Motivating the Individual on Your Team for Sustained Peak Performance!

As a tactical leader within your organization today, through the process of moving beyond the hiring of motivated employees to maintaining those motivated and enthused employees and to appropriately tasking them, it is critical for peak operational performance to strategically motivate your employees continuously.

Whether you see yourself as a leader-peer or a leader-manager, engaging others to ensure peak levels of performance is continuously critical for the survival of your organization.

Whether looking to engage another person from an individual basis or motivating them forward, psychology reveals that, at the base level, human beings are motivated either in positive ways (gains, pleasures, betterment, etc.) or negative ways (loss, pain, danger, harm, unpleasant outcomes, etc.). Taking a page from these findings, organizations can couch all their motivational endeavors from one of these two reference points.

First, let’s take the negative or pain path to motivation. Sometimes as a leader, you should ensure that the obvious is obvious to everyone. If there is apparent negativity, loss or trauma that can be derived by not changing or doing something, make that very clear. Then, as a leader, have the fortitude to inflict that pain when appropriate.

Second, by examining the positive or pleasure path to motivating an individual, everyone involved will most likely remain more pleasant. Professionally speaking, organizational psychology suggests that there are three core ways to motivate individuals within an organization today:

  1. Finance
  2. Recognition
  3. Self-Fulfillment (intrinsic).

When looking for motivational delivery mechanisms, it is easy to fall into the traps of bonuses, incentives, perks and rewards. Nevertheless, your efforts should adhere to three specific guideposts:

  1. Meaningful – Whatever you offer or provide should always have meaning to the recipient for greatest yield. Many times, the gesture is appropriate, yet the impact is lost due to wrongly deployed tokens. If you give someone a ball cap or T-shirt, for example, and you have never seen them wear one, you may have just lost the sought-after impact due to hallow meaning on the recipient’s behalf!
  1. Lasting Impact – When extending the act of acknowledgement for a performance beyond expectations and for which you want to recognize in hopes of encouraging similar motivated performance in the future, scrutinize what you offer and ask yourself how soon the gesture will be forgotten. If the answer is shortly, don’t deploy that gesture. Change and determine what would bring the organization greater mileage as an act or gesture. For example, a $500.00 cash bonus or a 7-day cruise for $600.00…which one will be remembered a year from now?
  1. Repeatable – A true challenge to managerial-leaders is to determine which act or gesture should be extended to which person for the greatest individual impact. In addition, a managerial-leader must determine how to do so in a way that management will be able to repeat the act without painting themselves into a corner of feeling compelled to one-up or bear the last act, token or gesture!

How you tactically engage the members of your team to ensure that motivated, healthy, productive behaviors radiate as norms will distinguish you as not only a manager, but a true leader!

To make this entire endeavor easier and more impactful, consider the following action plan:

  1. Meet with your entire team before deploying the following action plan and communicate to each how you are going to proceed.
  1. Have each individual on your team take a 3×5 index card (or similar online drill) and create his or her own master list of items that could be deployed to them for powerful peak performance attainments in the future.
  1. This list should contain two sets of entries. One should be the items that have no monetary amount associated with them. The other should be items that have a monetary amount attributed to them. You can even determine a set ceiling on the appropriate monetary amount.

The beauty of this list is that it is individualistic, allowing you to draw upon it repeatedly for greater individual impact and meaning. Because the items come from the individual, the likelihood of lasting impact is greatly increased.

As a tactical leader, your ability to motivate and re-motivate the individuals on your team is essential to sustained productivity and performance.

-Dr Jeff Magee
Facebook (Get a FREE copy of my Performance Execution Ebook)

  1. I agree on the approach in which, in my opinion the only point missing is the fact that list is well balanced, separating what is monetary and what is not and discussing the items in a team meeting so to leverage and value also the needs behind those requests.

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