Millions agree on how to make the workplace better – but achieving this goal remains a challenge!
We at QwikCoach join millions, yes millions, of other workplace experts in knowing the answers for two perennial workplace questions:
- How do you motivate people at work?
- How do you create a culture of high achievement?
Depending on how we phrased the question of motivation, there were about 65 MILLION search results. A culture of excellence or achievement varied from 9 to 12 MILLION suggestions. Undoubtedly these questions will continue to be asked and answered by many — they are the central processes for achieving what is important for anyone at work. While daunting in terms of volume of information, the answers to these two questions are remarkably consistent. Here are the typical highlights for each.
To motivate others, use these types of practices with your staff or colleagues consistently:
- Inspire others in ways they can relate to.
- Listen carefully and encourage involvement.
- Connect deeply with others and help them meet their needs through work.
- Have a vision of what needs to happen and what needs to BE — and communicate it.
- Empower people to take their own power.
- Be an expert that can also share expertise.
- Be principled, honest, authentic and transparent.
- Show diligence and passion for accomplishing things.
- Encourage collaboration.
To create an achievement environment, try these types of practices:
- Provide a vision that has meaning, purpose and will engage people emotionally as well as intellectually.
- Have goals that challenge and stretch people.
- Focus on continuous learning of both processes and tools to create excellence and characteristics, like leadership and accountability, at every level.
- Keep aligning, re-aligning, and being clear and supportive about what to focus on and what is most important.
- Measure results.
- Stress communication and collaboration and transparency.
We would like to stress that the real challenge for the majority at work is in the DOING of these behaviors and strategies, not just knowing what they are.
Think of this challenge as similar to providing guidance to your children about being a good person. The description of a person of good character, like the answer of how to motivate people, is pretty consistent from culture to culture and country to country and includes traits such as honesty, integrity, and empathy.
Maintaining focus on the character development of a child is a constant effort because learning to become a person of good character is an ongoing/iterative process. The same is true for motivating others and creating and sustaining a high-performance culture. Positive action allows for positive reinforcement, that of course creates more positive action. Things can also go in the opposite direction: one may be motivated at one point — and then feel demotivated by something small like the ill-timed comments of a leader undermining an employee. One might try a strategy of transparency but then drop it in a time of crisis. Consistent attention to the dimensions of motivation and having a high-performance culture are as critical as is ongoing attention to raising a child with high standards.
Having multiple ways of assisting individuals and managers — leaders at all level, to know about and use high-performance culture behaviors — will work to reinforce and maintain the best workplaces. Organization-wide training and development efforts need to be supported by self and other coaching endeavors. This is key if organizations are going to not just begin, but also maintain, high-performance, and yes, motivational behaviors throughout the organization.