Let’s say that you were just hired to take over in operation that’s been low performing for quite a while. It’s still making money but the operation is high turnover low productivity, a pretty demotivated workforce with some real attendance problems to solve.
Just before doing a formal organizational analysis
You’ve got a good sense of the operations problems that you figured some of the sow during the interviewing process although you haven’t done a formal organizational needs assessment to analyze the operation just yet
You’re really excited about this turnaround opportunity but here’s the question where should you begin? A good way is to see what other similar companies experienced and how they did it, and here’s 9 strategies that you might use.
9 strategies for a more motivating high-performance workplace
1. Start by clarifying and communicating your mission and what you stand for
It’s really important to motivate people to help them understand the bigger picture of what you’re trying to accomplish and how each and every person in your operation contributes to that mission. Your people need to understand the why behind the what they’re being asked to do.
2. Getting to know your people are real priority
It’s truly important that as a leader you take the time to know the people you’re responsible for leading and motivating. Of course you should avoid the trap of developing motivational strategies for people without understanding what people want from work and where they’re at with their careers.
While one person might be motivated by advancement opportunities another person just might be motivated by becoming a content expert or mastering a particular job or maybe even getting more time off of work. Knowing each of your people and forging a strong working relationship will help you develop a strategy for analyzing their performance, then you’ll be in a better position to apply the performance equation.
3. Make sure you clarify performance expectations for everyone
Nearly all current theories and models of motivation make a very strong case for clarifying focus and providing people an opportunity to have a sense of achievement and recognition.
You need to create focus by helping people identify the goals and activities that are most important for their success and that of the whole enterprise and you’ll need to set up a performance scorecard for your operation with metrics the people know and people understand so that they can see how they’re doing when it’s time to think about improvement.
Clarifying expectations and and goals gives employees the opportunity to plan for how they will achieve their goals and allocate their resources by doing this you will help them create ownership over what they’re being asked to do.
4. Take the time to properly equip people with the support they need for success
If you want a high-performance workplace remember that a starting point is providing your people with the fundamentals necessary for success. It’s therefore important that you properly train your people. You also need to give them the budgets the tools, the technology, the information and processes that they need to compete.
At the same time your people need safe and efficient working conditions, affected plans and policies and procedures in place that will support what they are trying to accomplish. Remember that when people don’t have the things they need to compete you’re automatically building a workplace that’s filled with frustration anger and problems that distract people from delivering results.
5. Empower people to make decisions and share ownership over what you’re trying to accomplish and how you’re trying to do
It’s well known that when people own something they treated much better than if it belongs to someone else. You’d be well served to give your people a sense of ownership in your organization’s plans by engaging them in planning organizing and decision-making around things that impact their world and let’s do this right out of the gate.
This is a practice not that it not only motivates people but it typically improves the support component of the performance equation as well. It might be something as straightforward as fixing an inefficient policy or as simple as allowing employees to select and offer new office furniture or keyboards or uniforms, or it could be something as major league like the timing of a new product rollout or how to resolve a big time problem with the major customer.
6. Look for ways to promote teamwork and make work more interesting and more fun
You see one of the hallmarks of high-performance organizations is that leaders and coworkers promote and encourage teamwork and cooperation. So from the start build a strong leadership team around you with that shared vision and then look for ways to promote cooperation and teamwork throughout your operation around all the things going on around you that are important to everyone.
You can start by pursuing team-based goals, engaging in team-based problem-solving, sharing performance information with workers in a systematic fashion and soliciting input from your leaders and workforce on how to make work more effective and more interesting, and in doing so you not only create a climate for effective motivation for you also increase the support component of the performance equation rather naturally.
7. Develop the link between performance and outcomes
Organizations that do a great job of clarifying goals and expectations have the built-in benefit of having a solid base to reward good performance and to address performance deficiencies. Assess the resources and the rewards that you have available so that you’re in a position to reinforce the right behaviors using all of the tools at your disposal.
If you want to create a more motivational and productive workplace it’s also incumbent upon you to learn how to celebrate success when things are going well and look for ways to incentivize your people to do that just good things but great things.
8. Providing ongoing and balanced performance feedback and coaching to everyone is gotta be part of your playbook
Once you establish which people are going to be held accountable for it’s critically important that you and your fellow leaders make coaching a big part of your operation. Both to help your people achieve the goals and to let them know that their performance counts.
Feedback is a powerful motivator and when people are praised it reinforces desired behaviors, so make sure that you and your people work hard to catch people doing things right. And, by the way, at the same time when people are not performing well they need to be told so in a constructive way with a game plan to help them get better.
If you want your operation to improve quickly ensure that people get feedback on both their individual performance and on their performance as a member of the operation as a whole. Feedback is a powerful motivator but can also a powerful impact on the talent component of the performance equation as feedback drives learning and it drives development.
9. Be forthright and be ethical in everything that you do
As you strive to improve the performance of your operation work hard to ensure that fairness and transparency are the cornerstones of your approach. People want to see fairness and equity applied to every part of your operation including their workloads, the distribution of resources enforcement of workplace policies and rules and of course the rewards that you distribute.
If you and your organizational leaders make transparency and fairness part of your modus operandi it can play a critical role in creating a much more productive and much more positive operation. This character component make sure effort at implementing the practices tied to the performance equation credible to your people as well.