When I train for triathlons I workout about 8hrs a week on average and I wake up at 6am every Sunday to do a 3hr swim, bike and run workout. Am I crazy? What motivates me to do this?
I uncovered 3 things that keep me motivated and can be used for employee motivation and employee performance reviews:
1. My training schedule- I break up my training into 3 x 4 month blocks and have a description of the workout for each day. My training schedule tells me exactly what I am expected to do.
Just like athletes, employees need measurable goals to strive for. Your employees will be more productive if they know what is important to the business and what is expected of them.
2. Tracking my progress- When I workout I always track my time, speed, and distance. This gives me a benchmark and lets me know how I am improving. It helps me answer the question “Am I on track?” If I am, I keep the course and if I’m not, I talk to my coach to make adjustments in my training.
Do your employees know how they are doing? Can your employees track their progress? The more your employees know about their performance the more they can do to control it. In addition, employees want to track their feedback on an ongoing basis and not once a year or every 6 months.
3. The race- At the end of the four month training block I compete in a Triathlon. This is the reason for all my hard work. This is what makes getting up at 6am every Sunday worth it, and I am not a morning person. Competing in races and crossing the finish line gives me a strong sense of accomplishment and motivates me to do it again, but next time even better!
However competing in a race without training and tracking my progress would have the opposite effect. It would be stressful, painful and just an overall bad experience. Sounds like what employees think about the traditional performance review.
It will be a much more productive and motivating experience if employees know where they stand before they go into their performance review. Just like I know how I am going to do in a race before it even starts.
Treat your employees like triathletes and watch their performance soar.