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Motivating for Top Performance


... prefer the certainty of a fixed routine, while others thrive on task variety. ... upbeat, but now appears quiet, somber, sullen, disagreeable or even moody. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Motivating for Top Performance

Motivating for Top Performance
  • UKWF Conference
  • Fall 2008

Motivating for Top Performance
  • During this workshop, you will learn to
  • Recognize the myths surrounding motivation
  • List the basic principles of motivation
  • Understand the three conditions of motivation
  • Set the three conditions into motion
  • Create an environment that reinforces those

What Has Been Studied?
  • Rewards and incentives
  • A reward is that which is given following a
    behavior with the intention of acknowledging the
    positive nature of that behavior, and often with
    the additional intent of encouraging it to happen
  • There are two kinds of rewards, extrinsic and
    intrinsic. Extrinsic rewards are external to, or
    outside of, the individual for example, praise
    or money. Intrinsic rewards are internal to, or
    within, the individual for example, satisfaction
    or accomplishment.
  • Traditionally, extrinsic motivation has been used
    to motivate employees
  • Tangible rewards such as payments, promotions (or
  • Intangible rewards such as praise or public
  • There is currently no 'grand unified theory' to
    explain the origin or elements of intrinsic
    motivation. Most explanations combine elements of
    attribution theory, work on self-efficacy and
    other studies relating to locus of control and
    goal orientation.

  • When you focus on happiness, you are not focusing
    on performance. While no one wants to create
    unhappy employees, the happiness or unhappiness
    of a group of staff members isnt central.
    Motivation works best when its focus is on
    enhancing and sustaining performance.

Just What Is It Anyway?
  • Motivation is an inner drive that causes a person
    to act in a way to achieve a certain goal.
  • Tell them what theyre expected to do and how
    well theyre doing it.
  • Show them the total picture.
  • Provide the resources to do the job well.
  • Advocate with upper management when they are not
    getting what they need.
  • Help solve problems dont solve the wrong
    problem or create a new problem or become the
  • Help them improve and get better.

Common Myths About Motivation
  • Myth 1 -- "I can motivate people"Employees have
    to motivate and empower themselves.
  • Myth 2 -- "Money is a good motivator"Money, a
    nice office and job security can help people from
    becoming less motivated, but they usually don't
    help people to become more motivated.
  • Myth 3 -- "Fear is a good motivator"Fear is a
    great motivator -- for a very short time.
  • Myth 4 -- "I know what motivates me, so I know
    what motivates my employees"Different people are
    motivated by different things.
  • Myth 5 -- "Increased job satisfaction means
    increased job performance"Increased job
    satisfaction does not necessarily mean increased
    job performance.

Zap Motivation
  • Make sure that the atmosphere in your workplace
    reeks of office politics.
  • Have no clear expectations regarding your
    employees' performance.
  • Create a lot of unnecessary rules for employees
    to follow.
  • Plan unproductive meetings for employees to
  • Promote internal competition between employees.
  • Withhold information critical for employees to
    perform their work.
  • Provide criticism instead of constructive
  • Tolerate poor performance so your high performing
    employees feel taken advantage of.
  • Treat employees unfairly.
  • Underuse the capability of your employees

Motivation Management
  • The crux of motivation management is to
    understand that employees are motivated by what
    they believe is going to happen, not by what
    managers promise will happen. Managers can
    motivate employees by setting in motion the three
    conditions required for motivation--confidence,
    trust and satisfaction--and by creating an
    environment that reinforces those conditions.

  • Lack of confidence occurs when performance
    expectations are unrealistic, workloads are
    impossibly high and training fails to keep pace
    with needs.
  • Many people fear that if they say they "can't do"
    something, you will assign the duty to someone
    else. So, employees go through the motions,
    giving the appearance that everything is fine.
  • A good leader recognizes when an employee says he
    can do something but doesn't mean it. "If
    everything goes well, I'll probably be able to
    ... I guess," then clearly the employee has a
    confidence issue. If the employee doesn't
    volunteer information, ask questions in a
    non-threatening way about how he plans to carry
    out the instructions.
  • To ferret out confidence issues, ask
  • Do you know what is expected?
  • Do you think what's expected is attainable?
  • Can you do what is being asked of you and can you
    do it on time?

  • A major motivational roadblock is the belief that
    "Outcomes are not tied to my performance.
  • Trust problems cannot be corrected quickly. It
    takes time to build trust.
  • Give employees what their performance deserves.
    Too many have learned that poor performance does
    not result in negative consequences, and that
    lesson is a major cause of motivation and
    performance problems.
  • Managers who delegate duties to employees and
    then never follow up think they are giving
    employees space and independence. But, in fact,
    they are not reinforcing positive behaviors or
    correcting negative behaviors.
  • For trust concerns, ask the employee
  • Do you know what is being offered for good
  • In your opinion, have we come through on our
    promises in the past?
  • Do you expect to get what is offered?
  • What do you expect to get if you do a good job?
  • What do you expect to happen if you perform

  • People may believe they can do the job
    (confidence) and that outcomes will be tied to
    performance (trust), but they will not be
    motivated if they believe the outcomes will be
    dissatisfying. It does not make sense for anyone
    to work hard for something he doesn't want.
  • Many managers make the mistake of believing and
    acting as though everyone is motivated in the
    same way. This simply is not true. What motivates
    one person may even de-motivate another.
    Challenging work, for example, is motivating to
    some employees, intimidating to others some
    employees prefer the certainty of a fixed
    routine, while others thrive on task variety.
  • Managers also cannot assume that each employee
    will be satisfied if the three "big
    outcomes"--money, advancement and job
    security--are fulfilled. Another outcome, such as
    praise, recognition, openness or honesty, may be
    more of a motivating factor to some employees.
  • Find out what your front line staff members
    considers satisfying
  • What would be satisfying to you?
  • Is the work meaningful to you?
  • Is there anything you don't want?
  • Do you want the things being offered?
  • Do you want something that is not being offered

