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Step #3 Explain Rules of Game Have you ever played a new sport or game against people who are experienced players? In early stages of learning how to play, every few minutes you do something which you think is correct only to be told that it is illegal, or against rules. It can be exceptionally frustrating. This scenario often plays out in workplace. Employees are given a task, but are not told all parameters or rules. Weeks into a project they present their work to someone only to be informed that they need to change direction because of something they were never told about. This is particularly demoralizing and should be avoided at all costs. People can find solutions to almost any problem, but they need to know rules of game.
Step #4 Link People's Personal Goals with Organizations Goals There is a reason that each employee goes to work. Successful motivators know what that reason is for every person who works for them. Each day they help their employees fulfill those reasons. Really successful motivators understand not only reason, but how reason ties into person's bigger life goals. When necessary, they help their people think about and articulate those bigger life goals. When a person no longer thinks "I work so that I can make money," and instead thinks "I work so that I can enable my daughter to attend a school that will give her a chance to go do what she wants in life," there is a significant mental and motivational shift that occurs. Understanding that someone comes to work because they thrive on personal interaction, are trying to gain experience so they can run their own corner deli, or whatever is their personal goal, enables a manager to talk in that person's language. It also enables manager to assign responsibilities in that person's area of interest, and remind them of how what they are doing is tied to their bigger goals. Managers who enable people to fulfill their life goals through work, never have to worry about how to motivate their people. The act of fulfilling their life goals is enough to keep them motivated. All manager has to do is find links between those goals, and organization's needs, and match two up.
Step #5 Move Negative People off Team Nothing can halt progress like someone who is discontent simply for sake of being discontent. It is demoralizing to others and it draws energy and time from tasks being attempted. That doesn't mean you don't want good "counter-point" people on your team. Someone who says "Look, I know what we are all trying to do, and I think there is a better way," can be a valuable resource to help make sure team is on right track. However, someone who just regularly says "We'll never get there," will just hold everyone back. Move them off team, and bring in someone who will assist and support group's efforts.
Whether you are trying to motivate people to help create a clean environment for guests, or something more pertinent to your organization, remember that anyone can be a great motivator. All it takes is an understanding of appropriate steps to take and a willingness to do them. This article contains steps. The willingness is up to you.
John Strelecky is the author of "The Why Are You Here Café", and a nationally recognized speaker on the topic of "Creating The Perfect Company". A graduate of Northwestern University's MBA program, he has served as a business strategist for numerous Fortune 500 companies, and co-founded the Business Philosophy practice at Morningstar Consulting Group LLC. He can be reached through his Web site at www.whycafe.com.