Employees are productive when they have the necessary support, proper abilities, and motivation. We will look at each component individually:
- Support: Do your employees have appropriate resources to be productive? Is there enough time, money, and equipment to perform the tasks? Asking a lumberjack to drop a tree would be impossible if given only a pocketknife. Equally import is the employees perception of support, does that employee believe he possess required support (software, hardware, access, etc)?
- Ability: Is the level of required performance within the ability of the performer? Is the goal honestly attainable by the employee or are you expecting a level of unattainable performance? It is not reasonable to assign the human genome project to the office secretary.
- Motivation: An employee with abundant support and dazzling ability with do very little unless motivated. There are many models and theories regarding motivation ranging from financial, social, relational, etc. I am convinced goals are the most effective means for motivation
- Expectancy - If I work, I will succeed. Also called self-efficacy, this is a belief held by the employee that they can accomplish the goal. A lack of expectancy can be addressed in multiple ways such as enactive mastery (progressive small goals to build confidence), modeling (matching the employee with a role model), or peer motivation (co-workers can accomplish the tasks).
- Instrumentality - There is some reward. This reward does not have to be financial compensation but rather could be recognition, a successful project launch, a promotion, Winning the presidents acknowledgment award for increasing revenue, etc.
- Valence - A belief held by the employee that the reward is worth it.
Superior performance is achieved when support and ability is pared with a high level of motivation. Motivation alone without actual ability or support leads to frustrated employee. Similarly support and motivation without ability is a chasing after the wind.
Do you agree?