The research is clear. There are primarily six reasons people work and they affect an employee’s performance. Three of these reasons help improve performance; play, purpose and potential. Three of these reasons actually reduce performance; emotional pressure, economic pressure and inertia.1

Here is an example. Most sales people are motivated by money to some degree. But now we understand we have to learn a bit more about them to discover why they are motivated by money. For example; is it because they are very competitive and they want to win the game? Then sales would be like play for them. Or are they selling something that they believe makes the world a better place? That would be purpose. Or if they are selling something with a goal of growing the business to leave it to their heirs; this is an example of potential. On the other hand, if they want to make money so as to not disappoint a family member they are motivated by emotional pressure. If they have tens of thousands of dollars in debt they are likely motivated by economic pressure. And if they are in the sales business because they have always been in this business and simply don’t know anything else, then their motivation is inertia.

Why does this matter? Because your first undertaking, whether you are a Supervisor, Director, Business Owner, or leader of a variety of contract people; is to determine why people are working. This can be done in a conversation but remember that anytime you ask the question WHY, it puts people on the spot. Many people don’t know the answer but feel like they should know the answer, so they make something up. This is especially true when you are talking to “the boss”.

If you are one of those managers or leaders who believes that you just tell people what to do and they should do it; then you are probably experiencing difficulty with business success, frustration with employee performance problems or high turnover.

So how do you use this priceless research? You get to know your employee or contractor. You get personal (in a professional way of course). You’ve heard the saying; “People don’t care until they know how much you care”.

Once you determine why people are working, you adjust your conversations to meet their needs. This is not difficult but you have to understand what you are doing and why.

If you struggle with managing people performance; employee or contractor management, or you need to redirect your poor performers, let’s chat. Effective people are the key element to your business success and I specialize in the 6 conversations every leader must understand to know exactly what to say to engage and redirect poor performers. Click here Judi@AdvancedSystemsDesigns.com  to schedule a complimentary conversation about how I can teach you the tools to successfully grow and manage your people so that your revenues and business will thrive giving you a more balanced work load and more time off (to do what YOU want).

Credit
1 How Company Culture Shapes Employee Motivation: HBR Lindsay McGregor Neel Doshi

About Judi Pine-Sellers

Judi Pine-Sellers is a small business consultant specializing in employee productivity. She has designed dozens of management and employee programs used world-wide. Judi is an expert in all phases of managing employee performance; selection; orientation; training; correcting performance problems; career development; and succession planning. She holds a Master’s Degree in Instructional Design as well as advanced certificates from Thunderbird School for International Management and the University of Michigan, Executive Education Business School.

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