How to Make Your People Passionate About Results

08/15/2014 | Roger and Susie Engelau

It’s a fundamental fact of human nature that most people are looking out for number one.

This is as true among the individuals within your organization as anywhere else: to a large extent, people are fueled by self-interest, the desire to advance their own objectives and dreams.

This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, you can make it work for you and your company rather than against.

One of the signs of a dysfunctional team is an inattention to results.  This happens when what is in people’s self-interest conflicts with the best interests of your company or organization.

The secret is to make sure you connect the two.

Andrew Carnegie put it this way, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision – the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”

In my work as Indiana’s business coach, I spend time working on how to do this with most of my clients. No matter what industry your business is in, here are some simple ways to connect individual success with group success…

For each job, establish the KPI’s, Key Performance Indicators, that move the needle in your organization…and then incentivize based on performance.  Many companies are used to only attaching incentives to the sales and marketing team—but every single position, from administrative assistant to CEO, has a set of tasks and responsibilities that are vitally important to the success overall.  Outline what those responsibilities are.

Sit down with each team member and determine what their goals should be with regard to the KPI’s you’ve established.  A good goal should be difficult enough that it’s a stretch, but not too difficult that it’s discouraging.  Tie bonuses and other compensation to the achievement of these KPI’s.

You can also work with the entire team to create team-wide incentives, so that when the team experiences success, everyone benefits individually.

Finally, post a visible scorecard, like United Way does with the thermometer that depicts how much progress they’ve mad to their annual fundraising goal. Pick 1 or 2 major performance goals for your company and post progress toward them somewhere where all employees can see.

These sorts of initiatives will fuel the passion for detail and attention to results that’ll cause your employees to be as passionate about results as you are.