Good news. The key to motivating your people turns out to be largely within your control. It has nothing to do with money or incentive systems, or even recognizing your people. The top motivator of employee performance is in fact - "progress".
What does a good day at work look like?
On days when employees can see they’re making headway in their jobs, or when they receive support from their manager that helps them overcome obstacles - their motivation and their drive to succeed is at its peak.
On days when they feel like they are spinning their wheels, or encountering roadblocks - their moods and motivation are lowest.
Research documented in the book The Progress Principle shows that:
Management behaviors that INCREASE employee motivation:
- Set clear and meaningful SMART goals
- Provide the necessary resources, support and encouragement
- Protect your people from irrelevant demands and distractions
- Roll your sleeves up and help them out
- Make progress visible
- Recognize and acknowledge people who make incremental progress toward their goals every week
Management behaviors that DECREASE employee motivation:
- Change the goals
- Be indecisive
- Withhold the resources they need to be successful
- Cause setbacks or create roadblocks to impede their progress
- Create intense time pressure
- Keep your people in a state of constant crisis
- Not let people see that they are making measurable progress every week
Eliminate the barriers to execution.
Note – these negative management behaviors have a greater effect on people’s motivation than the positive ones, so you need to pay close attention to this list. Work to eliminate the negative first.
What sort of management behaviors are exhibited in your company?
How well are you tracking the progress of your people, and making their performance visible every week?
We recommend creating a culture of radical transparency in your business using tools like Business Execution Software, so everyone in your company can measure their progress and see how they (and the rest of the team) are performing.
Photo credit: Sicovnica