When it comes to motivating employees to do their best and achieve at the highest levels, it looks like leaders miss the mark more than they would like.
According to Carloyn Dewar and Scott Keller, Authors of Beyond Performance: How great organizations build ultimate competitive advantage, we miss that mark primarily because we fail to tap into what really is important to our employees. First, they point out that we often appeal to the circumstances of the company when attempting to engage our people in a change initiative and fail to appeal to the other four sources of motivation. For those committed to the company this is good, but that is only 20%, while we miss engaging the other 80% of our workforce. Secondly, they suggest that we are too transactional in our rewards and fail to offer up the relationship-building rewards. Thirdly, we often fail to ask the questions that truly engage employees, and too often we fail to stop and listen to their answers which let them tell their story of engagement. And, finally, we tend to focus on their failures to perform more frequently than we focus on the positive contributions.
Shifting our focus just a bit may be all that is necessary to shift our organizations into a higher gear.