A Management Study in Workforce Motivation



Of course, this is an old story, but worth reading again and again…


The ant and the lion - a lesson in management (Source: 247freetips.com)
The ant and the lion – a lesson in management (Source: 247freetips.com)


Every day, the ant arrived early and started work immediately.

She produced a lot and was happy.

It surprised the Chief, a lion, to see the ant working without supervision. He thought if the ant can produce so much without supervision, wouldn’t she produce even more if supervised!

So, he hired a supervisor – a cockroach with extensive experience and adept at writing excellent reports.

The cockroach first set up a clocking attendance system. He hired a spider as secretary to help him write and type his reports. The spider managed the archives and attended all phone calls.

The lion, delighted with the cockroach’s reports asked him graphs for production rates. So, the cockroach bought two computers and a laser printer, and he recruited a fly to manage the IT department. The lion used the graphs to analyse work trends, and for presentations at Board meetings.

The ant, who was once productive and relaxed, hated this new plethora of paperwork and meetings which used up most of her time.

Then the lion decided to nominate a person in charge of the department where the ant worked.

The new person appointed to that position was a cicada. His first decision was to buy a carpet and an ergonomic chair for his office. He bought a computer. Then he wanted a Personal Assistant to help him prepare the Work and Budget Control Strategic Optimisation Plan (W&BCSOP). He brought this person from the company he worked before.

Then, in the Department where the ant worked nobody laughed anymore. So, the cicada came up with a bright idea. He convinced the chief, the lion, of the absolute necessity to start a climatic study of the working environment.

The lion reviewed the new study and the cost of running the department. He found the production much less than before.

So, the lion recruited an owl, a prestigious and renowned consultant to carry out an audit and suggest solutions.

The owl spent three months in the department and came up with his report that spanned several volumes. The report concluded: “The department is overstaffed!

Guess whom the lion fired first?

The ant, of course, because she “showed a lack of motivation and had a negative attitude to work!



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