Last month, we talked about “The Three “F’s” for Increasing Productivity and Success for your Business”. That’s a great base line for keeping your employees happy. But how do we keep them motivated during inevitable disappointments?
If your staff has quotas, there are likely times that they will miss their targets. Obviously, this can be deflating for them as much as it is to you. While it affects our bottom line, it may do the same for their paycheck in addition to their confidence. That’s the first thing we need to keep in mind. Finding ways to lift them up while helping them improvement is next.
I learned a long time ago, that the best way to offer a critique, is to sandwich it in compliments. When our employees miss a quota, they are already beating themselves up. Letting them know what their strengths are, praising them on that will help to keep them motivated. Then, ask questions to get to why they are having difficulty in reaching their goals. You may already know what they can do to improve, but asking them what they think, is helping them to solve the issue on their own. In the event that they don’t know where they’re going wrong, offer your assessment to move them forward. Refrain from saying things like “what you’re doing wrong” or “you need tostop ___”. This puts people in defense mode and instills doubt in their abilities.
Think about how you would want to be coached (not corrected). This brings me to the other three “F’s”: Feel, Felt, Found. “I know how youfeel. I’ve missed goals before too”. “I felt the same way you do now.” “What I found was if I (insert your advice here), my results turned around.” This is a gentler approach to you getting your point across while relating to what they’re feeling.
Don’t be shy about utilizing other people on your staff to offer tips to those having trouble. Not only does this free you up but it empowers those you employ. Everyone at your corporation has value (or they wouldn’t work there). Why not have a tip of the week from someone different each week? Not only does this help your other employees, but it makes the ones giving the tips feel useful.
All of this advice isn’t just for those that work on quotas. Those that don’t have challenges, like the people that have quotas, can become stagnant and bored. Find ways to keep them involved… part of the team. They want to feel part of something bigger than themselves. Nothing is more motivating than that.