As leaders, we are trying to make the whole organization equal to more than the sum of its parts. In today’s business environment, it is essential that we find ways to make our organizational resources more productive. In many organizations, the most prominent and expensive resource we have is our people. As a result, a lot of time is spent on creating processes and conditions that drive and motivate our employees.
Over the years, I have noticed leaders trying many ways to motivate their people to higher levels of performance. Even the best leaders have experienced the frustration of leading someone who seemed to refuse to live up to expectations. The fact is, the leader was not recognizing that motivation develops internally from a personal desire to achieve goals that are important both to the individual and to the organization. Motivation is the force that prompts you to take action. While pay, fringe benefits, and working conditions are important, research has shown that absence of these factors produces a lack of motivation, but their presence has no long-range motivational effects. The long-range motivation factors are recognition of a job well done, sense of achievement, growth, participation, challenge, and identification with the company’s goals and vision.
Here are a few ideas to apply in your business:
- Make an effort to compliment each of your direct reports on at least a weekly basis. If you cannot do this, then you need to look in the mirror, as you are probably causing negative performance.
- Make employee development and retention a primary objective of each manager and leader and reward results accordingly.
- Involve everyone at all levels in the goal-setting and planning processes, particularly if they are responsible for the results.
- Establish robust performance management systems that involve a continuous, timely, and constructive basis and a fair and equitable compensation program.
- Let people know what is expected of them, and do everything you can to make them successful.
- Develop a “servant leader” attitude. Be there for your people rather than having them there for you.
- Make sure that everyone knows how they contribute to the overall vision.
- Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
Howard Shore is a business growth expert who works with companies that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please visit his website at activategroupinc.com or contact Howard Shore at (305) 722-7213 or [email protected].