Motivation by the Numbers: It Doesn’t Add Up

By September 4, 2015 No Comments

We live in a numbers driven society. Numbers matter; but they’re not the only thing that does. Even though teams, companies, schools, and organizations are driven and judged by the bottom line, the focus can’t solely be on it. What matters most and where the focus should be is with the people who comprise those organizations. Leaders of all teams and organizations should take to this advice. People matter more than numbers, and we’ll explain why this week.

People only work hard if they know you care about them

If your team, group, or organization is only driven by the numbers it won’t last. Motivation fades and numbers will only motivate so far. People are not dumb and they will see through the feeble attempt to show true care and concern. When a group is solely driven and motivated to reach projected numbers without having or realizing a bigger purpose the organization falters. You will lose and the culture will suffer. Culture will gradually deteriorate and become toxic. The best organizations (Google, Apple) are people driven, not numbers driven.

Do you value the people in your organization? Or do you only care about the quarterly reports, stat sheets, and test results? After all, they are the ones who ultimately produce the numbers. If you want real, sustainable success value people over the bottom line. If you do, success will take care of itself, and the numbers will be greater than the projections.

Focus on mentorship and self-improvement and results will come

In order for a culture to thrive people need to feel valued. How do you show people you value them? First and foremost, you need to be visible. Get out and talk to the people who you work with and lead. Talk to your players before and after practice. Get to know people personally and what matters to them. Find out about their families. In doing so, it’s essential to remain consistent. You can’t strike up a conversation with Jim and tell stories, and then proceed to Sally to only say, “Hello.” All people must feel important and valued, not just a select few.

As a leader of your team you must also congratulate others. If you are consistently on them about numbers, meeting quota, or raising game performance you at least must acknowledge when goals are met. Better than that, you should celebrate it. Why should an individual work hard, meet or exceed the goal, only for it to go unnoticed? When people work hard, produce, and exceed expectations they should be celebrated. People shouldn’t only hear from you when something is wrong or when the numbers come out. Be an active mentor the entire time.

Inspire Beyond the Bottom Line

One of your priorities should be to help others find their passion. Help them succeed. Inspire beyond the bottom line numbers. There’s great story of a janitor at one of the NASA buildings. People began to notice how hard this man was working while mopping floors. He was diligent and the building was spotless. Someone passing by asks him, “Why do you work so hard, for the salary a janitor? Why do you do this?” The janitor stopped, paused, and responded by saying, “I’m helping to put man on mars.” You see, this janitor wasn’t motivated by money to do his job. He was driven by a cause and a purpose. The janitor wanted to do his job well so others could focus on theirs. He was a part of something greater than himself.

For lasting motivation and inspiration the purpose has to be more than just making money or meeting quota. It has to be more than that. People have to buy-in and believe they are apart of something greater than themselves. Energize those you lead by selling them that they are helping to make someone else’s life better. It doesn’t matter what field you are in; somehow, someway you are helping to make others’ lives better. Another way to motivate and inspire is through the use of story. Leaders should tell the past stories of success. This will help establish the cultural norms and goals for your organization.

Lastly, be sure to empower those whom you lead. Be sure to educate, inspire, and let people do their job. Do not micromanage. Focus on mentorship, support, and inspiration.

The numbers don’t lie…people are most important and what add up to create lasting success.

What are some effective ways you lead others?

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!

Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization.