It’s an ordeal every entrepreneur faces – The struggle of getting proactive employees, The struggle of getting an employee who goes over and beyond and the struggle of getting an employee who works with passion and energy.
The conundrum of having a genius on the team
A genius, as you know is a person who demonstrates exceptional intellectual ability, is creative and an achiever. Simply put, a genius is someone who is open to experiences, change, comes up with problems to find solutions and more importantly looks to create and execute ideas.
Isn’t having geniuses on the team a sure shot way to company’s success? It is, but finding the right candidate itself is a nightmare so there is definitely no sure shot way to get geniuses inside the company. It’s a problem that most entrepreneurs like you face :
- How to get employees to deliver amazing performance?
- How to get employees to take responsibilities?
- How do I get employees to interact with clients the way I do?
- How do I get employees to come up with solutions and not just issues?
If we can’t get geniuses, we do the next best thing – Create them.
What is the push that makes super performers?
To address the problem, we need to understand the science of what makes a person deliver exceptional performance.
I have a friend who is in her early thirties. She works as a lawyer. That’s her day job. By evening and on weekends she is a fashion blogger. As a lawyer, she is doing exceptionally well. She earns a figure of seven digits and lives a comfortable life. Finance is not an area of stress for her, yet she runs a blog as a side business. She invests all her free time in this endeavor. Considering that as a lawyer her job is demanding and stressful, anyone would think that weekends would be the time for her to relax and unwind. Instead, she concentrates on growing her blog and increasing her influence in the community. With all her efforts, she has taken her fashion blog to the next level and has become one of the top bloggers.
What makes her pursue blogging? What makes her so devoted?
This push, that we call motivation, is intrinsic. She is excited about her work, she feels jubilant when she completes an article and feels enthusiastic when she clicks and edits pictures. There is no one who pushes her to finish a post by a particular time or to increase her connections or to market her work on social media yet, she does it on her own will and creates magic. She spectacularly performs by setting goals for herself and gets energized by triumphing over challenges.
On the other hand, a nurse at a hospital may dislike her job, but ensures that she performs her job perfectly, because she knows one small error may lead to lot of complications. She understands her job is important. Moreover, she also needs the pay-cheque that comes every month. This pushes her to complete her work as per the set standards – this kind of motivation to do work is called as extrinsic autonomous motivation.
The backdrop technique
There are very few individuals who are intrinsically motivated. Moreover, people with intrinsic motivation also need regular triggers that pushes them to achieve their set goals. This means that the only way to get people motivated in the work-space is by hacking the extrinsic autonomous motivation. It will make people deliver high level of performance. We have to design the work environment in such a way that it motivates employees to perform with passion and energy. I call this technique – the backdrop technique.
In the backdrop technique – you create an environment – a work-space, that encourages people to take- up challenges and execute their work with enthusiasm and energy.
How to use the backdrop technique?
This technique comprises of 3 Cs. Research shows that people are motivated to perform when
- They think they are competent
- They are given the context of the work &
- When there is a sense of community & social interaction in the team.
Individuals get motivated and can give you jaw dropping results if they feel competent to do a job. To make them feel competent, assign them work that matches their strength. Competency can be shown through continuous rewards and recognition. Recognition is a trigger that provokes an individual to repeat the behavior, perform better and makes them feel more competent. Recognize employees regularly to make them self competent.
People are motivated when they understand the context behind the work and are not micro managed by their managers. When employees understand how their actions affect the final outcome, what is the purpose behind their work, how their goals are related to the company’s vision and understand their work design clearly – there will be a change in their behavior and you will see them work with passion and energy. Micro management and constant interference will lead to a toxic work environment. Give them autonomy to operate independently, establish context of work and you will see a staggering change in your team’s performance.
We are social beings. We crave social interactions. Our motivation levels are high when we have people we like around us. Create a sense of community in the company to increase levels of motivation. Community is where there is no politics, colleagues become friends, team members help each other out and more importantly they take a bite together. With a strong sense of community you will see a miraculous change in performance and attitude of people.
Don’t just have a dream
Create a team of genius talents by using the backdrop technique. When you have an environment that supports extrinsic autonomous motivation you will see a whopping change in your company.
So, Don’t just have a dream. create legends of talent. Let them know, they are what they are because of you, you created them and for that they will always be with you.