Here is an acronym that summarizes the key success factors for motivating professionals:
SUCCESS: People need successes to feel good about themselves and their work. Make sure there are small things that even the worst performer has a chance to succeed at. And then “catch them doing something good” and praise them. Your primary responsibility is to support your staff to succeed.
LEARNING: If a person is not interested in and motivated by learning, and by opportunities to learn, then they were probably not a good hire. Give your staff chances to grow. If you are creative, you will see learning opportunities everywhere, in everything.
ACCURATE FEEDBACK: You owe this to each person on your staff. Separate emotion from fact. Separate actions and behaviors from person/identity. When someone makes a mistake, tell them. When they do something well, tell them. Do not let anything go. Be fair, precise, frequent, and helpful in providing feedback.
PRAISE: Everyone needs praise. A study found that people need 5 times as much positive feedback as criticism to achieve their best performance. Think about that. If you are not in the habit of praising people frequently, change. (Remember, only praise accurately!)
What do you think? Have you discovered other key success factors for motivation? I'd love to know your thoughts! Please post your comments.