“How do you motivate your team?” I asked.
“I encourage my employees to push themselves. I tell them how important their jobs are. I applaud their efforts. I’m always trying to build them up.”
“How is that working for you?”
“I think it works pretty well. Not everyone responds the way I would like but I keep encouraging them. I think most appreciate my efforts.”
Employees said they liked working for Steve. They described him as “helpful,” “energetic,” and “caring.”
I applaud the efforts of leaders like Steve, and I’m confident that most employees would appreciate working for him. However, I think a highly motivated work team also requires two additional ingredients.
One, employees’ motors need to be running when they come to work. It is near impossible to kick-start a low-energy employee into spirited performance.
Second, employees’ must have the natural talents and acquired skills to perform the tasks well. Long-term commitment to a job requires earned pride that comes only from doing something well.
When these two elements are present, Steve’s methods work great. If one or both are missing, Steve’s well-meaning approach will likely whiff on motivation.