“How can you motivate clerical staff who simply want to work 8 hours a day, get their paycheck, and go home – to do a better job” this was one of the topics I was asked to talk about.
To me, this is an interesting question because it assumes that people are not interested in being successful or feeling fulfilled in their job, which is not something I agree with.
Personally, I think everyone who comes to work, wants to go home knowing that they have done a good job and that they feel appreciated.
With this assumption, I always look to recognize people’s work and give them positive feedback.
As leaders, we should always look to appreciate the actions that we want repeating.
However, if I were to take over a department where there was clearly a motivation problem and people were just going through the motions, then I would look to organize some workshops with the key members of the team to ask them what I could do to make their jobs more enjoyable.
It’s a truism that “happy people are productive people, and that productive people are happy people”.
So I would ask them what would make them happy, and also what could be done to make them more productive, and what’s stopping them from being more productive.
If we don’t ask then we will never know.
Taking this approach shows that I am interested in improving both their performance and happiness and that I see that the two are linked.
Give the team the opportunity to identify improvements, incentives, etc., you never know they may just surprise you.
It could be a question of “give and take”, e.g. that we look to allow them to work 9 days during a two-week period – working their full 80 hours – providing we see a 5-10% increase in productivity.
This opportunity for a long weekend, one week in two, may motivate them. If you have sufficient staff to provide cover for the two-week period, you have now just improved productivity by 5-10% for no additional cost.
As leaders, we need to be innovative, that doesn’t just mean that we need to be like Steve Jobs and invent the iPhone, it means that we should look to see whether there are any creative options we could take, which could be used to motivate our teams.
What are your thoughts, do you have any other suggestions?
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