The essence of motivation is certainly in alignment with performance. People are only motivated to trigger a series of actions meant to bring a positive result (positive performance) in the end. Performance management is the “Achilles’ Heel” of human capital management, and it is the most difficult Human Resource system to implement in organizations. An important data from Watson Wyatt proved that only 30% of workers felt their company’s performance management system helped them improve their performance, and less than 40% said their systems provided clear performance goals, generated honest feedback, or used technology effectively.
Another interesting definition of performance was given by Churchill, Ford, Harley, and Walker (1985, p. 116), who argued that ‘performance’ is behavior evaluated in terms of its contributions to the goals of the organization’. Churchill et al. (1985) and Küster and Canales (2008) also defined performance as the result of behavior, which is assessed in terms of contribution to companies’ objectives, and determined by factors that managers can control.
There are two major approaches to motivation which have been discovered across an array of perspectives throughout the years by researchers. They are, extrinsic, and intrinsic motivation.
Basically, extrinsic motivation deals with external factors and forces surrounding an individual, while intrinsic motivation is driven by internal factors and forces within an individual (Giancola, 2014, p. 25). Goal-driven factors such as rewards and benefits for performing a particular task goes on to explain further, what extrinsic motivation is, while intrinsic motivation focuses on the inner satisfaction and pleasure an employee gets from performing a task.
One of the most significant elements of successful companies is a competent salesforce because the sales force also includes customer service representatives and serve as a bridge between companies and their customers. The details regarding the sales force’s work make them different from other employees. Thus, the sales force serves as a representative for the company to the customer and a representative of the customer to the company.
There is a lot of personalization in sales and this is what creates a compelling function for sales teams in companies.
Aside from the fact that the most visible people in a company are the sales people, they are usually the first and possibly, only employees of a company that customers would often interact with. It is therefore evident that sales teams play a key role in ascertaining customer needs, developing a relationship built on trust, and positively influencing the purchasing decisions of customers towards the company’s goods and services.
It is important for managers to keep all employee teams highly motivated and committed to the company’s success. Naturally, when people are motivated, they become more productive, which is directly proportional to the increase in sales revenue. In essence, the more a company sells, the higher the revenue, and the more motivated the people are, the higher the productivity which has a direct impact on sales.
Here are eight extrinsic motivation techniques to practice in your company this year:
- Meet their individual needs in a work environment like yours: Employees have different needs which must be fulfilled for them to be comfortable and motivated at work . Some of these are the need for appropriate work tools and software, a deserved promotion, safe environment, among others. One of the best approaches is to conduct an assessment of your employees, asking them one major question: ‘What would make you fulfilled/happy in your role and how can we make that happen?’
- Pay them well: You need to make sure they are being adequately remunerated for the work they do. When people are adequately paid for the work they have been employed to do, the least thing they will be worrying about is money. Once the issue of money is dealt with, all other things can be easily managed. Do not take them for granted.
- Give them the room and space to work: Do not try to micromanage them all the time. When people are not given the room to work and own what they do, they lose interest. Especially for millennial employees, you need to give them the chance to create a work environment that enhances their creativity. Set realistic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for them and give them the necessary tools to work. Note that, you don’t need to pressure your employees to work the same way you do, or approach things the same way as you. When that happens, they will end up doing things your way, for you, and without any sense of responsibility and passion. People are different with enormous abilities and skills; give them the space to unleash these for your benefit. We are all different people with different believes and perspectives; respect that.
- Celebrate them for the little wins: You are not being a good manager when the only time you celebrate your employees is when they achieve a big win. There are little wins which when celebrated encourages employees to go the extra mile for the company. Compliment them for times when they go out of their way for the company, because people only sacrifice for things and people they love and care about.
- Accept failure and encourage better solutions: Your employees are not always going to succeed on tasks and projects. In times when they fail or do not achieve desired results, they inwardly feel broken and disappointed. When this feeling lasts long, they begin to go through personal crises, and may end up feeling depressed and discouraged. Failure is the best way to learn what not to do the next time on such a task. Draw their attention to this fact and don’t be too hard on them when they fail once in a while. Instead, encourage them to come up with solutions and lessons immediately there is failure. Help them pick themselves up when they fall.
- Manage workplace conflicts: Don’t let workplace conflict get out of control. Assign them to work on team projects with people they like. The more they get to work with people they like or admire on a personal (non-sexual) level, they sparkle and intrinsically feel motivated to work. Also, engage them on a personal level by not being a task manager who only speaks to them to give them work. Give them the chance to work on projects they have interest in, and it is your job to explore these interests of theirs so you can better place them at the right departments with the right people.
- Set them up to succeed: You need to provide them with growth and educational opportunities. You also need to give them detailed and constructive feedback about their performance; do this with respect and kindness. Moreover, do not over load them with too much tasks you know would put pressure on them. Once people feel pressured, they get discouraged. Also, once you give them too much to do with unrealistic timelines, that is you setting them up to fail.
- Let them lead: Provide them the opportunity to lead others and the chance to also give you input on operational issues about running the company. Once people feel their opinions matter, they work differently.
Overall, you need to keep exploring and paying attention to your employees as much as you can. They are human beings with feelings just like you, and sometimes they may need some motivation to stick and stay with you. Right about now, people will not only stay with your company because you pay them well. They will stay because it feels like home; and at home, you get the chance to grow, explore, learn, and build meaningful relationships.
In my next article, we will be analyzing whether or not it is better to employ people who are intrinsically motivated so you wouldn’t have to worry about motivating them extrinsically to perform. Until then, please let me know your thoughts about extrinsic motivation and share some more techniques if you know any.
Written by: DERRICK S. VORMAWOR ( Founder and Lead Consultant at Platinum Africa Solutions)