What gets and keep people energized? That can be a lot of things but one of the main ingredients is progress.
When people feel they are making progress towards something they will be more engaged, enthusiastic and motivated to achieve even more.
Peter Drucker, the famed business consultant wrote, “We know nothing about motivation, all we can do is write books about it.” Peter may be right but at the same time, we can help people become more self-motivated by helping them understand their job’s priorities.
When I bring this idea up to managers the most common response I receive is, “My people know what they are supposed to be doing I don’t need to tell them that.” While this may be true most of the time, it does not take in to account an ever-shifting marketplace and the demands it creates to stay in stride with those changes that dictate changing priorities.
Here is a simple exercise to see if you and your people are in alignment with priorities in their role. Write down your answers to the following four questions about one of your employees:
- If we were having a meeting one year from today and you were to say this person performed at a level such that they had a good year… not a great year, but a good year… what would have had to happen in order to generate that type of response from you?
- What are the key areas of responsibility or accountability for this individual? In other words, what are they tasked to do?
- In each of these key areas, what are the critical metrics or performance indicators that should be used to measure results? Be specific and they have to be measurable.
- For each indicator, specify the performance level you expect the person to achieve and the date by which you thing it should be achieved.
Now ask your employee the same questions and have them write down their answers and compare the two. You’ll be surprised.
Cyndi Gave, Owner of the Metiss Group, a human resource consulting firm and guest expert on BizTalk Radio Show, developed a job accountability matrix to identify the three to five major parts or buckets of the job. Once these accountabilities have been identified, rank them in the order in which you’d like your direct report to think about them at the beginning of the week.
Click here to see a sample of their job accountability matrix.
Helping your people really understand the order of importance of their job accountabilities allows them to focus on what’s important and relieves some of their anxiety by making them feel good about the progress they are making.
Empower your people with rank-ordered job accountabilities and everyone will experience more success.
My thanks to Cyndi Gave who initiated the topic and co-authored this blog.