Inspire Excellence

Posted on 09/19/13 No Comments

I recently wrote about how to Achieve Your Full Potential Through Level 3 Accountability and cited the Harvard Business Review article relating that 70% of ALL employees are demotivated and disengaged. Common sense dictates that a demotivated person is less productive than a motivated person. And you can ask yourself how productive you are when you are faced with a job you don’t want to do and how much less productive you are when you have someone telling you you should have done it better, faster or otherwise. On average, a demotivated employee works at approximately 32% of their full potential. So, if on average, your company is operating at approximately 22.4% of its full potential, what is that costing you? What do you do? – coddle people and bribe them to do their job? – constantly threaten them with a pay cut or termination?

There are basically two ways to motivate people:

  1. Carrot – the coddling
  2. Stick – the threatening

NEITHER of them is effective – long term. Think about it. If you are using the stick approach, you need to be present or at least be constantly monitoring every aspect of performance. The moment you let up, that employee will revert to whatever unproductive behavior that concerned you in the first place. On the other hand, if you are using the carrot approach, you may be creating a situation in which you only get the performance you’re already paying for through a salary by offering the bribe of a bonus.  By these definitions, you don’t want to motivate your employees, you want to learn to inspire them.

Hopefully it is clear that, by inspiration, I do not mean coddling (in any way!). Inspiration emanates from touching something inside a person that makes them want to perform at their very best without regard to who is watching. The difference is that motivation is an external force imposed upon a person; inspiration is an internal force that you cultivate within a person.

While we focus on accountability, creating an inspired workforce is at the heart of the Critical Factors Management System. The end result is optimal productivity and therefore optimal profitability. Sure, the tools we employ can be used to simply monitor performance and hold people accountable but the magic of the overall system is to inspire people to hold themselves accountable.

So remember – you can hold employees accountable to your standards through motivation – OR – learn to inspire them to hold themselves accountable to excellence.

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