The word “motivate” means “to stimulate towards action.” I emphasize towards because too often, we hear of stories where it’s only the threat of the lash (and termination) that keeps employees in their seats … for fear of losing their income.
But that’s not motivation—as in moving forward. That approach doesn’t bring your team happily into your office, enthusiastically dealing with customers, and eagerly going the extra mile … so that your company generates the extra million.
What does? Here are some fundamental tips to ensure you create an environment in which it’s possible to motivate high performance.
- Communicate clearly – state your expectations in no uncertain terms, preferably in writing. Employees cannot exceed unknown expectations. Be open to questions so that employees feel comfortable asking for clarification of work assignments.
- Provide the tools – make sure workers have the tools to perform the task in a professional manner.
- Acknowledge the effort required – both employers and employees need to know that the other party understands how much work is involved in the task you assigned, especially if you ask for it to be finished quickly. Workers can’t be held accountable if they never agreed to the scope of work assigned.
- Promptly provide constructive feedback – employees will make mistakes, but with your feedback, they can learn from them. Without feedback, anything they did learn will soon be forgotten.
Tip: The first and easiest step to attaining high performance? Eliminate the miscommunications that de-motivate workers. Honesty, integrity, and transparency are important foundations.
For more on helping your employees make a difference, read my article, “How to Ensure Employee Effectiveness.”