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Managing Employee Motivation And Performance

Here's how to get rockstar performance from your team members

It's no secret that managing employee motivation and performance is a crucial skill for any leader. And the most challenging!

It's also no secret that motivated employees are more productive employees. 

Motivated/Engaged employees doesn't always translate into performance excellence!

However, having motivated or engaged employees doesn't always translate into performance excellence!

In fact, sometimes a motivated team member could be actually working on the wrong stuff, or in the wrong way! 

They were working hard, but it was hardly working!

Recently I was working with a team who had quite a few motivated and highly engaged team members. Unfortunately, because of their lack of business acumen and not fully understanding the company's goals and objectives they were working on projects or making suggestions that were way off mark for what the company needed.

Consequently they were costing the company dearly in terms of lost $, time and valuable resources.

And I wish I could say this was an isolated instance. Unfortunately, that's not the case! It's the norm in many companies. Eager beavers, working hard, but not delivering the right results. I can help you change that.

Become a Member

If you want to level up this information, all of the resources I've mentioned below are available in the members area of the Make A Dent Club. 

Many of the resources come with templates you can use, in-depth information and even bite-sized lessons on how to implement in to your team. Find out more here about how to join the club today for less than $1 per day.

Managing employee motivation and performance is not quick, but it is easy

Let's be clear here. If you're here for a quick fix, then you may as well go back to work and keep chasing your tail. 

Managing employee motivation and performance is not quick. However, with a bit of focused attention by you, the leader, and using the right tools it can be an easy.

If you want to be known as a Rockstar Leader, leading a Rockstar Team - 

then let's get you those tools to get the best possible performance from your team.

Use the 4Bs Framework to improve employee motivation and performance

The 4Bs of High-Performance Leadership is the framework to use to improve employee motivation and performance. To discover more about his powerful framework and how to turn your team members from hostages into rockstars, access our free training: Tools to Improve Employee Performance.

The 4Bs are Believing, Belonging, Behaving and Bottom-Line. Here are a few tips to get you started on using the 4Bs framework to motivate your team members and then get improved performance

4Bs High Performance The tool to improve employee motivation and performance

There are numerous things you can do when managing employee motivation and performance - 

but if I only had limited time and budget then the five tips below are where I'd start. 

Tip 1. Get people connected to how they make a difference (Believing)

The research is very clear the more you can connect people's hearts to what they are doing - as an individual, team and company, the greater levels of discretionary effort, engagement and performance you'll get from them.

Unquestionably, building Believing is such an easy thing to do. And smart Rockstar Leaders weave Believing in to most conversations they have with their team members.

Rockstar leaders

build Believing

into most conversations

Connecting people's hearts with why they come to work each day, is one of the ways to manage employe motivation that is so darn easy ... but so under-practiced.

See our free course the Tools To Improve Employee performance for more on how to do this.

In this free training (which will take you less than an hour), you'll be able to classify your employees into four different types (and you certainly don't want too many of the people who sit in the bottom left-hand quadrant in your team) and what you need to do to move them toward being peak contributors. 

2. Get to know your team members (Believing & Belonging)

For people to be fully engaged they must Believe that someone in the organization cares about them and their success.

Coupled with, they must feel that they Belong. In other words that they are in a place where they can thrive, being accepted for who they are. For example, they want to know that people have got their back and are rooting for them to achieve their goals.

Therefore, the first step to motivating your team is to get to know them as individuals. What are their goals and aspirations? What motivates them? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

The better you understand your team members, the better you'll be able to tailor your approach to motivating them.

Use the Get To Know Your Co-Workers Exercise

The cheap and easy way to do this is to use something like the Getting To Know Your Coworkers exercise. This is a great first start.

Master Your One-on-One Meetings

Another, great way to better understand your team members is through regular one-on-on meetings. This is an under-utilized tool by most leaders. Under-utilized because they either don't do it, or don't do it well. 

In the One-to-One meeting training you'll discover 60+ questions you can use to better understand your team members hopes, frustrations, career aspirations and view of what its like to work in your team.

for people to be fully engaged they must believe that someone in the organization cares about them and their success

Invest in Success Insights Profiles

However, if you want to move from being an average leader to a Rockstar leader then you'll want to take it to another level. 

The most powerful and comprehensive way to understand your team members needs is to get them to complete their Success Insights Profile. Your team member spends 15-20 minutes completing an online profile. Once their completed you'll receive a report that gives you information like:

  • Their Potential Time Wasters
  • Keys to Managing Them
  • Keys to Motivating Them
  • Their Ideal Work Environment
  • How they can improve their Emotional Intelligence

Here is a sample report. This is a significant investment, feel free to contact me using the form below if you want more information

Contact shelley
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3. Set clear expectations (Behaving and Bottom-Line)

Employees need to know what is expected of them in order to meet or exceed expectations. Being clear about what you expect in terms of quality, quantity, and timeliness, seems like a no-brainer.

Undeniably, however, it's an unfortunate fact, but most companies do not do a good job of setting out clear expectations (they often get lost in the poorly worded, role expectations of a position description). 

