There's a lot of common knowledge about what constitutes "good management" and "employee motivation".  But common knowledge is simply that: common.  It's not necessarily accurate or effective.  In fact, there are a number of myths about employee engagement that I'd like to dispel. 3 Myths About Employee Engagement and Motivation: 1. You Should Always Put On A Good Face For Your Employees Positivity is important, but you know what else is important?  Truth.  There's a reason why "The Matrix" was such a popular movie, and it wasn't only the pleather bondage gear and Keanu Reeve's deadpan delivery.  "The Matrix" offered a basic dilemma: would you rather live in a carefully constructed fantasy, or the terrifying real world?  Would you rather have happiness or the truth?  Keanu took the red pill, and most of your employees want the same.  They want to know what's going on.

The book Moneyball was a huge hit, even more so once the Brad Pitt-starring film hit the big screen.  But for those who never made it past the intro, or those who simply want a refresher course, here are the Cliff's Notes: 4 easy tips to make your managerial style more effective like Billy Beane's. How To Manage Like Billy Beane: 1. Ignore Conventional Wisdom Billy Beane was a first-round draft pic by the Mets, based largely off his traditional good looks and the build that bespoke a classically skilled baseball player.  When Beane failed to live up to expectations, not only his team was disappointed, but he felt cheated himself.  All his life he had been told he was going to be a star but like so many players, he ended up being a waste of money.  Instead of living in denial or trying to blame others for his failure, Beane took a good hard look at why he had been drafted and why he failed to succeed.  He realized that the conventional wisdom of scouting and recruiting was highly flawed.  Too many baseball professionals relied on traditional standards that had no real empirical or statistical basis.  Beane partnered with stats junkie Peter Brand to determine the real, measurable factors that could predict which players would be successful and which would not.

In 2008, three professors from the Harvard Business School launched a study examining employees at 300 different Fortune 500 companies.  The purpose of the study was to determine which psychological factors impact employee motivation and morale.  (To read the full analysis, click here.) The study found that employees are guided by 4 basic emotional needs or drives: 1. The Drive To Acquire The drive to acquire is the need to obtain resources, including money and more intangible assets like social status. 2. The Drive to Bond The drive to bond is the desire to form connections with individuals and groups.  In the workplace this includes a desire to form relationships with both peers and managers.