Create a compelling vision/mission of your team/business and who you serve. If you can author this as a team it is ideal. Teams who are part of the creation process are more likely to believe and support the mission. A lot of leaders revert to the carrot or stick. While these allow for short term gains, they rarely have a lasting effect.

When carrot or sticks are necessary due to an impending deadline, follow these ideas.

Carrot: find a way to spend time or recognize them for doing good work or meeting a goal. This could be as simple as a genuine hand written note of appreciation. If you need to drive performance, pick something that creates an experience, ie concert or baseball game. An experience is more important than a desk toy or gadget. If  you find something unexpected and genuine, you will build employee loyalty and motivation. One example I saw of this was a repeat high performer received a gift from their Senior Leaders. They called his spouse and asked her what was the one thing that he wanted. The couple had a young family and a blank canvas of a back yard. He received a brand new landscaped backyard for his family.

Stick: Set clear expectations, understand when someone fails it could be your fault first. Take ownership of unclear directions or deadlines, if all was enough and your team still didn’t deliver, follow through on your expectations. If you can correct by coaching and allowing people to learn from their mistake, ensure you are consistent with your people. Often you might find you allow your expectations not to be met. If that’s the case you need to adjust them. Sticks often fail to produce long term results as they take more effort from the leader or are inconsistent.

Categories: Motivation