We all want to see 100 percent effort in our workforce every day, but most of us struggle to achieve that level of motivation. Maybe you’ve tried motivational speakers and management trainers, and maybe you’ve even told everybody what you expect, and still experience the same mediocre results.
If you continue to throw the same old solutions at motivation problems, you are going to get the same old bad results. I suggest that you first need to define your problem correctly and then decide if you are willing to do what it takes to solve it.
I hate to tell you this, but in organizations that lack motivation, the issue usually lies within the C-suite (CEO, President, COO, CFO, etc.). Basically, leadership has not created an environment that is conducive to engagement and motivation. As an executive leadership coach, I’ve worked with many C-level leaders and have seen first-hand how their beliefs (many of them misguided) are preventing them from properly motivating the team to get the results they are after.
Myth #1: Information should be shared on a need-to-know basis.
Even people at the management level struggle with this belief and for the life of me I cannot figure out why anyone would want to hide such crucial company information like strategic goals and milestones from the team. They need to see the big picture if you want them to color their part!
Holding information doesn’t help you control people, it only downgrades them. Strategy is certainly not for the executive team only.
Myth #2: More training will solve the problem.
Usually when leaders throw more training at what they think is the problem, the real issues start bubbling to the surface. Training can only maximize performance within the existing system. If the entire process is constrained then the training will fail to get results.
Myth #3: I do not need to motivate my top performers.
Imagine your company is a jigsaw puzzle. The key to building the puzzle is having all the pieces. Suppose you as an employee have only half the pieces to the puzzle. You’ll never have the satisfaction of seeing the entire finished result. In other words, there is no sense of progress and no way to know what you have contributed towards the goal. Since you do not understand the goals, you believe that in the grand scheme your job is not that meaningful to the whole puzzle. How hard would you work?
All employees—especially top performers—need development, information and motivation.
So many leaders subscribe to these myths and the results are frustration, mistrust and misunderstanding between management and subordinates, which results in mediocrity. When you see mediocrity in your company, you have to look at belief systems and activities that are not supporting the outcomes you want. Usually it is the first that leads to the second.
Howard Shore is an executive development coach who works with companies that need leadership development and strategic business coaching. Based in Miami, Florida, Howard’s firm, Activate Group, Inc. provides leadership and management coaching to businesses across the country. To learn more about executive leadership coaching through AGI, please contact Howard at (305) 722-7213 or email him.