The importance of Motivation in Performance Management

Every employee needs to be motivated so that overall group performance can be improved. Motivation is more than being satisfied. Motivation is what causes employees to go the extra mile and commit to a project or company.  While employees must take some responsibility for motivating themselves, management can help motivate and develop individuals.

Some common motivators for individuals:

  • Responsibility: Employees should have a sense of ownership in their work.
  • Nature of the work: The nature of the work can help motivate people.
  • Recognition: Employee efforts need to be recognized.
  • Achievement: People need to feel like they are achieving something worthwhile.

Each person has a different set of motivators. Some people respond better to verbal praise and others need rewards. It is important to motivate employees on a personal level. It is also shown that most people perform better when they believe in their company. When the values of an organization match the personal values of employees, an organization will be highly motivated.

Internal motivators can be discovered through regular employee assessments and performance reviews. This is an opportunity for honest and open communication about expectations. Many people think that managing people is a skill that one is born with. There are varying degrees of management skills for new supervisors, but all can gain from increased experience and practice.

One management technique is called situational leadership, which teaches leaders four key competencies:

  • Diagnose and individual’s Performance Readiness to complete a specific task.
  • Adapt leader behavior based on diagnosis
  • Communicate and influence approach in a manner both can understand and accept
  • Advance by management the movement toward higher performance

Analyzing and adapting your management approach to individuals leads to an understanding of group dynamics and motivation. Change in a department or team can be effective if led by a manager that understands both individual motivation and group readiness. Also, the reverse is true, increasing group motivation can improve group performance as well as individual performance.

Remember to:

  • Lead by example: Motivate yourself before you can motivate others.
  • Meet with individuals: Communicate with employees directly to find out what motivates them.
  • Reward employees: Find motivating rewards for individuals.
  • Delegate: Do not micromanage employees.
  • Inform: Inform people about how they are making a difference in the organization.
  • Celebrate: Pay attention to achievements and celebrate with employees.

To learn more about performance management you can view our free short course