Three Ways To Help Your People Perform Better

People Perform Better

Why Is Performance Management Important?


How can we help people perform better? The “old school” ideas of management have been on their way out for decades or more. The old “I’m the boss” line of thinking rarely worked. Alienating people in the workforce slows production, stifles innovation and doesn’t help the bottom line. Performance management tools change the dynamic. Human factors are why managing performance is essential – it’s how managers become leaders.

People do the best job they can when their work is rewarding, meaningful and has potential for themselves – that is no secret. The book Primed to Perform, by Neel Doshi and Lindsay McGregor, is based on research into workplace culture. Their work is a milestone for understanding organizations, but it underscores the findings of many who came before.

Motivation is the core of human performance. Doshi and McGregor pinpointed three main areas of motivation: play, purpose and potential. Organizational leaders, and those who aspire to be one, will benefit from these generalized concepts as they move the workplace culture from okay to the best. Motivation has been divided by the authors into direct and indirect motives. The three being addressed here are direct motives or direct links that drive performance.

People Perform Better When they: Play

Play is a primary motivator common to human psychology. Leaders who create an environment of accountability that still leaves room for creativity are making a stride forward. A workplace that stifles employees’ natural motivation to do good work is counterproductive. A job well done and the ability to do it with creativity makes work more rewarding, and output increases. Quality of work is improved along with quantity. Individuals working alongside others become team players.

The concept of play is a way of internalizing the organization’s goals. Motivations become intrinsic to behaviours, and fostering curiosity allows experimentation. Overbearing workplace environments are the opposite of play and basic human needs. Morale becomes distressed and output declines. In the worse cases, turnover increases, two-way communication ends and profit declines.

When the motivation is play, success often ensues. People enter into activities because they enjoy it. Making the work its own reward is the goal of every good leader. Humans have a deep-seated need to play at all ages. Adapting play to an organization is a powerful and direct performance driver.

People Perform Better When They Have Clear: Purpose

A sense of purpose is a primary human motivator in all human enterprises, but it is second to play. Money is a secondary motivator, especially for the highly employable. Leaders should ask themselves: Why do we do what we do? To create a culture of purpose, all stakeholders need articulated core values linked to daily activities. Creative leaders are consistently looking for ways to instill purpose in others.

All organizations have a purpose to align with the purpose of employees. People want a sense of purpose in all they do – it’s hardwired. Punitive and overly demanding workplaces destroy purpose. Team players become isolated and discouraged. People become alienated from the organization’s purpose.

People have a sense of purpose when they value outcomes from their work. Even when one has little value for the job, they will feel a sense of purpose if they value its impact. Motivation is liked to result of the work, not the work itself.

People Perform Better When They Can Fulfil Their: Potential

People want to fulfill their potential. The potential of any job can be emphasized and stands as the third direct motivator. Employees need to know a roadmap of promotion, the value of learning the processes for future work, and the potential for incremental advancement. All potential promotions must be administered fairly so no one feels left out.

Leaders need to seek out alignments between personal goals and organizational goals. Ideally, alignments can be found between core values and personal beliefs and values in the workplace. Potential as a motivator comes as an indirect outcome – in time, it will lead to a personal goal.

Performance Management Tools

Performance management tools come under the umbrella of Performance Management processes developed by an organization’s leadership. It identifies metrics aligning with overall goals, departmental goals and individual goals. A performance management framework establishes goals for the metrics and provides how and when metrics are collected. The metrics may include play, purpose and potential. That includes outputs, goal fulfilment and morale.

Performance management motivation is a subcategory focusing on workforce motivations (play, purpose, potential). A performance management system is for planning and organizational improvement for the overall structure of performance management standards.

Creating And Maintaining a Motivational Culture

Every organization’s goal is to maximize outputs, and any business plan that does not include human factors is counterproductive. Using a performance management framework, any organization can monitor positive and negative changes in motivation and performance.

The old ways are dying a torturous death. Too many organizations are stuck in the past and need to include human motivations in the mix. If the goal is to maximize outputs, humans are the greatest asset. It’s not a question of fairness as much as being pragmatic. Any organization can maintain a solid structure, hold employees responsible, and include human factors. To do otherwise is the difference between failure and success.

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About the Author

Toye Oshunbiyi

Founder & CEO Business Leaders Coach

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