For real clarity you need: 

1. Responsibility Charts completed

2. Goal Alignment process completed

3. Performance Agreements created and used

>> Responsibility Charts

Responsibility Charts are a great tool to stop finger pointing! I'm sure you've had situations where people say something like "I thought you were responsible for ..." This process puts a stop to that nonsense.

I've worked with numerous companies to build these charts and they always result in a rapid uptick in performance.

>> Goal Alignment Process

Now hopefully your company has a Goal Alignment Process. But if it doesn't you can still adopt the process within your team. 

In a goal alignment process you ensure that people have clarity around the goals and themes for the company for (e.g.) the year. And that everyone in the business has at least one goal that is aligned to the company's goals that they are responsible for.

>> Performance Agreements

The crucial thing though is to set up Performance Agreements with each of your team members. 

A Performance Agreements process helps you to set goals with team members in three key areas:

1. Contribution to Business Performance Improvement

2. Commitment to Team Improvement

3. Commitment to Self-Improvement

when you master Performance Agreements

and One-on-One-Meetings  

you are set up for slam dunk performance!

You'll need to use the Performance Agreement process hand-in-hand with your one-on-one meetings to get maximum results. Without doubt, when you put these two processes together they really do deliver slam dunk performance

4. Become a powerful coach (Behaving and Belonging)

A Rockstar Leader integrates coaching into his or her daily operations AND has scheduled coaching sessions. Coaching is as much a mindset as it is a skillset. 

Be a Coach - Not a Dictator

If you want your people to perform at their best, loving what they do - you'll coach.

If you just want people to do what you tell them, then you're a dictator.

Coaching is more than correcting performance weaknesses. In essence, coaching is about strengthening capabilities and enabling a person to reach toward their potential.

In the one-on-one meetings training I give you a script you can use to help you set yourself up to be seen as a coach rather than an annoying taskmaster.

Avoid the "I am a problem solver trap"

The challenge for most leaders is that they are time poor and they are used to solving problems. So they end up telling people what to do so they can get 'stuff' done. Therefore, it is easy to fall in the trap of hanging around down the bottom three stepping stones below. 

However, when you want a self-managing, highly engaged and motivated team of high-performers you need to use  the higher-level coaching steps of creative thinking, challenging, clarifying, listening, and questioning.

The solutions focused coaching model is an exceptional tool for building and using the higher-level coaching steps.

5. Build Business Acumen (Bottom-Line)

Managing employee motivation is great. But their performance must be aligned with the goals and objectives of the company. Sad to say, but in most 'regular' companies, performance is less than it could be because most people really don't understand the game of business (and that includes many leaders). 

As an example,  go as the next three people you bump into the question below:

Go ask the next three people you bump into this question:

If we had an unexpected expense of $75,000,

how much in additional revenues would we need to generate

in order to maintain
the same profitability levels as last year?

Now most people are going to give you a blank stare! Many will guess a number. 

Unfortunately, being clueless to what that question means and how to calculate the answer is costing your company hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars every year.  

Because whether it is a $75,000 expense or a $2 pencil not knowing the true cost of that item, people become wasteful with company resources.

Employee mindset vs Business Partner mindset

If your company is filled with people who have an employee mindset ("I come to work, do my job, then I go home"), and your competitor's company is filled with people who have a business partner mindset ("I come to work, I understand the the rules of the game and I'm focused on winning the game"), then your business is in trouble, and you are going to lose in the game of business every time.

Your people need to understand the game and how to play

In team sports, players need to know how the game is scored. To impact the score they need to know the rules and how to play the game.

In business, financial literacy is understanding the score and business acumen is knowing how to impact it.

It is crucial that you and your team can connect day-to-day decisions and activities with key financial and performance metrics and goals. Because when they do, they make more profitable decisions. 

The Zodiak program is a unique one-day, high-energy, fast-paced simulation that builds the business acumen of people throughout your entire organization.   


Managing employee motivation and performance is one of the key aspects of any leaders role.

Don't be an absentee leader

Sadly, many managers get caught up in the busyness of answering emails, and doing 'stuff' that they become leaders in absentee. They're busy at work - but they aren't leading. When this happens you can almost guarantee that you'll have morale and performance issues.

For Members

Login to access the templates, checklists and other resources related to the resources. Once you've logged in, the links below will take you directly to the resources

Become a Member

All of the resources I've mentioned above are available in the members area of the Make A Dent Club. Many of the resources come with templates you can use, in-depth information and even bite-sized lessons on how to implement in to your team. Find out more here about how to join the club today for less than $1 per day.

4bs of High Performance

When you get the 'what' we are here for right (Believing), you'll create the inspiration and the desire for the 'hows' (Belonging, Behaving and Bottom-Line).

Finding it hard to motivate your team?

Use the 4Bs Framework to get better performance from your people

This free course Tools To Improve Employee Performance gives you 4 proven and easy to use tips to get unmotivated people firing.

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