Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Motivation: How to Move your employee up the performance ladder (part 2 of 2)

By Virginia Mburu
Let’s continue with the next four steps on how to move your employees up the performance ladder.

Our case study is based on Judges 6-7. In the last article, we discussed  the first three steps namely;

Step 1….Be clear on what performance you expect 
Step 2….Note the non-performance and address 
Step 3…. Start a conversation and find the root cause avoiding bias

Now to step 4-
Step 4…..Work out a plan of action - together
Now that you have all the excuses and reasons, avoid telling the ‘Performer P’ what they need to do. 

You want to turn them into ‘Performer S’ who is self-motivated- which means the motivating factors has to come from within them.

Appeal to their emotions…..  

Establish what makes them tick… what matters to them? What do they value? How would they like their life to span out? What are their goals and plans in the main life roles e.g. their financial, career, education, family, social, personal development spiritual etc. 

Connect these goals to the expected performance e.g. How 123 more commissions means moving to a locality they have as part of their goal or better schools for their children etc.

What you are basically doing is appealing to their emotions such as fear of losing their job (demotivator in the long run) or positive emotions like excitement, pride, a sense of belonging, and the thrill of achievement.

Ask them to craft an action plan on how they can improve. While at it avoid pushing them to make a plan on the spot but allow them a few days to think, strategise, map out their plan and revert.

Step 5…..Time to offer your support
Do not be surprised if they seem not confident about the new expectations. 

Gideon literally asked for a sign- In verse 19-22 the Lord was to wait as Gideon went inside, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak. The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared.  When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”

You know better what works given the job, personality, their goals, skill-set etc. You may have to coach, train, redeploy, add resources etc. 

Remember your reputation, your character, your behavior will inspire them more than anything else. Tell stories of how others succeeded to show them what they’re capable of becoming or of doing.

Step 6…..Time to challenge them.
Break the long term goal into milestones that can easily be achieved so as to build confidence. Let the milestones be challenges that will exert them, bring out their creativity, and require sacrifice.

Guide them on what is to be done and expected results but trust them with the nitty - gritty details i.e. do not micro manage them.

All the same, make sure the task is commensurate with the skills. See what happened in verse 25-28. “That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years oldTear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.” So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar!  
Note the details on who was to help, when it was done were left to Gideon!

Step 7…..Monitor, Evaluate, Provide feedback   & reward progress
Progress is powerful.  So is feedback.  Gideon’s success in this venture build confidence in himself and in the person who was sending him. 

He was rewarded with a new warrior spirit and thereafter won many victories as seen in verse 33-35.   “Now all the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel. Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him. He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, so that they too went up to meet them.

For effective monitoring, schedule performance evaluations several times within the year.  Some of us wait until the year end for the annual performance appraisal. 

Ditch this practice and possibly have quarterly meetings where you touch base and monitor how the employee is progressing towards the targeted performance.

Sometimes the best reward may be to release Performer P. They may not be ready for the challenge ahead as Gideon discovered in Judges 7: 3 “ Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained”

There goes your previous Performer P who was thrashing wheat in a wine-press and thought he was the least capable warrior! Now he is the ‘Performer S’ calling out and leading other men to war!

And win they did as a team.  In the rest of the verses we see God, Gideon and the  warriors working as a team and gaining not just one victory but several such that Judges 7; 28  says concludes that  Thus Midian was subdued before the Israelites and did not raise its head again. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land had peace forty years.”   

Go on... craft a sentence that is  similar to the  last applying  this to your business -“thus  non performance was eliminated ...... and did not raise its head  again. The business  expanded beyond ....."

Over to you Passionate Entrepreneur
  • How do you motivate ‘Performer P’?
  • What else can be done to improve their performance?

 Share with your experiences, suggestions or questions in the comments section below and help another Passionate Entrepreneur.

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.com

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