THE Key Performance Indicator – Keep People Inspired
June 14, 2012 2 Comments
Business is all about measurement. Peter Drucker was an influential writer, management consultant, and self-described “social ecologist” and his quote – “What gets measured gets managed” is never more true than in today’s tough economic climate. The use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are at the heart of most high performing businesses. However, there is often one important KPI missing, and that is Keeping People Inspired.
That might sound trite, but without measuring the motivation of your teams in your business on a regular basis, understanding and addressing the root cause of any areas of low morale, you could be setting yourself and your teams up to fail.
An easy and cheap way to measure the motivation of your employees is through observation of how enthusiastic they are about arriving at work, interacting with colleagues and engaging in tasks they are given. In addition, the level of motivation among the work force can also be measured by the improvements in performance appraisals, and the quality of work performed. For those people new to the work force, the motivated employees will likely be the ones who demonstrate initiative by asking for additional work or more challenging assignments. For seasoned employees, their motivation is obvious in the ways they offer assistance to new employees, and seek ways to improve company processes and procedures for better efficiency and effectiveness.
A more formal and effective way to measure how your team is feeling is to survey them in some way on a regular basis. This could take the form of an online or paper survey. There are numerous examples online to help you shape your survey and ask your managers and team members to input into questions. Alternatively you can use survey agencies to help you create, compile, collate and analyse the results. Surveys should be anonymous and the questions unambiguous to get the best results. It’s important that you understand the results fully and take note of even the smallest shift backwards in team motivation. Play back the results to your team and ask them for feedback on how areas can be improved. The most important element here is to ACT on agreed changes and ACT quickly. Not acting to improve areas for improvement will decrease morale and motivation further in your team.
Assuming you’ve got measurements in place and are acting upon the results, how do you personally Keep People Inspired (assuming they were inspired at all in the first place!)?
- Lead by example – Practice what you preach or don’t preach at all. Be the change you want to see in your business or organisation. If you really want to inspire others to do something, then this should be a big part of your life. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert, but you do need to be passionately involved.
- Be authentic – Find the courage to keep being yourself. It won’t always be easy.
- Be passionate – Passion is something you must be willing to express if you want to inspire others. You can gain a lot of influence just by publicly expressing that you are excited and passionate about a topic. Expressive passion is contagious because of the curiosity it stirs in others. You’ll get people wondering why you love what you love so much. Naturally, some of them will take the time necessary to understand what it is about the topic that moves you.
- Be great at what you do – People watch what you do more than they listen to what you say. Be someone worth emulating. Most people are inspired by GREAT musicians, writers, painters, speakers, entrepreneurs, engineers, mothers, fathers, athletes, etc. There’s only one thing they all have in common: They excel at what they do.
- Genuinely care about people – Most people can see through a colleague, manager or leader that doesn’t genuinely care about them as individuals. Spend time talking to your team and be genuinely interested in who they are as people.
- Challenge people to be the best they can be – If people know we expect great things from them, they will often go to great lengths to live up to our expectations. You are letting your people down if you do not try to develop them and help them to meet their potential.
- Speak up for your people – We are very connected to each other in various ways, the most important of which is our thoughts. Out of fear, or shyness, lots of people hesitate to articulate their thoughts. If you take the risk and say the things others are holding back, you become the glue that brings people together.
- Make people feel good about themselves – People will rarely remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Start noticing what you like about others and tell them. Go out of your way to personally acknowledge and complement the people who have gone out of their way to excel.
- Share your Lessons Learned – When you can, be a resource to those around you. Mine the experiences of your life and share the lessons you have learned in your career. Be vulnerable. Be willing to share your failures as well as your successes.
- Keep your promises – If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT!
- Listen intently to what others say (and also to what they don’t say) – Make people feel important, and inspire them by showing them that they are.
- Communicate, communicate, and communicate clearly – Keeping things to yourself does not inspire. Share your vision and ideas often with those around you.
I’d love to hear your stories of how you’ve been inspired and what motivates you?