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Human motivation the key to unlocking peak performance from your work force

You finally have your dream team in place. These are people with stellar backgrounds and proven track records of success. On paper, these individuals are poised to contribute to your culture and help take your department — and your business — to the next level.

To their credit, your team started strong.

Increasing the ‘meaning quotient’ of work

They came out the gate with fresh ideas and energy. But lately… not so much. These days your team seems to be fine going through the motions. That star performer who put up those crazy numbers in her first three months? The frustrating thing is you know how great they can be.

First, the bad news: This is an entirely fixable problem. Before you decide to clean house a terrible idea!

  • We need look no further than Wells Fargo to see how badly this can turn out;
  • Some are introverts, some are extroverts;
  • Google Forms or SurveyMonkey make this incredibly easy;
  • One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to force a one-size fits all solution on your diverse workforce;
  • Now think of your favorite boss.

This, unfortunately, is the response that a lot of managers and HR pros get when they propose recognition programs at their companies. But recognition is hugely important. It helps create an emotional connection between employer and employee — a critical piece of employee engagement — and fulfills our basic needs of esteem and belonging within a group. As Charleston, South Carolina-based performance coach and employee engagement expert Liz Guthridge explains, recognition satisfies a fundamental need for all of us in the workplace: Recognition serves a worthwhile purpose.

Plus the act of giving and receiving recognition makes both the giver and receiver feel good, thanks to the hit of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter. Sarah Payne, Managing Editor at Globoforceoffers her take: It can in the form of a formalized program, or can be as simple as sending a thoughtful email or better yet, a handwritten note to your team members calling out their amazing work.

Remember that everyone likes their recognition in their own way and it is our job as leaders to understand that. Launch a monthly award program Have your company vote for the team member who displayed the best work ethic, grit, or attitude for the previous month.

21 Freakishly Effective Ways to Motivate Employees [Updated for 2018]

Google Forms or SurveyMonkey make this incredibly easy. Reward the winner with a gift card, lunch with the boss, or creative trophy. Try turning work into a game. One way to inject some competition into the workplace is through gamification — i.

Think of a real-life video game, where team members unlock badges for hitting milestones. Except, instead of digital badges for your gaming profile, these badges are actual buttons that Chelsie designed herself and that Clay punched using an actual button maker.

As Clay describes it, the program has three facets: Medals for participating in monthly team-wide campaigns. Badges that individual MST reps unlock for hitting certain milestones — like lifetime upsell, number of member issues resolved or total number of calls fielded. Part of the reason the program is so successful is that Chelsie, Brendan, and Clay put their own personal touches on it, designing and making their own custom buttons and awarding them in an elaborate ceremony. Luckily, you can launch a virtual awards program via gamification platforms like Bunchball.

But as a motivator, money definitely has its limits. Here is where intrinsic motivation comes in to play. We need look no further than Wells Fargo to see how badly this can turn out. Rally around core values Create core values that express the essence of why your company exists — who does your business serve?

  • Try turning work into a game;
  • Think of a real-life video game, where team members unlock badges for hitting milestones;
  • This is an entirely fixable problem.

What problems are you solving? Make these values highly visible, and ingrain them in your culture through quizzes, awards, and by practicing them. Human beings value autonomy. Granting autonomy also demonstrates that you trust your team, which will go a long way towards forming the emotional bond between employer and employee that you see at highly engaged companies. Trust is the foundation of relationships, especially in business.

In my experience, this builds our relationship and allows them to feel like I am here to help instead of constantly pushing my own agenda. Managers fear that giving their direct reports too much leeway will create a lax environment and employees will take advantage. Cracking the proverbial whip is seen as a way to prevent slacking off. This is a huge mistake. The ability to exert control over their time can be as motivating as the satisfaction that comes with seeing a project through to completion.

Let employees set their own hours This is a simple way to show that you trust your employees to get their work done without a higher up constantly looking over their shoulder.

Some are introverts, some are extroverts. Some are adventurous and are energized by the unknown, others prefer the security of the familiar.

