Goals should be clear, important, measurable and achievable; they should align with your strategy. Delineate them in exact terms with time frames, payoffs and ways to measure performance. Do not set them too low. After a goal-setting meeting, provide the employee with a memo that lists the agreed-upon targets.
Goals are one thing; achievement is another. Set goals that are practical and attainable. Help employees by breaking down goals into discrete tasks with discernable outcomes. Develop an execution plan with timetables. Be sure needed resources are available. Then carry out the plan.
To motivate your employees, try these 10 proven strategies:
1. Show trust – Ironically, if you don’t trust workers to perform well, they will reciprocate by underperforming. Make sure your people know that you believe in them.
2. Adopt a team-based approach – People become demotivated when their work is too rigidly constructed, for example, “Put bolt D into hole E.” Instead, let team members assume collective responsibility for their tasks.
3. Provide challenges – People prefer to work up to the challenges in front of them. Give them that opportunity.
4. Encourage the development of expertise – Units that operate together depend on their internal experts in numerous areas, such as inventory, process improvement and quality control. People with expertise feel pride in their work. Recognize expertise and further it whenever you can.
5. Eliminate fear – Fear in the workplace stunts workers’ spirits. Never trade in it.
6. Protect people’s dignity – Always treat employees with respect. When you humiliate people, you undermine their motivation.
7. Get rid of slackers – A “that’s-not-my-job” attitude kills productivity. Set high standards and make sure that people work up to them.
8. Avoid micromanagement – Empower people to “own” their work.
9. Recruit the highly motivated – Those who are already self-motivated are easier to inspire than those who are not. You can recognize motivated people during job interviews by their can-do attitudes.
10. Be an exemplary boss – Do your employees respect and trust you? If not, motivating them will be an uphill battle.