Monday, November 18, 2013

The Heart of Motivation

Are you striving to get closer to success or further from failure?

In the world of workforce motivation there seem to be 2 extreme camps:
1. Those who measure success only by performance metrics
2. Those who believe value contributing behaviors are equally essential success

Year of arrival on earth, organizational department, gender and/or title may play into which of the above mentioned groups one may fall under. There are those who think a job is a job; they get their work done and go home. Are they actively disengaged or simply content to work in their bubble? If we are competing only against ourselves does that make us any less competitive? Do performance results correlate to engagement? If you are a top performer but a terrible workplace citizen does that make you an asset or a liability? Should we look up to star performers based only on their performance metrics? If I am at 80% of my quota (but consistently willing to step outside the realm of my job responsibilities to help others) am I really under-performing?

What if I told you that you could crush your number and still be an admirable co-worker.

Why You Need Positive Reinforcement!
In years past, we've seen rewards and core values dismissed as "fluff". Still today, leaders are posturing that the new generation of workers shouldn't be rewarded for just showing up. However, the rise of corporate citizenship cannot be overlooked. Companies like Zappos and Toms have built their corporate mission on active value-driven participation. Community service is personifying collaborative corporate energy. Charitable contributions are now being given by employees in place of personal accolades. We've discovered that others don't need to lose for us to win. Internal competition is now being looked down upon as fuel for the entitled. Badges of goal attainment are certificates of learning more than trophies.

The premise is simple: you cannot wish to see repeated what you do not recognize!

We now know that our workforce is best served when we are humble in victory and accountable in defeat. We should reward in public and discipline behind closed doors. Rule by intimidation drives away top talent and kills company revenue. Empowering micro-manager's heavy handed tactics only entitles mediocrity.

Results Through Behavior Enhancement!
If we only reward based on statistics, two things happen:
1. The culture is built only on tactical efficiency.
2. Those who we prop up as leaders may not be the best influence on our rising stars.

Performing your job well is your first obligation to your organization. We seem to assume that if we recognize individuals for business critical behaviors they will stop accelerating. Wrong!

That which we do not recognize will not be repeated!

The top performers in most organizations are self-centered. They have to be laser focused on their personal track to success. This tends to make them disengaged co-workers. Too often, those who express the greatest self-focus do a poor job promoting the organization's collective mission.

Sustainable Success
If money is all you have to offer your employees they will leave when a better offer comes along. If your organization promotes something bigger than the individual; employees develop a belief system. You cannot measure belief: it is not a commodity that can be boxed or sold. Belief is a sustainable organic lifeblood that is hard to contract but highly contagious.

If I'm arriving only for a pay check, I will punch-in and punch-out.

If I believe in the cause, my office is everywhere!

Don't Forget to Remember!


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