Dan Pink has summarized decades of research into 4 simple questions that every manager should ask himself or herself:
- Are you paying people fairly?
If employees believe they are NOT being compensated fairly then they will either vote with their feet or perform at a minimal level just enough to not draw attention to their behavior.
My Takeaway: Pay people fairly then you can take the issue of money off the table.
- Am I providing sufficient autonomy or room for self-direction?
If you mandate processes that take away individual decision-making then you have minimized employee creativity and increased the level of oversight that you must now provide.
My Takeaway: Mandate deliverables but let people manage how they accomplish needed outcomes whenever possible.
- Am I allowing people to make progress?
If there are few opportunities for employees to learn new and different things then they will eventually stagnate and boredom will set in.
My Takeaway: It is almost impossible to motivate an employee who has become bored with their job.
- Do my employees understand why we do what we do?
Employees need to know how their work achieves the Mission, Vision or Goals of a company if you want them to be invested in driving results.
My Takeaway: Employees want to feel good about their work and take pride in their accomplishments. They also need to know that what they do for the organization makes a difference.