Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Motivation: “How to move your employee up the performance ladder (part 1 of 2)”

By Virginia Mburu
We all know ‘Performer P’……

That one  who does not like their job but does love the payday.

Don’t you just marvel at the many excuses He/She comes up with so as not to report to work -especially the sick –offs denying your business the results you pay them for? Never mind that they are the ones who would make the most noise should that payday be extended by several hours!

Now to the other ‘Performer S’……

The one who cannot wait to get to work. Don’t you  again marvel at  the way He/She enjoys the challenges that come their way and produce excellently wonderful results? 

Don’t you keep praying your wish to clone them would be granted pronto! Please do not confuse ‘Performer S’ with  ‘Workaholic M’ who have   emotional issues- these ones are unable to stop working even when it is plainly obvious they do not love their  jobs......

Who is more motivated between ‘Performer P’ or ‘Performer S’?  Your obvious answer may be ‘Performer S’. Why? They are of course producing better personal and business benefits. 

Does this mean that what you the Passionate Entrepreneur need is to get ‘Performer P’ to increase their productivity and motivation will automatically follow suit?

If that is so, then it’s time to look at how to move ‘Performer P’ up the productivity ladder.

Let’s dive into our case study based on Judges 6-7.

Step 1….. Be clear on what performance you expect
You will have better chances of getting results when you clearly spell out- not just what to do but the why and the performance standards expected. 

Also make sure you have the right person for the job.  In short – Have the right skill set and a measurable job description that is understood and agreed on with your employees. 

 The community in which our subject under study (Gideon)  belonged to had signed a performance contract with clearly spelt out responsibilities, standards, benefits and consequences. 

They did not honour their part of the deal and we see them suffering the consequence in Judges 6:1-2 where “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds.”

 Step 2….Note the non-performance and address it
This is where the performance measures come in handy. If you are continuously monitoring targets, you can quickly spot the variances in performance. 

The point to note here is that the ‘performance leaks” must be addressed early. Some of us do not like biting this bullet but you got to do it - NOW!
Mind you, inaction on your part will send a message to the other team members that it is okay to ‘slack’ while you get more stressed and irritated.

You might be relieved to know the poor performance is not news to ‘Performer P’   and they will actually be surprised if you do not act.

Do not be even be surprised you if they approach you like the Israelites did in Judges 6:6 where “Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help”

Step 3…. Start a conversation and find the root cause avoiding bias
While getting into this conversation, first get your emotions in check. You will need to be rational and objective. All the more reason why you should handle the performance leak before it starts to stress you!

In Judges 6:7-10, this conversation starts at a team level. We read that “When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian, he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”

Then you take it to the individual. Make this conversation private for best results. Verse 11 states that “The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.”  It was not by coincidence that Gideon was alone.

Start by building a rapport.  Despite how badly Performer P is doing, look for something positive on which to build your foundation. Note   how the Angel greeted Gideon in verse 12 “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” 

Mighty warrior indeed notwithstanding the fact that that he was hiding in a wine-press! Then express your confidence in their ability  to excel.  “The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

Now be ready to hear all the reasons and excuses as to why they cannot perform.  Listen carefully and you will pick out things like-You are not supporting us as in verse 13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Prod a little further to mine and separate the reasons from excuses.

Or, I lack the necessary skills/ I am the wrong person for the job as in verse 15   “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

Come to an agreement on the root causes and barriers. Be ready to accept your contribution to the non-performance such as wrong deployment or lack of support.

Step 4, 5, 6, 7 in the next episode

In the meantime, share your comments on steps1-3 below.

Whatever you do, make sure it results in less work, more money and positive impact.

 Virginia Mburu
The Work Less, Make More Money Passionate Entrepreneurs Coach
Virginia empowers and motivates Passionate Entrepreneurs to realize their purpose and pursue it. She then assists the entrepreneurs to clarify, prioritise and focus on management and marketing strategies and action plans that will get them to work less, make more money and positively impact within one year.  Download some of her gifts- absolutely free lessons on www.biasharacoach.blogspot.co.ke

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