It may be easy in this economy to find all the employees you need, but it doesn't mean that you're getting the best effort from your team.
There's a huge gap between someone just doing enough to keep their job and someone who's engaged, enthused, and willing to go the extra mile.
And while a good pay scale is important, it doesn't do the trick. Generally, money doesn't motivate many people. Years ago, I used to cite a study done in 1980 as proof, but lately, a number of current studies confirm that the things that matter to people are still the same. Human nature doesn't change.
So the question is, how do you make a difference with your team so that they're not only happy and loyal, but give you their best? The means to do this fall into two categories. The first relates to who you are as a leader, and the second pertains to what people want from their boss and their company.
Here are a few points to consider regarding who you are as a leader:
A leader who has no vision fails to inspire. It's one of the major gripes people have about their managers. People want a sense of purpose and it's our job to help provide one.
If you have no standards of performance, then anything will do. If you want to instill a sense of pride in people, you need to establish an expected level of performance and quality for your department and your team.
Have integrity. Simply put, do what you say you're going to do. Be the person you claim to be and be consistent in your actions. People respond to someone they respect and admire.
As far as what people want from their boss and their company, here is some further insight:
People want appreciation. Sounds simple enough, but often the demands of our job cause us to overlook this. Thank people for their effort. Acknowledge and recognize people publically for their accomplishments.
People want respect. One of the most powerful means of showing respect for someone is to listen to them. People want to be heard. Solicit ideas from people, empathize with them, and don't be dismissive. When we respect others, they respect us.
People want opportunity. No one wants to remain stagnant. When we help people grow, we make them more valuable and they feel more valued. When we look out for others, they look out for us.
People want enjoyment. There's enough stress in the workload and in the world without adding to it. Create a positive work environment where people actually want to show up. How do you do that? I don't know... ask them.
Simply paying people will yield good results. But if you really want high performance and outstanding results, give people what they really want.
Michael talks about the issues of having a difficult boss...at that office, my boss was incompetent and lousy. And she used to get so pissy when she saw those parties because they weren't in her room. Ha!
I have to agree that compensation comes in many forms. Scheduling, time off and freedom in the work place can go a long way. I think it's foolish though to say that money doesn't count. I love most things about my current position but I'm underpaid and that does present a source of tension. You find yourself asking if it's worth it some days.
@Broadway - re money - I agree with you and think incentives to perform vary from person to person. Time off, flexible scheduling, recognition, feeling in control of their work, profit sharing, etc...all of these things could be used in conjunction with monetary rewards to motivate the staff to contribute to the greater good.
I agree wholeheartedly. They're called "bosses" or "supervisors" for a reason--not because they've been at the company for a long time, but also because they deserve to be in that position. Meaning, they're capable, they know what they're doing, and they're good at it.
If you listen to the HR management gurus, they'll tell you that money is one of the least effective compensations -- people always believe they deserve more. Better yet is making employees feel empowered and part of a larger mission.
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