Career Concepts


Helping your staff members reach their potential is easier said than done. You want to help them address shortcomings, but you don’t want to make them feel demoralized. Sometimes, employees will need a push in order to grow and develop, but you don’t want to push them right out the door!

Further complicating the issue is the fact that supervisors have very divergent ideas about what truly motivates employees and how to speak to these motivations. Regrettably, some supervisors ending up staying away from the issue altogether. Generally, business leaders look to use a blend of challenging and supporting employees to help them grow. Attaining this equilibrium is never easy, but ultimately, developing employees is a rewarding endeavor.

Below are a few strategies that can help you motivate your staff members to exceed their expectations and yours.

Focus on and Promote Untapped Potential

According to the Pygmalion effect, the performance of employees will act and perform based on the expectations put on them by authority figures. Research has demonstrated this effect in settings ranging from the typical workplace to classroom settings.

All leaders have a significant influence on employee performance simply by virtue of setting and communicating expectations, both verbally and non-verbally. Company leaders can use their words, tone, and body language to have an impact on how employees see themselves. Therefore, when you treat your employees like they are capable of meeting high but achievable standards, they will be much more likely to meet them.

Complacency is the Enemy

There’s a normal tendency for us to be drawn to activities we’re good at doing. The problem happens we get caught doing the same thing over and over because it’s comfortable.

This type of stasis can restrict growth, and a good leader looks to push people outside their comfort zone in a way that’s helpful. Good leaders actively try to find ways their staff members can do things differently in a way that makes them better employees.

Failure is an Opportunity for Learning

Everybody makes the occasional error or falls short of expectations from time to time, and it’s essential for leaders to put those situations in the proper context.

Staff members will do more for a leader who is understanding and who has their back. It’s essential to coach up employees back up following a failure and get them quickly back on the right track having learned a valuable lesson. Talk about mistakes as a learning opportunity and steer clear of being harshly critical. Ensure they realize that failure is an essential part of career development.

Praise Effort, Not Skill

Research indicates an overemphasis on talent can set up employees for failure, as they put too much focus on trying to compensate for shortcomings.

Rather than praising employees’ skill sets, leaders ought to praise their effort and effective thought process. This kind of praise is effective works because sends a signal that hard work is the best way for all employees to get results.

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