Are Your Employees on Track? Motivate Them to Reach Their Full Potential

Many companies hire firms outside of their office to consult and host employee retreats to help motivate their team of employees. While some employees enjoy these events, conferences, and retreats more than others, the energy and motivation from these events usually begins strong, but eventually, dwindles and fades away. This leaves the employees and the businesses returning to their old habits and old ways of performing. That brief spark of vigor quickly becomes a diminishing memory.

Motivated businesswoman

Why employee events can be counter-productive

For a short period of time, a spike in productivity and sales can be seen. Once the spike drops back down to regular levels many leaders, business owners, and heads of departments hit their heads against the wall trying to figure out where the money they spent on that expensive retreat and consultant went and try to figure out how to prolong the effects of that catalyst.

A huge issue is that each employees’ psychology and what matters most to them changes from employee to employee. While some prefer a full blown out party catered by the likes of premier glow others are more inclined to intrinsic rewards.

Most employees will claim money is the most important factor in motivating them. Studies have shown that while money can motivate, produce increased productivity and improve results those results tend to be temporary.

Let’s take a deeper look at motivating factors

This type of motivating factor can include enjoyment of work, increase in knowledge and skills, personal expression, and accomplishments. On the other hand, extrinsic outcomes revolve around items such as benefits and perks, promotion, free time, support, lack of demotions, bonuses, and awards.

Once you figure out how each employee is motivated coming up with the right recipe to achieve success will get easier. You can try experimenting, or find a motivational questionnaire to give your employees to more easily discover which type of outcomes truly motivate them.  To do so, you need to be more creative in your approach, as “been there, done that” techniques aren’t no longer effective.

Kerry Goyette, the Founder of Aperio Consulting Group, explained in her talk at TEDxCosmoPark, Columbia, MO. that you need to STOP motivating your employees, as it’s actually counterproductive. Instead, you should find out how to unleash your employee’s motivation.

Goal Setting Theory

Perhaps the goals of your team are not being set properly and leading to little effort, or no effort from your employees. Goal Setting Theory lays out employees’ length and concentration of efforts in terms of goals as the main influence.

In general, the theory explains that general goals, leaving goals open to interpretation by the employee, or “best” goals will not produce strong results. Instead, goals that are laid out for the employee must be definite and challenging. In essence, the scale from easy to impossible determines how hard and how long the employee will work to reach the intended outcome.

Task performance will be a result of where the bar is set. If the goals are too easy, little effort will be exerted. If the goals are impossible the employee or the team of staff members will reach a point where they will give up. Finding the sweet spot of each employees’ level of “challenging” goals may take time, but starting by setting a specific and difficult goal will provide a measuring line for which you can make adjustments to as you move forward.

Using an employee scheduling software can assist in setting tasks for each of your employees’ shifts, and you can lay out specific dates in upcoming schedules to celebrate and reward your team for achieving their goals.