Motivating Your Staff

Everyone has things that motivate them, and what motivates one person might not motivate another. Clearly, you want people in your company you can motivate in a way that increases your sales and profits. If you have some people who are not working in harmony with this objective, you have several choices:

1. Ignore the problems and accept the fact that some people’s work ethic is not in sync with yours

2. Improve your staff performance, letting them know what you expect and training them as necessary to achieve your goals

3. If you are unable to succeed, re-staff the organization with those people who are motivated to grow the company grow and make more money

For any company to be successful, you can’t have people doing what meets their personal needs but not those of the company. Some people will do as little as possible and avoid responsibility — keep your head down, don’t make waves or cause trouble by raising the bar for others in the organization.

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Some companies have a poor supply of candidates due to working conditions, such as requiring just a minimal skill and paying minimum wages, and they are content to find anyone happy just to have a job. In this case, employers are satisfied with whomever they get to sign on. They demand minimal expectations such as reporting to work on time, not causing trouble, etc.

However, most businesses can demand more of the people they hire, and letting those who set poor examples or perform at minimal level stay on brings down the performance of the entire team. It is therefore important to find quality people, set high standards, and replace those (who after your best efforts) don’t improve.

The question is, how do you motivate these people? For some it is time off for meeting their goals, for others it is recognition or promotion, but for most people it is earning more money consistent with the results that they deliver. This translates into a “win-win” comp plan, where those who deliver the most are most amply rewarded.

Some people need help to accomplish this. Capable managers can motivate their staff by telling them what they are responsible for achieving, how they are expected to achieve it, and training them as necessary. After one has tried everything and results don’t improve, the employee and the organization need to part company. The ex-employee can get a new start and the company can hire a better fit.

MORE: Decision Making

Michael Neidle

Michael Neidle
Michael Neidle is president and CEO of Optimal Management, an advisor to staffing firm owners and managers.

Michael Neidle

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