Companies are always trying to discover the recipe that will lead a team to the highest level of sustained performance. Experiments with training, team configurations, company celebrations, leadership communication, incentives and performance systems all occur in pursuit of finding that perfect combination. Most of the time companies have the right ingredients but they just can’t figure out how to combine them to get the desired results. Want to know why? It’s because the recipe changes from company to company.
Often we spend so much time trying to figure out how to duplicate the results in another company that we forget that company is not our company. The culture in that company is different. The team dynamics in that company are different than those in our own company. The goals, ambitions and background of that company are different. It’s impossible to duplicate the same results with the same recipe from one company to another because the factors within each company are drastically different.
The good news is that you can create your own recipe that leads your team to the highest level of sustained performance. If you want to find out how to motivate and maintain the performance of your team follow these steps:
- Hire the right people. Don’t waste time trying to convince someone they want to be part of your team. They are either all in or they aren’t. Find the candidates who are already aligned with the culture of the company. Skills can be taught, motivation cannot.
- Train your people. If you want to be competitive then your team’s skill set must evolve. Nothing in business succeeds if it’s stagnant. It’s either evolving or its declining. Take the initiative to make sure your team’s skills stay relevant and proficient.
- Give them meaning. Connect the team with the leadership’s vision and the company’s mission. Let people know why you do what you do, how it impacts your customers and how their role plays a part in making that vision happen.
- Build them up and give them a chance. If you hire the right people who are motivated, skilled and understand the mission then give them the chance to make an impact. Open communication and dialogue that allows every team member to make suggestions and give feedback is essential.
- Survey your team regularly. What motivates your team today won’t necessarily motivate your team tomorrow. Involve employees at all levels in discussions about reward programs and quality improvements. Conduct periodic surveys regarding employee perspectives on benefits and incentives; ask for suggestions. Keep your benefits and incentives current just like their skill set.
- Maintain consistent standards. Help employees understand what is expected. Be clear on job performance standards and hold everyone equally accountable to meeting those standards. Train supervisors about common pitfalls with people management, such as halo effects, similar selections and favoritism. Equip everyone to work in and maintain a fair, equitable work environment.
After reviewing what you like in other companies, create your company’s recipe for success. You’re certain to be pleasantly surprised by the results that occur over time.