Highly effective organizations are blessed with a workforce that is energized and focused on their activities and the overall performance of the company. There can be many distractions available to workers throughout the course of their work day that have nothing to do with their job activities; those quick looks at Facebook , Twitter, email, solitaire, Amazon, eBay, etc.; all to interact with friends, check their bids, do a little shopping or trying to beat their friends record. What’s the result? Studies have shown that in companies like this, 20% of the workforce produces 80% of the bottom line results of the company. What can you do to have a motivated workforce? Try these few steps and you will see a significant improvement:
- Hire differently- Too many companies hire the candidate with the best skills, usually only validated by the candidate’s word or their resume-big mistake. Look for the candidate with the best work ethic and validate it with references. There are a number of methods to quickly increase skill levels, but not so for a person’s work ethic. Hiring based on body temperature or invalidated skills will only produce positive results 10% of the time.
- Set goals- Provide employees with detail attainable goals that are monitored on a regular basis. This will provide direction and a means of holding the employee accountable for their desired results. Most employees want to do a good job and having performance goals should give them the incentive to put their efforts into achieving the company’s expectation of them.
- Train them- Continuous training and development of employees is an attribute of highly effective organizations. Increasing technical skills, team interaction, communication, cross-departmental functions, interpersonal skills and company operations processes will create a more valuable and versatile employee. Keep training even when times are tuff. Employees will perform at a higher level when they are more confident in their abilities.
- Give them authority- Those employees that demonstrate their ability to perform at a high level should be given the authority to make decisions that impact their area of responsibility. Monitored (not micro-managed) leadership autonomy is a strong motivator to most employees, even more than money.
- They’re people too- Always treat employees as people and not just resources, no matter how well they perform. Respect is earned, but humanity is a given. If you’re unhappy with their performance, fix it; but do not denigrate the employee at a personal level with the intent of motivating them, it won’t happen. It only drives the employee further away from where you want them.
- Look in the mirror- It could be that you are the problem for a lack of motivation. A little self-assessment will go a long way. If you can’t be objective, find a neutral resource that can support your concerns or suspicions as to what may be causing under performance of your employees. Only do this if you’re truly willing to change, otherwise just prepare for a higher than normal workforce churn.
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