Are you struggling to motivate your people? Do you find it hard to get everyone on the same page? There are six ways to ensure that others pull their weight and deliver the results you expect from them.
A manager’s job goes beyond micromanaging and checking up on everybody. It also includes being able to motivate people that fall behind on their work.
It’s also a manager’s job to understand why people underperform or think about abandoning work altogether.
To give you an example of what I mean, I want to tell you a story about Nicole.
Nicole is a restaurant manager. She ran into some difficulties with getting the most out of her people when the time came to open up the restaurant. It became a challenge because her people weren’t on the same page yet.
One of the things she struggled with was that her people weren’t pulling their weight. One person on her team was still pulling 60-hour weeks. Others, meanwhile, were nowhere near done with their tasks and kept falling behind.
She also noticed discrepancies in commitment and loyalty between the younger and the older employees. In particular, the younger demographic showed more interest in collecting unemployment.
Some people always get things done where others crumble. And you never know who is who until it happens.
But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to get the most out of your people. It doesn’t mean that you can’t figure out what makes them tick and what can motivate them to provide the outcomes that you seek.
Here are six ways to ensure you get the results you want from your people. Some of these strategies apply to any type of business, which is what makes them so great.
Tip #1 – Create Clarity of the Outcome
As a leader, one of your primary goals is to give people specific tasks. But I’m sure it often happens that not everyone achieves the results that you want.
Is it always because people aren’t pulling their weight?
Or is it because they lack the expertise?
Sometimes there’s a different reason why this happens. When you communicate with people, you must emphasize clarity.
The clearer you communicate that outcome, the higher the chances that you’ll see the desired result.
Whenever you want someone to do something specific, you have to demand a particular outcome. Miscommunication when asking for results is what leads to people delivering unwanted results.
Using more clarity can empower your people to be action-oriented. They’ll focus more on the actual outcome and this will boost their productivity.
Tip #2 – Think About How You Can Leverage Others
It’s important to identify the areas where you need the most help. I want you to also think about specific tasks where you might not want to use someone on your own team.
For example, one of the things I find laborious is data entry. I don’t want to waste time doing it because it takes away from my emotional juice. I’m sure that this has happened to you too, as it has with many of my clients.
Doing things that don’t help the creative process is not something I feel comfortable with.
So, why not try to leverage others?
For these data entry tasks, I don’t mind looking outside my team to leverage people who have the experience. I’ll often outsource these projects to someone on Upwork.
Data entry doesn’t cost much and it’s not difficult to scan everything and send it to someone to put it all in.
You can also find very skilled people on these freelancing platforms. So why not leverage all the people you can, including those outside your company?
Tip #3 – Help Your People See How They Can Offer Additional Value
Nicole doesn’t have a complete management team yet. So, I asked her if any of her current people can possibly step up into a bigger role. I wondered if someone could pick up a new role and contribute in a larger capacity.
One of the people that could do that had a history of underperforming. That’s despite her love and commitment to the company.
Based on her track record, Nicole doesn’t see her as being up to the task just yet. But she also finds that person salvageable.
So how do you get someone to provide more value without promoting them? How do you get someone that constantly underperforms to provide more value?
One idea is to assign them more tasks slowly. If someone wants to prove themselves to you, give them more responsibility. Just make sure that you start with small things.
For example, delegate some of that data entry stuff. If someone’s eager to please, they’ll do it.
Everyone has to earn their stripes one way or another. And those with a history of not pulling their weight need to start adding more value consistently.
Tip #4 – Create a Plan (And Get Your People on Board)
After you create a plan, it’s critical to get everyone on board. If people don’t understand either the urgency or their roles, it won’t go smoothly.
In Nicole’s case, there’s a plan to open up the restaurant. But many things need to go well first for that to happen. And that includes hiring new people and using a specific training process for the new hires.
That’s why she came up with a three-step plan for a smooth rollout. The program would position the restaurant properly and account for everything – from hiring and on the job training to opening at the right time.
What was very important to her, which I agree, was reiterating the plan.
This brings me back to the clarity of the outcome.
It’s important to use specifics and explain any statistics when rolling out a plan. It can help your people understand and get on board with it.
If everyone’s clear on what they have to do, there’s less chance of people butting heads. Proper preparation helps you get more out of your people and push your agenda forward to meet your goals.
Tip #5 – Outline Your Ideal Outcomes for the Next 90 Days
There are goals and then there are ideal outcomes. Figuring out the difference is critical for your personal growth and to bring more value out of your people.
In Nicole’s case. her ideal outcomes over 90 days were putting together a job description. She also wanted to clarify her expectations.
Now, this may not seem like much right now. But what’s important is that Nicole had a clear idea of what the ideal outcomes were.
She knew exactly what she wanted to achieve in 90 days. And she knew how to position herself and how to leverage those outcomes.
When you know what you want, others will know it, too. It’s essential to be sure of what you want and when you want it. Coming up with ideas, outcomes, and setting deadlines is what helps you motivate those around you, too.
Tip #6 – Fan the Flame of Purpose
Fanning the flame of purpose is a concept that I’m very fond of.
It refers to how you move forward with your agenda and how you prioritize your outcomes.
Every outcome needs a clear purpose. Without one, you can’t prioritize your outcomes. And the risk here is getting undesirable results.
So, why fan the flame of purpose?
With every outcome you expect, there are specific tasks that need doing. Some are easier and some are harder to accomplish.
Most people want to push forward by handling the easier tasks first. It can sometimes work, but not all the time.
When you handle the easier stuff first, you push back the more challenging things. In some situations, they get pushed back more and more… to the point where they don’t get done.
This is where the fan the flame concept helps. It prioritizes the outcome and sets a strong reason for why the result is important.
It’s a strategy that helps increase your focus for achieving the critical outcomes. If you do this, you increase the urgency of certain things. It’s much harder afterwards for people to postpone tasks by saying that they can do them the next day. Or the day after that.
Clarity and Proper Communication Are Keys to Motivating Others
You can always leverage people, including those outside your business, for what you need to get done. It just takes a bit of navigating the different expectations and figuring out where their loyalties lie.
Good leadership always starts at the top. A leader who knows what he wants is a leader who can get through to those working under him.
Exercise more clarity in your communication. Set specific goals for you and others and always stress each outcome’s urgency. Don’t assign tasks that don’t have a meaningful purpose. And don’t be afraid to make people earn their stripes and demonstrate that they can pull their weight.
Leading by example or with a firm hand can only get you so far. Getting more value out of your people is almost an art form, especially when there are generational differences to consider.
And whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you make you and your team more productive in order to grow your business:
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3. Work with me and my team privately
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