15 Ways To Get A-Level Skills And Work Ethic From Your Whole Team

15 Ways To Get A-Level Skills And Work Ethic From Your Whole Team

Written by Expert Panel, Forbes Coaches Council (including Manex President & CEO Gene Russell)

Reposted with Permission — Originally on Forbes.com 

In an ideal world, all of your employees have a strong work ethic and a continuous desire to develop their skills. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the reality. You can’t force your employees to want to improve their work ethic or skills—but you can try to encourage them to do so.

To help you, we asked a panel of Forbes Coaches Council members to share their tips on guiding C- or B-level employees to reach A-level skills and work ethics, even when they may not be motivated to do so. Their best answers are below.

1. Match Strengths And Values To The Role

If someone isn’t motivated to improve or interested in the work, perhaps they’re not in a role that is the best fit for their skill set. Rewards can work to a point, but at the end of the day, matching the role to the person’s strengths and core values will take you further than motivational tips. Learn more about what excites them. Where do they excel? Make a match between person and role. – Laura MaloneyADISA

2. Demonstrate Authentic Concern For The Employee 

You can’t fake authenticity. You must demonstrate a real concern for the individual if you hope to influence or even help motivate action toward positive outcomes. You have to earn and engender trust to help people achieve and rise to their personal best. They must believe that you care before they trust your leadership. – Jorge GutierrezBMOC Group

3. Provide Coaching And Appropriate Feedback

Generally speaking, positive feedback can be used with employees who are interested in the job or task. Employees who are not interested are best coached with negative feedback and consequences, as they fear failure more than wanting success. Fear of failure or loss is a large influencer in human behavior. Positive stroking doesn’t work for everyone. Learn how to use these tools correctly. – Gene RussellManex Consulting

4. Spark Their Curiosity 

The spark to motivation and drive is curiosity. When employees are allowed to develop their curiosity and explore areas that make them engaged, it leads to a stronger work ethic. Leaders can encourage communication by allowing questions and avoiding status quo thinking. If everyone is always in agreement in meetings, that is a big sign that there is a problem with curiosity. – Dr. Diane HamiltonTonerra

5. Show Appreciation For Your Employees 

Human nature is our friend when trying to move second-tier staff members to better performance. Instead of criticism, use praise and appreciation. As counterintuitive as it may seem, praise shows you are watching, that you care and that you notice when things go well. Those who receive praise from higher-ups will want more and, by stepping up their game, they will get it. It’s how we are wired! – Mitch RussoMindful Guidance, LLC

6. Cater To Their Perceptions Of Opportunity And Risk

Some people want independence, control and need results. Others want creative freedom, recognition and need approval. Some want a slower pace, predictability and need security in relationships. Others want information, time to assess and need to make the right decision. Everything we ask people to do has opportunity and risk for them. We need to learn both to meet their needs to get their best. – Jason KiesauJK Leadership and Oasis, A Paychex Company

7. Offer The Next Best Step To Grow

B and C players abound, and improving the level of your team depends upon those players getting better. Not all want to. Here’s how to grow those who want to get better: Simply offer them their next best step to grow into their talent, their role or their team. You might offer a project outside of work (e.g. run a marathon or work at a charity) as a place for them to get better. – John HittlerEvoking Genius

8. Create Specific Development Plans 

Companies must invest in offering workers tailored development plans to drive performance. Development assessments provide employers insight into competencies, behaviors, values and thinking styles of their individual talent. Using these development tools provide a detailed report and plan to give managers a tangible tool to use for developing the skill sets and motivation of each individual. – Kathi Graham-LevissXBInsight, Inc.

9. Gently Remind Them Of The Negative Consequences 

Though considered valuable, motivation is not necessarily a requirement in increasing employee performance. Another equally if not more important factor is the natural instinct of survival: the need to “survive,” i.e. remain employed or be employable, can have the same effect. Though it is controversial and should not be the first go-to solution, it should be considered an available option. – Kamyar ShahWorld Consulting Group

10. Have An Open Discussion About Work Ethic

Working with leaders all over the world, I have noticed that their definition of work ethic differs across various industries. For example, there are companies where staying long hours seems to be the sign of poor organization skills. Others perceive it as hard work. To be sure that you and your team are on the same page, discuss it openly and compare the findings with your company standards. – Inga BielińskaInga Bielinska Coaching Consulting Mentoring 

11. Engage Employees In How To Reach Goals

When a leader engages an employee’s opinion on how to reach the goals, as well as effectively aligns their skills in goal achievement, they can often increase productivity. This is because employees have more buy-in when asked their opinion and more self-esteem when their skills are utilized. This is in contrast to managers who give employees tasks. – Susan K. WehrleyBIZremedies

12. Find Out Why They’re Not Motivated

Find out why the employees are not motivated. Everyone wants to feel like their voice is being heard. Does the employee want to move out of the department or feel like their skills are not being utilized in the department? Having candid conversations will help managers pinpoint how to help with career development. Letting your employees know you care about their growth will motivate them. – Katrina BrittinghamVentureReady LLC

13. Change Their Negative Memorized Emotions

Unless a person struggles with low self-esteem, most people appreciate compliments. Leaders can use compliments to encourage employees who have low self-esteem. If an employee struggles with low self-esteem, it can affect how they view themselves and their world of work. Changing how they feel about themselves when complimented could over time create new memorized positive emotions. – J. Ibeh AgbanyimFocused Vision Consulting, LLC

14. Offer Positive ‘Nudges’ Toward Better Behaviors

Ensure your performance reviews are specific about which behaviors to hone. Then, craft personalized messages that suggest ways to include the new behavior in scheduled activities. For example, “Hi Alex, in today’s meeting you could encourage collaboration by asking quiet participants what ideas they have on an agenda item, and get group reactions.” In the next one-on-one, get Alex’s feedback. – Amie DeveroAmie Devero Coaching & Consulting

15. Show Them How Their Role Fits Into The Larger Vision

Browbeating doesn’t make accountability; it only makes compliance. To get someone to want to raise their game, they have to see how they play into the bigger picture. Think of the old story: Are you a bricklayer or a cathedral builder? Which one works harder and better? The one who sees the vision and wants to be a part of it. Why is your employee important? How are they part of your vision? – Sandi MitchellAPEX Leadership Mastery

2019-08-05T21:23:46+00:00

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