As a leader, the types of efforts that you make to try to get employees to do their jobs will either lead to employees who are fully invested in their roles and what your organization is trying to accomplish, or it will create employees who simply comply and get paid.
Which camp do you want to fall into?
When we want to not only get employees to do their job, but also want them to be truly invested in their work, we need to create intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation, as the word intrinsic suggests, comes from within. It’s a true desire that comes from within the person to do the work that is being asked of them. It comes from a place of passion and a place of wanting to improve something in the world.
We often use employee performance appraisals as a way to measure and evaluate how an employee is performing. We then give them a reward that is dependent on their performance, such as a salary increase or a bonus.
These types of rewards create extrinsic motivation. And although these types of external rewards may make an employee feel appreciated, they will not drive an employee to develop intrinsic motivation. The promise of a salary increase may lead to employees performing well to attain their raise. But it will not make them truly invested in the work that they’re doing.
When it comes down to it, when someone is truly invested in the work they’re doing, they will naturally strive to perform well.
To help illustrate this a bit better, let’s look back at how this worked when you were a child.
Think back to a time when you were promised a reward in order to entice you to perform a chore. Perhaps you were offered a cookie or an extra trip to the park if you cleaned your room. This is an example of an external reward.
Now… did that extra cookie or trip to the park ever make you LOVE cleaning your room? Probably not.
You probably simply endured it to get the reward you wanted.
Well guess what? The same is true of using external rewards to get employees to do their job.
They will simply endure.
And we all know that when people endure, it impacts their engagement, performance and productivity.
If you’re wanting to get your employees truly invested in the job their doing, the quickest path is to foster intrinsic motivation. You can do so by involving them in discussion about decisions that need to be made. Make sure that they feel that their knowledge and opinion is valued.
Ask them what they like, what they don’t like and what they think about ongoing projects. Make space to truly listen to their opinion. Make sure to make them an active member of the team, not just a soldier doing the steps that they’ve being told to do each and every day.
I guarantee that if you make a shift to this kind of leadership, you’ll see an improvement in your employees’ performance. They will become increasingly invested and engaged in their work and their productivity will increase.
It’s easy to point the finger at the employee who is not performing and blame them.
And sure, they have a responsibility for their performance.
But the way that you communicate with employees about their job performance and the decisions that you make about how to motivate them to do their job can have a major impact on performance outcomes.
If you’re looking for support to help you give employees feedback in a way that will improve performance and productivity, you can check out my keynote/workshop on this very topic.
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