The Power of Motivation

May 17, 2011
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Coach Employees to Perform

Many managers believe–wrongly–that inadequate workers choose to perform badly. They surmise that employees could do better if they wished. In reality, the two greatest reasons for nonperformance are that employees do not know what they are supposed to do or do not know how to do it. In most other cases, nonperformance is related to:

– Employees don’t know that their tasks are important.
– Employees do not understand that they are not meeting expectations.
– Employees think they are doing their jobs correctly.
– Employees think your way won’t work and believe they have a better approach.
– Employees think something else is a higher priority.
– Employees never receive positive consequences for doing jobs well.
– Employees receive negative consequences for doing jobs well.
– Employees receive positive consequences, not negative ones, for doing badly.
– Employees fear a possible future negative consequence.
– Employees are just not able physically or mentally to do their jobs.
– Employees’ personal issues affect their job performance.
– The employees’ performance is blocked by other obstacles.
– The employees’ jobs are not possible and your expectations are unrealistic.

Engage Your People

Work on engaging and rewarding people to achieve their best performance. Recognize that employee relationships are marked by four key characteristics:

Consider these factors as you think of ways to engage your employees emotionally, so they feel energized and excited about their jobs. Each employee should see a job with your company as an opportunity to grow. To start engaging employees, look at their priorities and ask them what they want. To create long-term engagement, apply these three basic principles:

Explain – Help them see the big picture, so they know where you are going, how they can contribute, and the rewards they will receive as a result.

Ask – You want to query people about how they can contribute, rather than only telling them what to do. This makes them feel more involved in the process, which increases their feelings of participation and commitment.

Involve – Let people be a part of moving things forward. Be open to their suggestions and solutions so that they buy into what they are doing.

With this approach, you give employees more of a sense of control and choice. This helps to make them feel more empowered and motivated.

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