1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Irmo, SC

    Default Motivating your people?

    I am looking for your opinions, thought, and tactics on motivation. What theories and programs do you put in place to help keep your people motivated? Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    EastKyFF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Nippa, KY


    Members are like fire trucks...

    -They need a place to fill. Just as every apparatus has a bay, every firefighter should have a position, whether it's as an officer, a lead maintenance member, an assistant administrator, whatever. They need to have a role.

    -They need a task to perform. Pumpers direct water from source to fire. Truck companies provide access to tough spots. Firefighters should have tasks both on and off the fire scene--entering incident reports, maintaining SCBA records, taking care of power tools, etc.

    -They need regular maintenance. The least used piece in your fleet needs air in its tires, fuel in its tank, and a charge on its battery whether its next run will be right now or next month. Firefighters are the same. Keep them involved and informed if they're making the effort. Let them know at meetings what master plans are ahead--grant applications, new mutual aid agreements, board changes, etc. Keep them in the loop, even if they don't necessarily have something to do with what's happening.

    -Plan for their eventual replacement when you acquire them, and when they're worn out, they should be retired with respect and only replaced with something better. When longtime members hang it up, get them a plaque or something. Everybody can afford some kind of recognition for their old farts, even if they weren't all that well-liked. And always have people on deck and in the dugout to give your people a graceful "out" if they're ready to quit. People who don't feel like they can officially quit will simply stop showing up.
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Conshohocken, PA


    What EastKyFF said and...

    1. Listen, listen, listen to them. As some wise person once said, you have two ears and only one mouth for a reason.

    2. A good training program managed/lead by an excellent fire officer, who is good with people will do wonders for moral and motivation. If calls are down, hands-on training is a great motivator.

    3. Get Jack Snooks book on this subject from the IAFC. Lots of good info on this subject.

    4. Commit to memory, Maslow's Hierachy of Needs. If you don't know what this is then find out.

    5. Become a student of human motivation theory. There are many books on these subjects that have not been written by fire officers but has everything to do with motivating personnel in organizations. Books like the Effective Habits of Highly Successful People, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

    6. Become a student of how not to motivate people. Think of your worst boss and do exactly the opposite. It has served me well.

    7. Have fun, but not at the expense of others.

    8. Remember that your organization will be a direct reflection of you as a leader. If you demonstrate a high degree of integrity and honesty, your organization will do the same. The same is true if you are less than honest or lack moral character.

    9. It costs you nothing to say, "Great job guys." It will hurt you greatly if you fail to recognize personnel for a job well done. But don't overdo it either. Then it looses its meaning.

    10. Be human. Recognize the fact that not all people will be, or can be what you expect or want from them. Accept that fact and as long as they are not creating a problem for you, the organization or the public that you serve then it shouldn't be a problem. Use them where they are best suited.

    REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE MEANT TO SERVE. What is your mission statement? What, you don't have one? Why not? If you don't know why you exist, than how do you expect others to know. The mission statement not only puts you and your members on the same page with the community, it keeps the community and your organization from losing sight of your purpose.

    Good luck and stay safe.

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