Training doesn't work, unless your people poeple do.

Training doesn't work, unless your people poeple do.
February 26, 2024

A quick game of semantics: Is it possible for managers to motivate their people or just keep from demotivating them? We often believe it is our job as managers to fix our people rather than create a culture where they want to fix themselves. Don Haskins (the basketball coach) said it best. “You cannot put greatness into a player. You can only get it out.” Our research indicates many managers do more to demotivate their people than motivate them. Your job as a manager is not to motivate your people but to empower them to motivate themselves.

Another extraordinary basketball coach, John Wooden, said, “All who may perform less important tasks will not feel important unless you, the leader, teach them they are valued and explain how their contribution helps the company as a whole. Individuals who feel they don’t matter will perform their jobs as if they don’t count.”

People underperform for one of six reasons:

  • Lack of knowledge or skill deficiencies
  • Attitude, motivational problems
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Fear of taking initiative
  • Permission seeking
  • They don’t know what is expected

To improve performance, you must identify the reason before considering possible solutions.

  • Proper training and education to improve knowledge and skills
  • A motivational environment to improve attitude, provide appropriate incentives and recognition
  • Supportive supervision to build confidence
  • Freedom to err to empower people to take the initiative
  • Freedom to act by removing obstacles that impede performance
  • Clear goals and objectives - mutual agreement
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