For decades, Zig Ziglar has motivated and inspired millions of people to be better at whatever they do for a living. His sense of urgency techniques can have a tremendous effect on productivity, and the ability to motivate employees.
Think about your last day at work before you went on your most recent vacation. Didn't you get as much done in that day as you would normally get done in two, three, or even four days? Have you ever considered how this could be used to motivate employees?
Two nights before your vacation, you likely sat down with a piece of paper and listed all of the things that had to get finished the following day-your gottas ("I gotta do this and I gotta..."). Then, you committed to completing them all before you left the office the next day. These principles are essential to motivate employees.
On the morning of the day before your vacation, you arrived at the office on time -maybe even early. No coffee or tea...instead, you headed straight for the first gotta on your list (the sign of a motivated employee). You probably also did things out of order. You took your least favorite task on your list and got it out of the way quickly, instead of having it hanging all day long (the way you normally might have). With that tough one out of the way, you were feeling pretty good, and so you tore into the next task on your list, and then the next one after that. When someone came to chat about last night's game, you politely but firmly informed that person that you were just too busy -and then you got back to business.
As you completed each of your gottas, you felt your energy rising, so that by halfway through the day you were buzzing with a sense of accomplishment that drove your enthusiasm level ever higher. Your obviously energized and enthusiastic demeanor began to motivate employees and colleagues around you. They started to ramp up their efforts and became similarly enthusiastic. The atmosphere in the office got a little extra spark, and this lifted you even further. At the end of the day, you had all of your gottas completed.
Let's have a look at the principles behind this focus, and how you apply it to your employees' performance and implement it in your employee development program.
First, Create a Vision
When your employees' vision gets knocked offline by events around them, they are like $10 billion guided missiles without a target. They can fly around in circles looking pretty impressive, but eventually they're going to run out of fuel and crash and burn. Motivate your employees in an organized way that will make them more productive. Help them envision targets clearly in their heads and then paint it in front of them everyday so that you are maximizing productivity.
Second, Formulate a Set of Goals
Having a great vision is useless unless your employees formulate clear, achievable goals to ensure that their vision becomes reality. They must plot a course to take them from where they are now - a target - with checkpoints that let them know when they have gone off course. Successful employee motivation is rooted in meaningful goal setting.
Third, Make a Commitment
This is the most common stumbling block, even if its victims are used to creating compelling visions and formulating achievable goals - they fail to commit. If your employees have ever made a New Year's resolution they failed to complete, they know what happens to plans that aren't backed by commitment. If there's no commitment then their vision simply isn't compelling enough. Otherwise, the commitment naturally would follow. They know that their vision is right when it has the same sense of urgency. A real commitment will immediately motivate your employees to get them off the ground and in search of their target. Before they spend one more day out of focus, motivate your employees to stop and look carefully at their goals.