Monday 9 August 2010

Poor Staff Performance & Motivation

Hello Richard,

I see you scored 94% so clearly you know a lot about management, but you reported poor performance and motivation by some team members, and so here are some thoughts you may find helpful.

Motivation and performance go hand-in-hand, so I'll focus on motivation.

Most people work to live, not the other way around. In fact research suggests that 60% of us HATE out jobs. So how do you build a happy, motivated team? It's all about setting the right environment. Here's my list:
  • Show consistently high standards of personal integrity In all things, show by example what kind of behaviour you expect from your team. Tell the truth, do your best, be open to feedback. Treat people consistently and fairly.
  • Run a well-organised operation in which stress is minimized It's your job to MANAGE the team. That means designing a corporate machine which works really well, in which each component (person) has a defined role which they understand and can perform well. If things are chaotic, deadlines are always pushed, the team is under-manned, poorly trained or under-equipped - that's your job to fix. Easier said than done, of course, but - that's why you're there.
  • Operate an efficient meritocracy .. in which people understand their roles, and are rewarded for their contributions. In which slackers and disruptive elements are dealt with promptly and fairly. In which age, years of service or qualifications are not the dominant factors, but contribution is. If people cannot be inspired to contribute adequately, remove them.
  • Manage through empowerment As far as sensible, delegate responsibilities downwards, but be available to support wherever necessary. Allow people to be the architects of their own destinies. Inspire them to make things better. Support a questioning, creative environment.
  • Grow the team Make structured opportunities for people to work together, to help and inspire eachother, to like eachother, to have fun together.

I can virtually guarantee that the poor motivation and performance you report is down to some failures in this list. (but I'd be interested to know if you disagree!).

Good luck with it, Richard, 

Best Wishes,

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