Every manager wants to hire someone and get the best from them. We want 100% — no, 110% from them every day so we can reach our goals. And we know they can do it. After all we wouldn’t have hired them if they weren’t rock stars. But as a manager the question is how do we get the best from our workers?

It’s about love and milk.

Cows with names give more milk. A 2009 UK study showed, “on farms where each cow was called by her name the overall milk yield was higher than on farms where the cattle were herded as a group,” write researchers Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University

How much? 500 extra pints per year!

That’ll put some cream on your pancakes! But does giving your cow a name make it produce more? It’s true yet it may have as much to do with the type of farmer that gives their cows names as it does with the cow.

Theory X Managers want to squeeze every drop of milk from their employees by treating them as a cog in the machine. Hey, why not pump them full of some rGBH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) while you’re at it?

Theory Y Managers also want their employees to give their best but take a different approach. They truly care for their employees, know about their personal lives, and take time to mentor them. This team inevitably produces much more than a team whose manager just wants the milk but doesn’t respect the process of getting it.

Who’s going to love your herd?

I grew up in Wyoming but I don’t have a lot of experience on farms. I do however know plenty about “cubicle-farms.” As I was herded into the office with the rest of the cattle at my first job out of college I had a kind engineer named Mike who took me under his wing and patiently taught me the ropes. Later in my career it was the VP of IT, Diane. Now that I run several companies I have Sam, John, Peggy, and others who mentor and help me on my way. They care about my development as a person as well as the value I produce in business. They focus on the process not just the outcome. They gave me a name.

Your Challenge This Week – Mentor Your Team

You can be that remarkable manager, leader, boss, peer, or friend. Get to know your team, what motivates them, what scares them. Get personal and your team will get better results.