Team and employee motivation is a constant challenge for business leaders and managers. It’s a common problem because we fail to see the truth: people cannot be motivated. When I coach management teams, I tell them that the way to motivate employees is to create work environments that breed motivation.
Creating a motivational environment is all about setting expectations and defining measurements for success. To build this foundation, it is essential that every employee from the janitor to the CEO answer the following five questions.
5 Key Employee Motivation Questions:
- Why am I here?
- What is expected of me?
- How am I doing?
- What is in it for me?
- Where do I go for help?
Why am I here?
This is a simple question, and the typical answer is along the lines of “to make money.” This is only partially true. First and foremost, every employee is there to contribute toward achieving the company’s vision. Vision-driven organizations far outperform money-driven companies. The vision is your purpose. It is that need you are serving in the marketplace. By selecting a unique, exciting, and compelling purpose, you energize your workforce. Management must get behind this line of thinking.
What is expected of me?
It is important to create a formal job description for each role in the context of the team and the company. Perhaps more importantly, employees need to be able to understand and visualize the outcomes that are expected of them. Focusing on measurable outcomes that are aligned with organizational goals empower employees to act independently. Independent thinking promotes problem solving, prioritization, effectiveness, and a much higher degree of job satisfaction.
How am I doing?
Each employee should be a part of developing a scorecard for their annual performance that is broken down into quarterly milestones. The idea is to create a system that measures and tracks employee performance so that manager and employee can each identify and address issues and ensure that annual goals are achieved.
What is in it for me?
Employees have different motivators, with compensation being the most obvious. While compensation programs are outside the scope of this article, there are two important points to remember. First, research has shown that there is little correlation between a good compensation plan and performance, but the absence of fair compensation can have detrimental effects on performance. Secondly, employers should be very careful when changing compensation plans and should make employees aware of their total compensation and benefits packages.
Where do I go for help?
You must establish multiple resources for communication and support for employees. Coaching and mentoring programs, employee assistance programs, buddy systems, and open-door policies are all proven tools in fostering employee success.
Answer these five questions and you are setting up your employees for achievement and success!
Howard Shore is a management coach and founder of Activate Group Inc, based in Miami, Florida. His firm works with companies to deliver transformational management and business coaching to executive leadership. To learn more about management coaching through AGI, please contact Howard at (305) 722-7216 or email him.