People don’t get out of bed to achieve your goals
Human personality studies have revealed that across world about a quarter of us feel driven towards getting and achieving personal goals. The remaining three-quarters are not naturally goal-driven people and they get their personal fulfillment from other motivational factors. If you are a goal-directed person you naturally carry the desire to set and achieve goals in all areas of your life, and this strongly influences how you approach your work. The easiest way to identify who in your team is naturally goal-directed is for you and your team to complete personal psychometric test questionnaires. The results of these tests provide valuable insights into a person’s behavior at work. Recruiters have been using these tests for decades as a guide to matching jobs and people.
If a psychometric questionnaire is not an option for you, then you need to use your own judgement to identify who in your team is driven to achieve personal goals. Visible traits of a goal-directed person might include them appearing conscientious, self-motivated, focused, assertive, enthusiastic and independent. Goal-directed people are a great asset to your team because they are self-starters who will try hard to achieve the objectives. However, one caution, beware that if there were a conflict between company goals and personals goals, the personal goals would take priority.
The majority of people are not so driven. At home, their motivation may center on family life or personal hobbies and passions. This means that some of your team come to work primarily out of the necessity to earn money. Your desperate desire for team members to work extra hard to achieve the goals that you set could be of little real interest to them.
This does not mean that your people are incapable of hard work, or being enthusiastic, or doing a good job -= far from it. But it does mean that when you expect everybody in your team to become passionate about achieving the team goals you may be in for a disappointment. Some people will make the right noises and look keen, just for your benefit, while below the surface they remain uninspired. So, how do you motivate them to go the extra mile, to make the extra effort that you need from them?
One key lies in the pleasure that everyone enjoys from completing a job well done, something to feel proud of. Therefore, you praise and encourage quality work. A second motivator is to exchange effort for praise. Therefore, when team members work hard, you praise good effort, even on occasions when the effort achieves relatively little.
Another key to motivation lies in the fact that we humans are gregarious creatures. We enjoy company and we especially enjoy achieving things together. When we work together to achieve things, we cannot help but have feelings of inner satisfaction. Achieving things together is the glue that instantly bonds relationships; it is the essence that creates team spirit. Therefore, you praise what you all achieve together, not as a result of you telling them what to do but through them working together with your guidance and support.
For example, in sales it may prove impossible to fire up a team to achieve the company’s financial target, yet that same team will work like crazy in order of feel part of a team that other admire and respect for giving good service. And, of course, sales rise because of that service. The satisfaction of doing their job well vastly exceeds the feelings enjoyed by adding zeros to the tail of a number.
The above is true in all occupations. So, if your team appears to be less than excited about striving to achieve the goals that you set, take heart. And take stock of the tasks carried out by your team. Select the activities that, when done well, will bring feelings of satisfaction every day. Identify the smaller tasks that will lead to achieving the big, long-term goals and through careful use of justly deserved praise, engender a culture where team members go home at the end of the day feeling personally proud of the effort they have put in, of a job well done and of belonging to the team.