You layout the new policy … your team will adapt their daily work habits and put it in place. If they do this the company will have; higher efficiency, more effectiveness, improved customer satisfaction, and they all will be treated to an additional week off with full pay after the results are in at the end of the quarter.
Great, we have a new motivator … but what are the consequences if the team doesn’t perform? What if they already have 8-weeks off with pay? Sure you can suspend or fire people for not meeting expectations, but in today’s overwhelmed workplace that only puts pressure on the rest of the team. Managers and leaders are caught between a rock and a hard place … damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If you don’t call out bad behavior as you see it, the rest of the team notices that too.
It begins with you, know what motivates your employees
In a global study a few years ago, these are the top 10 motivators identified by the employees:
- Appreciation or recognition for a job well done
- Being in the know about company matters
- An understanding attitude from the management
- Job security
- Good wages
- Interesting work
- Career advancement opportunities
- Loyalty from management
- Good working conditions
- Tactful discipline
If you know what motivates each employee, it may give you an indication of what to take away or hold back on as a consequence. For example, a team member strives for great working conditions and interesting work. A soft punishment for not meeting expectations might be to assign them temporarily to a desk in an uncomfortable environment and give them some mundane tasks. I am exaggerating to make a point; however, you need to know what makes them tick!
Here’s a concept … ask them what the consequence should be
One of our biggest mistakes as leaders is that we fail to get one thing … commitment from the team member to carry it out. We make a lot of assumptions as leaders. Just because we say it is so doesn’t mean that they will carry it out. We can boil this down to Communication 101 … the simple 3-step process
- You send a message
- The receiver repeats / confirms what they hear and how they understand it
- You again, confirm what the receiver has relayed … if there are any discrepancies in this process, you start all over again to make sure you are on the same page.
In this process of communicating maybe it is as simple as asking how the team member would like to be treated if they do not meet expectations. You are laying out what you are willing to provide (higher wage, more time off, promotions) … but what skin do they have in the game? This simple process builds accountability. Are they willing to give up their next weekend to complete this project if they miss the Friday 5 pm deadline?
Getting commitments along the way in your employee and team development helps build not only accountability but trust. When they meet your expectations and there was a motivator assigned to them - immediately pay up. If they miss a date they should do the same.
Talking about commitments
Are the team members part of the process development? When your leadership team has a bright idea to execute, have they discussed it with those that will be on the front lines? Do these team members see this as a burden or a relief? Does it make sense in their workflow? Many consultants offer these great ideas but have no idea what is going on where it matters most - at the execution level.
Looking back at our list of motivators, #2 on this list is being in the know about company matters. Are you bringing in these people to help you draft your next policy?
How do we engage and get their commitment?
After you get buy-in from your team members and they may have even helped you draft the process, a simple statement and question are appropriate.
“As we have discussed, this new policy and process are very important to the organization. We have provided incentives for you and your team to implement it. If you cannot complete this on the timeline you have committed to, what should the consequences be?”
Finding motivators and getting buy-ins with your team is hard work today. But it will lead to a better tomorrow!