Last week, I attended a discussion with a group of managers. Some of them shared with me: It is too hard to motivate employees nowadays:
-After you have the motivation talk with them, they lose motivation again one week later.
-They can finish their work on time, but the work’s quality is not up to the expectation.
-You have to chase them for the work deliverables. Otherwise, they will miss the deadline.
Does any of the above sound familiar to you?
Are some employees born to be self-driven? And others are not?
Self-driven is critical to every employee because it is related to individual performance and even organizational performance. But how to develop self-driven employees?
From my observation, building a self-driven talent pipeline relies on a system that includes: Mindset-Objective-Key Results-Feedback. Below is the explanation:
Mindset: Help your employees to think: what kind of person he/she wants to become?
Objective: Focus on critical objectives
Key results: Make measurable efforts
Feedback: Review the progress of objective achievement and help employees to grow
For example, Jasmin is an employee in a law firm. She has many mistakes whenever she is preparing the legal documents for her manager. If her manager, Vera, wants her to be self-driven and improve the quality of her work gradually, this is how Vera should follow the cycle:
Step1: help Jasmin develop the mindset: “A reputable lawyer has 0 mistakes in the legal documents, such as document format, spelling mistakes, wrong address, etc. Vera will be a reputable lawyer, provided she can help herself develop good working habits to avoid these mistakes in the future. “. Vera should get Jasmin to agree on this mindset.
This mindset is challenging for Jasmin because she cannot eliminate all her mistakes within one day. It is also not realistic to achieve that. So that’s why Vera needs to help Jasmin write her objective.
Step2: Write objective: Vera discusses with Jasmin and develops a qualitative and inspiring objective. For example, Jasmin achieves a professional work standard of a lawyer in the next four months.
Step3: Develop key results: How do we know whether Jasmin achieves that objective or not by the end of the four months? Vera must help Jasmin understand what kind of measurable efforts she can make. For example:
-Key result 1: Jasmin summarizes all the mistakes she made in the past into different categories and develops a document checklist to reduce her future errors to 0.
-Key result 2: Jasmin develops an SOP for new employees, and the mistake of this SOP, such as format, spelling mistakes, etc., is 0.
-Key result 3: Vera provides four trainings of different industries legal documents to Jasmin. Jasmin should pass the exam and achieve 85/100.
Step4: Provide feedback. Once a week, Vera will have a check-in and feedback meeting with Jasmin to identify Jasmin’s progress and what Jasmin can improve.
When Jasmin sees her achievement every week, she will be motivated to make more progress. When she can regularly get recognition from Vera, she will continue to drive herself to develop a good working habit and reduce her mistakes.
To help Jasmin be aware of her progress, Vera provides Jasmin with a table to document her progress in reducing those mistakes. Now Jasmin’s effort is measurable!
Having one self-driven employee may depend on the manager’s luck. Having a sustainable self-driven talent pool depends on the system. Developing self-driven employees are not easy, so that’s why you need a method to help.
Too hard to motivate employees? Try these four steps next time!