Five ways to get your people to perform better

Have you had the same experiences as I have when you drive into so-called “service” station to refuel, only to end up filling the tank yourself. Then, when you finally get to the counter you are greeted by that awful accusatory question: “which tank?”. I am always tempted to respond; “did what?” But I don’t, because I am equally certain that subtlety won’t be the attendant’s strongest conversational suit. Then there are those managers who still dole out eggcups in the vain hope that the gesture will somehow effect greater sales. And then in desperation there is the general manager who distributes memos exhorting staff to increase performance and productivity before the bailiff calls. Is there an answer to all this? I believe so. Here briefly, are my five ways to get your people to perform better.

Build certainty
We need to be consistent about our belief in ourselves. Too many people read motivational books or attend motivational seminars only to find that the positive effects of the encounter are short lived. That’s because person’s performance is consistent with the beliefs they hold about themselves, particularly when it comes to generating income or sales. Until personal attitudes change nothing else will. What is required is for people to make permanent changes in their belief system. Few individuals have any real strategy for accomplishing the change because of the power of the sub-conscious mind. The internal hard-drive needs to be reprogrammed.

Feel significant
Organisations should work more on individual belief, leadership and communication skills than on corporate culture. Unless they do, the corporate culture and the organisation itself will never really change. The greatest gift management can bestow on individuals is to make them feel good about themselves. Everyone needs to know that his or her contribution is important to the enterprise. To get individuals to perform at peak requires management to understand what holds individuals back. People then need to be taught how to programme themselves for success. When individuals learn to have unlimited belief in themselves, performance, sales and profits all go through the roof.

Create connections
Learn to build relationships and communicate effectively. This is an area of personal performance that is sadly neglected. Too many individuals still spend time chasing prospects instead of mastering the art and harnessing the power of listening. Listening builds immediate customer empathy. It also enhances understanding of what customers really expect. Being customer centred will increase loyalty and profits.

Grow personally
Personal development has become number one on the agenda of most top companies today. It delivers peak performance. However, its effectiveness is dependent on the individual having balance in their life, the elimination of stress and the realisation of personal and business goals. People who are well-balanced and self-motivated produce results. How would you feel if all the people in your organisation were peak performers?

When you are contributing then you develop the personal growth I mentioned above. Contribution stems from commitment, sense of responsibility and understanding how you can help yourself and others, including your organisation. Confucius, once wrote – “To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”

Challenge yourself, change your habits and accept responsibility for your own future. Only through change can we be certain of improvement in our lives. When we improve, we improve the world around us.

Charles Donoghue APS, FNZIM is an Auckland-based author, performance psychology coach and business consultant. Email: [email protected].

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