Getting the most out of the people you work with is a key management function. But senior managers keep finding that new team members or newly promoted ones may not be fully prepared for the task.
Learning to influence behavior is considered a social art. New and mid-level managers lay the foundation for success when they strive to learn how to have a positive effect on the people they supervise, their co-workers, and even their boss.
So what can you do to improve the job performance of the people around you, to improve employee engagement?
Mike Crant, Mary Jo, and Richard M. Kovacevich Professor of Excellence in Leadership Education at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business believe it is a relevant topic because it influences the behavior and attitudes of others It will make your working life this it is much more important. productive.
“It doesn’t matter where you are in the business, you have to do things through people,” says Crant.
Internationally known for his research on proactive behavior in the workplace, Crant conducts many discussions and programs on how to lay the foundation for managerial success. Its goal is to deliver specific actions that managers can use at work to guide their workforce behavior and build a motivated team.
“Employees are a company’s most valuable asset and good organizations will think about how to maximize the return on investment,” says Crant. “Why not think about how to get more out of the people you hire? The people who reach the top are those who can effectively influence others, persuade and motivate. “
Hard Skills Vs Soft Skills
Management is a social art that often requires a personal touch. Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch has learned to choose, develop and motivate the right people, says Crant. Welch spent up to 70% of his time dealing with people.
Many new managers are generally chosen for their technical skills, which Crant calls “complex skills”.
“Difficult skills alone aren’t enough to be successful,” says Crant. “The soft side of management, dealing with people, is at least as important as technical skills.”
The qualities of a good manager include the ability to work with others and do things through people. Without social skills, a supervisor’s career tends to stagnate, making the path upward much more difficult to achieve.
Motivation and Motivating People
Effective managers have the ability to motivate the people they work with to behave in a specific and goal-directed way. Motivation is defined as stimulating, directing and supporting the efforts of employees.
A motivated team must have the energy and enthusiasm to get things done. They need to focus on doing what’s important to the organization. Managers want a sustained effort from their employees to work hard, whether the boss is present or not.
It is equally important that effective managers understand how to influence people to perform specific behaviors and tasks that they are likely to find trivial. A manager must be able to persuade workers to stay with the organization. Managers want workers to occasionally complete mundane tasks and always perform at a high level and be good organizational citizens.
With an effective motivation scheme in place, managers are much more likely to keep the most talented workers and dissuade them from leaving and turning to a competitor.
Know What Causes Differences
Some factors lead to differences in employee performance. A good manager must understand what causes these differences.
It is not uncommon for two employees hired roughly at the same time with similar skills to provide different levels of contribution to the company. One could be considered a top actor who meets the odds, does a great job on assignments, and is a pleasure to work with. The other worker may have difficulty with assignments and meeting deadlines, have a negative attitude, and cause problems.
Not all job performance deficits are due to poor motivation. Performance is actually a function of three things: skill, situation, and commitment.
The skill is applied in terms of intellectual (using intelligence and reason to solve problems), social (being pleasant and outgoing), and mechanical (having the technical skills to do your job). We address situations in terms of the work environment, job design, and assignment of specific tasks. All three can have a great influence on success.
But having skills and preparing for the right situation is not enough. The effort is defined as the willingness to work hard; a worker or manager who works hard shows motivation, according to Crant.
The opposite is true for a worker who exhibits poor performance. It could indicate a lack of capacity, and inadequate management choice, or the need for additional training. In the event of an unfavorable situation, more managerial support is needed and managers need to create a more favorable situation as well as assign people to positions where they will be successful. Lack of commitment indicates a lack of motivation.
The human tendency is to blame people when they struggle, to assume they lack motivation. In psychology, the concept is known as a fundamental attribution error, which is defined as the tendency to over-emphasize the personal causes of behavior. Crant points out that this may include describing someone as lazy or assuming that the person doesn’t care about their job based solely on what they see, rather than thinking about the situational causes of the behavior.
To increase effort, managers are encouraged to try to influence employee motivation levels through tools. The cause of performance problems must be considered when diagnosing a problem. You should also address why the employee is low motivated and develop some useful motivation techniques.
Related Article: Intrinsic motivation Vs Extrinsic motivation
There are seven approaches to understanding motivation:
Personality – Inherent Rewards: Being motivated is part of your personality; Extrinsic Rewards – Being motivated by things outside of you, such as pay, bonuses, or other personal benefits.
Attitudes: Your level of job satisfaction.
Does it meet your business needs? People whose needs are met at work tend to be more motivated.
Reward systems: What are the results people receive at work after their actions?
Fair treatment from others motivates human behavior.
Expectations: beliefs about the probability of success; self-confidence.
Specific Goals: Setting goals as a mechanism for influencing the motivations of others.
According to Crant, a key element of any employee’s personality is their level of intrinsic motivation: how conscientious or results-oriented are they? Some people will be successful regardless of the rewards; it is in their nature to seek excellence in whatever task is presented.
For others, motivation is driven by extrinsic rewards: personal benefits like getting a promotion or a raise.
Determining the level of intrinsic motivation is an important part of job satisfaction, says Crant. More and more companies are including intrinsic motivation-based surveys in the application process.
Related Article: Motivation Definition in Business
Pay Attention During Hiring Process
Managers cannot influence intrinsic motivation because it is part of someone’s personality. Therefore, Crant encourages managers to pay more attention to intrinsic motivations during the hiring or promotion process.
Work attitude or level of job satisfaction is another determinant of motivation when trying to influence the behavior of others. How much does someone like a certain job? What is your instinctive reaction to the task you do every day?
According to Crant, there is a relationship between job satisfaction and employee performance, which he refers to as “individual job performance”. However, the relationship is weaker than you might expect; the correlation between job satisfaction and job performance is about 30 percent, he says, adding that only about 10 percent of job performance is explained by someone’s job satisfaction.
“The first step towards job satisfaction is productivity,” says Crant. “People who are satisfied at work and love their work certainly tend to perform better than people who don’t like their work.”