Motivation and Buy-In as a Competitive Advantage

“Motivation and Buy-In” are like everything else in life, always cycling up or cycling down; there is no static position. So that means that energy and effort must be applied continually and consistently to create and maintain a high performing organization with the momentum needed for Motivation and Buy-In.

The cornerstone to successful Motivation and Buy-In is trust. The level of trust that exists within your organization will determine how hard and how long you will have to work to get your organization fully motivated and completely committed. These four simple ideas used everyday will generate the results you want:

#1. Trust: To build trust you begin with a more honest, open and inclusive communication style and more being trusting of others. Trust is the pipeline through which all good business practices flow. Trust instills a sense of confidence without the presence of worry or suspicion. Without trust, people move at the speed of don’t screw up or in other words, the speed they can move without getting into any type trouble. That is not the speed you want for your organization. If people feel their input is unwanted or their mistakes will be met with criticism or possibly dismissal then mood and morale will be bad, turnover and absenteeism will be high, motivation will be low and buy-in will be nonexistent. The cycle is heading down.

Trust is maintained by the consistent achievement of personal and organizational goals. With trust, workers move away from a self-protection, begin to take risks, look for new ways to improve workflow and exceed expectations. When goals are achieved and exceeded, management’s trust and confidence in the whole process is strengthened. The way to achieve Motivation and Buy-in is through trust and the key to building trust is the willingness of management to assimilate the next three ideas. The cycle is heading up.

#2. Transparency: Allowing people, at all levels, to have a clear understanding of an organization’s overall goals and objectives, as well as an understanding of the importance of their own personal and departmental roles in the success of the organization. When times are tough, making sure you have transparency in your management becomes even more critical to the success of your business. When employees understand the issues that owners face on a regular basis, they are more invested (buy-in) in the solutions. And when organizations encourage frequent two-way communication, at all levels, they generate a level of positive energy (motivation) making it easier to find new ideas and/or solutions. Change is much easier to implement with open communication, support and trust. Very quickly employees do more than buy-into change, they own it.

As management willingly opens up its thinking and decision making processes, the organization becomes more transparent and “same side of the table thinking” begins. Everyone begins to understand the issues and complexities of decision-making. The entire staff knows what is expected of them individually and collectively and they will be much more supportive of any changes that are necessary to ensure the success of the organization. With transparency, employees are more motivated and they feel an increased sense of self-value and self-worth that is directly related to their own efforts. It also becomes much more likely that their wages will go up because profits will go up and stay up and levels of absenteeism and turnover will go down. And that’s a good start.

#3. Treat Everyone the Same but Differently: Offering praise and rewards based on individual personality style. Treating everyone the same is a no-brainer but often times it is forgotten. Consciously or unconsciously all of us connect better with some people more than others. And while its just human nature, making that kind of mistake can ruin morale, interfere with productivity and occasionally create some discrimination issues. The most effective way to communicate and reward people is to base it on individual need and personality style. The rewards for comparable work must be of the same value but not necessarily the same. For example, one person may need public acknowledgement of their successes in order to be motivated while another may be embarrassed by that method and instead require some one-on-one time for personal recognition. A good manager or management team needs to know their people. They need to understand what motivates the individual and respond accordingly. It may seem like a lot of extra work, but believe me, the dividends are worth the effort.

#4. Change the people or Change the people: Providing training and support to improve and update the skills of your people or recognizing when the time comes to let someone go. Good management is focused on making sure that everyone in the organization has the necessary training and support to maximize their ROI. However, once it becomes obvious that an employee is not living up to his/her potential, a good manager will make the necessary change. Do everything possible to change or improve the people but if that isn’t possible, then change or replace the people.

Change takes time and how long it will take depends on the shape you’re organization is in when you begin this process. Remember, the way to achieve Motivation and Buy-in is through trust and the key to building trust is the willingness of management to assimilate all four ideas; Trust, Transparency, Treat Everyone the Same but Differently, Change the People or Change the People. So make the commitment and don’t give up. You and your organization are worth the work.

One of my favorite phrases is:
Small Changes, Practiced Consistently, Create Dramatic Results.