The Challenge of Keeping Your People Motivated


At the Radio Show On Wednesday Pillsbury’s Scott Flick interviewed Hubbard CEO Ginny Morris and Connoisseur CEO Jeff Warshaw about the challenges of getting through the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic. One of the topics they discussed was how to keep their teams motivated when they might not even be allowed to be in the same building together.

Both Morris and Warshaw shared a few ideas about how to keep employees motivated when they’re working from home, not in contact with co-workers and clients and have to spend so much time on Zoom. Both CEO’s admitted it’s a very challenging issue that local managers have to work through.

How do they do that? By getting creative. Morris said one of her managers threw a Zoom pizza party. He sent his team coupons for pizza, had them all order, and they met on zoom to brainstorm. Another manager got into his vehicle and went to everyone’s house and dropped off root beer floats.

Warshaw gave an example of a manager holding meetings outdoors to keep his team jazzed up. He went on to say how important it is for people to get back together, for their sanity and for business. “It’s made a huge impact having people in the building, sharing ideas. We can see momentum picking up when we saw the opportunity to bring people back together again.”

The challenge of course is that the rules are different all over the country. Some states are more open than others making it impossible to know how well a company is going to perform month to month if it operates with stations in multiple markets.

Warshaw echoed what’s been happening to nearly every business across the country, when the pandemic hit the nation hard, business was awful. He says it’s been coming back the past few months but there isn’t a lot of visibility and he’s not going to tie people’s compensation to that because there is so little that sellers can really control right now.

Both Morris and Warshaw believe the turnaround will take time. Warshaw said 2021 will not be like 2019. “Not revenue wise, not lifestyle wise. We are not expecting it to be anything like normal.”


  1. Call me crazy but a zoom pizza party is kind of tone deaf. I realize that I am not a highly compensated, genius radio operator, but perhaps as someone in the foxholes right now, maybe I have a different perspective that I could share:

    If you want to keep your people motivated, give them reason to believe they aren’t disposable chess pieces that are likely to be sacrificed next week, month or year for a new podcast platform.

    We embraced radio + podcasts. We didn’t realize radio was going to decide to become podcasting but still call itself radio.

    And could someone PLEASE tell the management not to say, “It’s Local SOMEWHERE…”

    That’s syndication.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here