Motivation: How to Improve Performance Without Spending a Fortune
By Monty J. Sharp, Certified Comprehensive Coach http://www.workteamcoaching.com
There are several reasons why employees may not always perform at their potential. They may not know WHAT to do. That's a communication problem that requires clarifying expectations and outcomes. They may not know HOW to do it - that's a training problem. Perhaps they simply CAN'T do it. That's a selection problem -- we must be careful to choose the right person for the job.
One reason that may be easily overlooked, however, is that we never give them a reason WHY they're doing it. That's a motivation problem. The "quick fix" is to say, "Do it because I said so," treating the employee like a disobedient child in need of reproof. The better and more permanent fix is motivation.
Much has been written about motivation and whether internal or external motivation works best, or even if you should use motivation as a management tool at all. I'm not jumping into that fray here.
What I am suggesting is that people like to be recognized for their hard work and their contributions to the overall effort of the organization. Everybody likes a "pat on the back" for a job well done. Knowing this, the simple fact is that you will get more of the behavior that you reward. And rewards don't necessarily equal more money. Quite the contrary, most employee satisfaction surveys rank salary relatively low on what employees feel is most important to them. A basic rule in motivating people is -- motivate different people differently.
To do this, you must first discover what people value. Until you get in touch with what people perceive as valuable, you'll never be able to motivate them effectively. Ask employees these questions:
--What do you like most about your job? People tend to perform better at what they like doing -- give them more responsibilities in those areas.
--What do you like least about your job? As their performance improves, give employees less of the stuff they don't like doing.
--What would you like to do in the future? What are their career goals? Help employees achieve their goals.
--Who do you enjoy working with the most? Who are the people we can pair up that will add enjoyment to what they do each day?
By asking these kinds of questions, you will discover how to best assign tasks and responsibilities so that everyone has more of what they like to do and less of what they don't, and you'll learn individual preferences -- how they want to be treated and what best motivates them.
Here are some practical ways to reward and recognize people that won't cost much, if anything, except some time:
--An article in the company newsletter about an exceptional employee.
--A note of appreciation from the CEO or upper management.
--Flex-time. When employees do their job is often less important than how well they do it.
--Less responsibility. A couple of weeks with less to do to allow them to "recharge" their batteries.
--More responsibility. Great for the "workaphile" who thrives on challenges.
--Public spotlight. Let them represent the company by speaking at local service clubs.
The reward for you? Happier, more productive employees.
Vision to Venture, LLC is an executive coaching company dedicated to providing an interpersonal approach to high performance Executives, managers and work teams. Our highly effective and balanced approach to leadership development, teambuilding and action learning get both business related as well as human results. Visit us at http://www.workteamcoaching.com