team who has helped me make the business what it is today. I do my best never to forget this, and I view myself not as a boss, but as a part of a team. Sure, I attend a lot of conferences and events, but I also jump in and help when there’s a lot of work to do.

As an entrepreneur, you need to be willing to get your hands dirty and do whatever’s needed — even if that means grabbing a mop and cleaning a dirty floor.

4. Make things happen

As an entrepreneur, you need to create opportunities, not wait for them to fall into your lap. I managed to get work from Tesla, for example, simply by asking for it. I filled out the contact form on the Tesla website and got a reply three days later.

Many entrepreneurs think that it’s pointless to approach large organisations because they’ll never want to do business with a small operation. Never simply assume that. Just ask, and see what happens. Sure, you’ll have to deal with a lot of rejection along the way, but that comes with the territory. Great entrepreneurs are never afraid to put themselves out there.

Related: How Matthew Piper And Karidas Tshintsholo Launched Their First Business From Their UCT Dorm Rooms

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