Some might require extra guidance, others are much more independent workers. Some are probably fresh out of college. Others might be putting their kids through college.

The point is, your employees have different backgrounds, are at different stages in their lives, and are motivated by very different things. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to force a one-size fits all solution on your diverse workforce. TaskUs president and co-founder Jaspar Weir concurs.

Some people need more supervision and instruction, others need more independence and trust. Zoomshift co-founder Jon Hainstock advocates frequent check-ins. To do this, you need to check in with each employee frequently and ask them questions about how things are going.

  • Harvard Business Review outlines 4 rules to maximize results;
  • Human beings value autonomy;
  • On paper, these individuals are poised to contribute to your culture and help take your department — and your business — to the next level.

The goal of these check-ins is to understand what they are feeling, and more importantly, why they are feeling that way. Taking time to listen to your employees will increase trust and give you insight into how you can make things better at your organization.

Make time to get to know your employees on a personal level Set aside 30 minutes to get to know each person on your team on a personal level. Questions you can ask: Who was your childhood hero? What gets you out of bed in the morning? A manager needs to get his team members to share an important company announcement on social media. Which approach do you think is most effective? This announcement is a game changer for our business, and the more shares we get in the first few hours after the initial launch will have a significant impact on how many people we reach overall.

But do you know why? Ingrid Catlin, Marketing Director at WorkStridesees this all the time with the companies who use their employee engagement software. As Simon Sinek so famously pointed out, the what and the how are easy for most companies to identify.

For SnackNation, our Why is to help people become better versions of themselves. We do this by giving people a convenient way to make healthier snacking choices at work and at home.

This Why underlies every decision we make, every action we take, and every extra second we put in. Challenge your employees to identify the Why behind their most important tasks This exercise helps clarify the reasoning behind their day-to-day activities and helps separate essential tasks from non-essential ones.

This understanding will serve as a major motivator in the long run. If motivation matters to you, then you might want to invest in your work environment. According to a 2011 study from Ohio State University and the National Institute of Mental Health, your work environment seriously impacts your mood.

  1. So it makes sense to invest in a work environment where people actually want to spend their time. This understanding will serve as a major motivator in the long run.
  2. Questions you can ask. Lead with Vision Employees need to know that all their efforts are driving towards something.
  3. But as a motivator, money definitely has its limits. Some might require extra guidance, others are much more independent workers.

In the study, workers in older buildings with low ceilings and loud air conditioners were more stressed than those in newer buildings with things like more natural light and open layouts. So it makes sense to invest in a work environment where people actually want to spend their time.

Creating a homey atmosphere will motivate your company — and have them looking forward to coming to work each day. Make your own furniture This is a great way to bond with your team while making one-of-a-kind pieces for your office and injecting a sense of whimsy into your office space.

She details the experience here. Champion Friendly Competition Emphasis is on the friendly here. If you decide to engage your team in some competition make sure it stays in the realm of fun and not cutthroat.

The challenge is not to get your top performers to perform better, it is also to train them to pull up everyone around them and build a well-oiled machine.

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind: Plan your competition around a specific business goal Reward teams, not individuals Have a system of checks and balances Stepha Cook, one of our star sales managers and respected leaders here at SnackNation, explains: Although individual successes can be hugely rewarding, often team wins can have an even bigger impact.

Harvard Business Review outlines 4 rules to maximize results. Things start to go awry when that competitive spirit morphs into a cutthroat culture of self-interest. Any system that pits the performance of the individual against the rest of the team is bound to fail, and sometimes spectacularly. Celebrate successes as a team Rather than just focusing on one or two individuals who drive outcomes, focus on the support roles that others play to enable those stellar performances.

Lead with Vision Employees need to know that all their efforts are driving towards something. With vision at the helm though, you create an intrinsic aspiration that taps into the human desire to realize individual and collective greatness. Without transparent goals that demonstrate to your people how their work contributes to company objectives, you will find it difficult to truly engage your workforce.

Create a company vision board. Cut out words, phrases, and images that express the destination you have in sight for the business. Where do you see the company in five years?