How To Assess Motivation Levels In Your Staff

Effectiveness of the team is a fine balance between individual motivation and its relationship with productivity: put simply as a manager your team MUST be both Motivated and Productive!

Easier said than done!

So, how can you get a feel for these two different components of the management equation quickly and simply? The answer lies in observing what you see on a regular basis and then linking this to how the work gets done, its quality, reliability and speed of process.

There are four possible outcomes to this process:

  1. High Motivation but Low Productivity (Win-Lose): individuals and teams have a lack of focus and an insufficient sense of urgency in getting tasks completed. There is strong resistance to change and a culture where incompetence and errors are tolerated although there is a strong sense of connection and mutual trust and collaboration. Action Required – set up rules/boundaries and quality standards to ensure that the positives around community spirit are transferred into productive outputs.
  2. Low Motivation and Low Productivity (Lose-Lose): there is a critical atmosphere where staff are overwhelmed with work that does not get completed. There is little joy in the workplace and control is governed by a sense of fear and mistrust. Individuals and teams spend large amounts of time fire-fighting rather then moving things forward, trust is lacking and individuals and teams are very protective of their resources and routines. Action Required – set standards of work to eliminate the fire-fighting, prioritise what is essential and remove anything that is not contributing to set objectives and develop some collaborative and team-working initiatives.
  3. High Motivation and High Productivity (Win-Win): here the working environment is enjoyable and the individuals work collaboratively to bring about good results. Challenging Goals are set to stretch the staff with an inspired vision communicated from management. There is a conscious will to take risks if they will bring about improvements and additional success/outputs. Communication is valued, open and is of good quality. The individual and the team are happy to work towards a process of continual improvement in all aspects of the work and personal and team learning is encouraged. Action Required – maintain this position!
  4. Low Motivation and High Productivity (Lose-Win): here there is a focus upon effectiveness and efficiency of delivery but this is accompanied by a “Just Do It” approach where communication and new ideas are not welcomed. Too much focus upon profitability and the Bottom Line at all costs causing high staff turnover and very little staff retention, staff showing signs of stress and burn-out. Whilst having clear objectives and a competitive focus is good the human costs make this situation unstable and with the potential for Productivity to drop rapidly. Action Required – keep the Production focus but address low morale issues and slow down the staff turnover rate.

By regularly assessing the relationship between Motivation and Production you will be able to identify where to put your efforts in terms of practical and meaningful improvements in your area of responsibility.

Good Luck!

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