In Leadership and Motivation I started writing with the premise that leadership is about producing more leaders, not more followers.
So, I thought it worthwhile to look at three common mistakes businesses make when motivating people.
You see, many organisations are contradictory …
On the one hand, businesses like the notion that people work because they need accomplishment. They set up developmental systems that support learning and encourage people to innovate.
And on the other hand, the business uses the heavy hand of standard operating procedures to reward and punish. Their aim is to encourage people not to make mistakes.
Do you see the problem?
3 Common Mistakes When Motivating People
We encourage people to make decisions, take risks, and come up with new ideas. And then we penalise them for making mistakes or not following some procedure or policy that was written for a different time or set of circumstances.
So … is it such a surprise that employees take the simplest path? And do nothing extraordinary?
Let us look at three common mistakes when motivating people …
1. Reward People Who Do Nothing
Yet, most organisations place the burden of decision making on senior management. So it seems, standard operating procedures are there to do the impossible ― to provide the answers to every possible question.
But, life isn’t that simple.
And, as a consequence, most people avoid responsibility and avoid making mistakes.
Who should make decisions? A senior manager? Or, the person with most information about it?
2. Put New People In Old Jobs
Times are a-chagin’. Yet, many businesses continue to appoint people into existing jobs.
Why is this? Why do so many organisations fail to look to the future when recruiting?
Because they fail to ask: What will the organisation look like when it achieves the strategic vision.
If the organisation is to change it’s going to need leaders capable of transforming the business. Grooming people to fill an existing job makes such change unlikely.
Wouldn’t it be better to finds and groom people to fill jobs that will exist?
3. Do Not Invest In People
Most businesses say they invest in people.
And some strive for mediocrity. They invest in training and then fail to give their greatest asset the opportunity and responsibility to put the learning into practice.
How many businesses polish and hone their best? How many businesses aim to be world class?
Investing in people is neither about employee development programmes nor awards. It’s about making a success of what you have. Nurturing and growing those people capable of transforming the business whatever their place. If someone is good, invest in them so they’re great.
Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow. – Unknown
Motivate People and Grow More Leaders
Employees tell us when things aren’t right. So, start listening to them and respond respectfully to their questions, suggestions and complaints.
People are great motivators. They often know what needs to be done, and how to do it.
So, let them get on with their job.
The leaders role is to free people from yesterday’s constraints. To break free from the conformist, risk averse world in which we find ourselves, we must unleash the full potential and creativity that surrounds us.
So, set people free. Create the high performance team, and see commitment, creativity, productivity and motivation flourish.
What would you do?