Could Motivation Be An Issue?
  • Attitude changes. The employee is usually upbeat,
    but now appears quiet, somber, sullen,
    disagreeable or even moody. Or the reverse--the
    employee becomes far more outgoing, energized or
    talkative than normal, typical or acceptable.
  • Comments from co-workers that "something is
  • Stress reactions. The job isn't being completed
    as well as in the past the employee is jittery,
    short-tempered or difficult to get along with.
  • Tardiness. The employee is arriving late in the
    morning and leaving early or at the exact end of
    the workday or shift.
  • Change in lunch and coffee breaks. The employee
    takes more time than usual or doesn't take them
    at all.
  • Decrease in positive interaction with other
    employees. He "just doesn't get along" as well
    with others anymore.
  • Increase in errors.
  • Decrease in productivity. There's an increase in
    time spent on projects without a subsequent
    increase in quality or productivity.

  • 1. Meet with the individual. Ask for perception
    of the performance or productivity. Share your
    specific views of the change.
  • 2. Identify previous motivators. Determine
    which factors are no longer present and/or
    determine which ones no longer work as
  • 3. Identify new motivators.
  • Identify where the individual can experience a
    sense of achievement.
  • Recognize and reward for a job well done or work
    in progress.
  • Provide opportunities for personal or
    professional growth.
  • Provide appropriate guidance and supervision.
  • Try rotating job responsibilities between several
  • Try expanding the breadth and depth of

Rust Out
  • Burnout is when you're overused and exhausted
    rust out happens when your potential is underused
    and you deteriorate.
  • An employee has rusted out when he or she no
    longer contributes much beyond the minimum. When
    a worker who was once a regular source of good
    suggestions no longer speaks up, that's a sign of
    rust out. Ditto for a worker who formerly
    volunteered for extra duties and was always ready
    to pitch in during emergencies but now stays out
    of the action.
  • Firing rust out victims is rarely the wisest
    solution, in part because every termination means
    new costs in hiring and training replacement

No More Rust
  • The starting point is to talk about rust out with
    employees who exhibit it. Review his or her
    performance and discuss why it is suffering. This
    is a crucial step to help employees see that they
    are rusting out--and that they have the ability
    to end it.
  • In fact, simply holding this conversation is
    curative. Many are rusting out but don't know it
    because no one is giving them honest feedback.
  • Offer to help employees update their skills. A
    key to reactivating any worker is to give him or
    her the means to elevate current skills--in
    whatever is pertinent to the current and future
    job description. A small investment in training
    can go far in halting rust out.
  • While you're at it, spell out how their work
    contributes to the business' strategic
    objectives. Communicate to them how and where
    their roles make a difference in the departments
    success. Staff members frightened about their
    place at the university won't contribute at peak
    levels today.
  • As employees emerge from rust out, reinforce
    their positive changes by recognizing their
    contributions. Initial steps will be small--just
    as a rusty wheel begins to move only slowly--but
    be ready to pour on encouragement.
  • It's not easy work. Bringing employees out of
    rust out takes concentrated, prolonged attention
    to the individuals on your team. But the payoff
    justifies the extra effort.

Reward the Right Behaviors
  • Dont be inattentive
  • No attention indicates that good performance
    doesnt really matter.
  • Dont discourage the right behaviors.
  • When staff gives you bad news, you verbally lash
  • When staff seeks your help or counsel with a
    problem, you react like the situation is a crisis
    and create stress for everyone near you.
  • When staff disagrees with you, you become
  • When staff offers ideas that you dont like, you
    cut them off with That will never work here.
  • Dont reward the wrong behaviors.
  • Every time Melody Mistake Maker in your group
    makes an error, you say little and correct the
    problem yourself.
  • Every time Ollie Outburst has a temper tantrum,
    you say little because you dont want to upset
    him either.
  • Every time Esther Extension misses a deadline,
    You say, Thats fine do your best to get the
    job done.
  • Every time you raise an issue with Walt Wiggle,
    you end up in long discussions about all the
    challenges Walt has and work out no plan for

Relating to Your Average Worker
  • Managers generally agree that the problem
    associates, though only about 10 of the total
    workforce, receive the most management
    recognition and attention because in an effort to
    correct the inappropriate behavior or
    performance, these associates require
    management's attention and focus.
  • Excellent associates receive the next greatest
    amount of management recognition and attention.
    After all, managers often recognize the
    contributions that this group makes to
    organizational success and "enjoys their
  • The average group represents 75 of an
    organization's total workforce, these associates
    greatly out-produce both the problem and
    excellent associate groups. In essence, the
    average associate group might be viewed as the
    "forgotten majority."

Managerial Action
  • Immediately put the staff member at ease. Within
    five seconds, it should be obvious that this is
    to be a positive conversation.
  • Express your personal appreciation to the
    associate. This process is most powerful when
    associates recognize that you personally are
    appreciative of their individual performances and
    that you, as a manager, care about them.
  • Clearly state to the associate specifically what
    performance is deserving of the positive
    recognition. Avoid general performance
    observations such as Good job!
  • Indicate why the recognized good performance is
  • Ask if there is anything that you can do to make
    the jobs easier or to help improve performance.
    Listen and respond appropriately.
  • Commit to following up on the input provided in
    by a specific date and then do it.