Overheard at a professional development seminar:
“Steve (name changed for privacy reasons) is not pulling his weight. I don’t care whether he likes his job or not. He’s just going to have to step up. It’s why we pay him!”
I’m sure this scenario plagues many managers. Every organisation at some point in time has to deal with improving performance of employees.
Over a round of drinks one Friday evening, I conducted a casual survey to find out why people don’t always do the things they are expected to do.
The findings reveal a simple point: most people actually choose what they like to do which is not necessarily what their bosses have asked them to do.
Put simply, many people focus their energies on the jobs they like to do (and perform well in those), and may half-heartedly complete the tasks they do not enjoy (and perform below par).
So if you want to get your team to perform well, a good starting point is to assign jobs, not only based around capacity and expertise but on work preferences. That is, make the work interesting and enjoyable for your employees. Enjoyable work keeps people motivated, and this eventually translates into performance.
An easy way to find out what tasks your employees enjoy doing is by asking them to complete the Team Management Profile. There is also a whole section on work preferences in our e-book The Workplace Pyramid, which we are giving away for free this month.