Ever notice how some of your employees are always seeking compliments for their performance, but others like to be part of a group and share in the group’s success? Then, of course, there’s always that group of employees in the middle, who are a blend. They like being part of a team, yet they also have a need to be personally recognized for their contributions.
Being in management means you’re in charge of and leading a team, so you want the team to be successful. That’s what you get paid for! What you need to be aware of is how to get all members of the team to perform at their maximum potential. This takes knowing each team member on an individual basis and learning what level of recognition and team involvement motivates him or her.
Why look at each personality type? Research shows that employees will not give their best for financial incentives alone, but they will work harder and with more passion when their needs are met.
Our first type of employee always wants to be measured on individual performance. They want minimal team assignments and want to be rewarded on their own merits. If you provide objective measurements to pair with their job description, these individuals will work hard to exceed expectations. If, however, you place this individual on team-oriented projects, you will probably not have a good team member.
Our third type of employee is the one who always wants to be part of a team. A team atmosphere will usually bring out the best performance in this employee. The employee to watch out for is the middle type who hides in groups. They want to be rewarded based on the group’s successes and will volunteer quickly for those assignments that involve being on a team, but they don’t always carry their weight.
Team players are stellar performers in their own right, and when they’re on a team they seem to bring out the best in others. They do want to be recognized for any individual contribution they make, but they also get a personal sense of accomplishment when helping other team members raise their level of performance.
How do you motivate individuals to get their maximum performance? First, you need to know the needs of your employees. One way to identify their needs is to observe the employees’ behaviors. Do they focus too much on personal payoff? Do they start each conversation by pointing out what they have done lately? Are they self-promotional and overly competitive? If so, you have the first type of employees. They can be productive if given the right work assignments and managed accordingly. Care should be taken that they don’t take an over-commitment of your time.
Another way to identify the type of employee you’re working with is to have candid discussions with the employee during your weekly one-on-ones and during your quarterly evaluation sessions. Most good, hard-working employees want to be shown that you have a true interest in them and their performance, and they’ll be truthful with you as to their needs. When these employees state how much they like being part of a team, they may even reference sports teams they’ve been on. This is a strong indication you have the second type of employee. What needs to be pointed out to this type of employee is yes, you’re looking at team performance, but you also need to emphasize how each individual on the team will be personally evaluated. Maybe point out to this employee that the NBA, WNBA, and NFL all have a world champion team at the end of each season. Yet, each team also has a most valuable player at the end of each season.
A dependable method that can be used to identify employee style is an assessment. A 20- to 30-minute professionally designed assessment can identify which type of employees you have, and what level of group activity they are most comfortable with. The advantage with a formal assessment is that you can receive an instant measurement of employee skills, desires and motivators, and can put plans in place to immediately raise their performance.
By managing correctly, each of the above-mentioned types of employees can be very productive for your company. Knowing which types of employees, you have can create conditions in which they produce their best work, which in turn is continually self-motivating. And, this is your payoff: your employees go home at the end of the day thinking, “This is really a great place to work!”