One of the biggest problems facing companies today is how to get the maximum amount of productivity from their employees.   Umair Haque, a Director of the Havas Media Lab and author, states “Let’s create social incentives to make sitting on the couch all day, banging down ‘food-like products’ and obsessing over Jersey Shore look like the waste of human potential it actually is. ” There are actually a lot of solutions out there only if we can harness the human potential.  If we can eradicate ‘laziness’, then we would come up with breakthrough ideas that are aimed at achieving human prosperity.   That may not be possible, but there is much that can be done to reduce the waste of employee potential.

How can we institute motivators that will work?   Most of the times we think that more cash or a bigger car will provide that motivation.  According to Umair “more, bigger, faster or cheaper doesn’t necessarily add up to or equal; better, wiser, smarter, fitter, closer.”  How do we get our people to do more?  These tips will help increase a company’s productivity with their workforce.

1. Look at the other person’s perspective
To understand why people are doing what they are doing, we must first get to know what is important to them.  What is their view of the world?  What is their personal potential and their desired goals?  Just because you are setting goals for your people, doesn’t mean those goals align with what they want for themselves.   If there is a misalignment you can’t expect them to work hard to attain your goals.   They aren’t motivated to do so.   You have to create goals that will encourage and drive them based on their own internal drivers.

2. What is your own perspective?
Our own individual values and ethics differ from person to person.  If someone does not follow our ‘work ethic’, it does not necessarily mean they are lazy.  Let go of these preconceived values when influencing other people and figure out their true motivators.   Asking lots of questions and understanding their past work and personal history can provide some insight into their values.   Watching how they conduct themselves and interact with others let you understand their social values and possibly their ethical values.   Take an interest in your people and do some homework to understand what really makes them tick.

3. Generate influential strategies
When talking to the other person, talk to him or her based on their beliefs and perspective.  You can then set clearer and more attainable goals.  Narrow the gap of expectation between you and the other person.  Make sure the communication line between is open and clear.   There may be some additional interaction that needs to occur to create a comfort level that allows the individual to open up and show their true selves and in doing so reveal more of what motivates them.

4. Focus on the results and not the activity.
Understand that no two people work the same way, provide them the rope to accomplish what you ask without standing over their shoulder.   You will often be surprised when the results are better than anticipated with what you may consider an unorthodox approach.

These four tips will not eradicate, but will help reduce your employees “waste factor” and help you improve productivity within your team.

What are some of the motivators you have found to be useful to drive your employees?  What makes you go that extra mile?

by:  Anjela Mangrum, CPC

Anjela Mangrum is the founder of Mangrum Career Solutions Inc.  MCS partners with industrial and machining manufacturing businesses to source and secure mid-to-upper level talent for operations, supply chain, and engineering positions.  They work to empower individual job seekers by helping them gain a competitive edge in their job search. For hiring needs contact Anjela at 513.753.3813 x101.

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