He leaned forward across the table at the coffee shop with a mixture of frustration and concern on his face as he said it, “I don’t understand why my people don’t care about their work the way I do. I don’t feel like they really give 100% unless I am around.”

My friend is not the only one to voice this problem. Other business owners I’ve heard from recently expressed the same challenge in different words, “I know he has the capacity to do the job really well—I’ve seen him do it. In some ways, he’s better at it than I am! But he just won’t step up.” Experts call it “employee engagement,” managers call it commitment or passion or taking pride in your work, but the latest studies show that up to 70% of employees don’t have it, and it’s costing you money every day.

Who is to blame for employees who won’t “just do their jobs”? Take a deep breath, because the culprit could be you.

While it’s true that we are all responsible for our own attitudes, leaders have a tremendous influence on the attitudes of their followers. Leadership has been called the art of “getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it” (Eisenhower). The more you understand what your employees really want, the better you will be able to influence and inspire them to give their best efforts (hint: it’s not always about the money).

Motivational psychology says that all human beings are motivated by a varying combination of six driving forces. When you link an employee’s work to her strongest motivators, you tap into an internal power source that drives extra effort.

If you’re reading the hireMAX newsletter, you probably already use assessments to pre-screen, qualify, and/or develop your employees. It could be that the secret to unlocking greater engagement and performance from your people is already on your hard drive.

One of the ways hireMAX helps create “long-term employment solutions” is by maximizing the performance of the people you already have—yes, those same people whom you wish would just do their jobs. We can help you get the most out of your people investment and their assessments by tying job rewards to their internal motivators.

So go ahead, pull that assessment report up on your screen and scroll to the “Motivators” section. Consider what your employees really want, what is important to them, what drives them into action. And then think about how you could tweak their job description or rewards to access that drive.

If you need an expert opinion, we are a phone call (888-251-7606) or email away. Or, if you don’t have a “Motivators” section in your reports, email us for a complimentary assessment of an employee you’d like to understand and motivate. We’ll get on the phone with you to walk you through it. Our mission is serving you!

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Dr. Shero believes that leadership can be learned and that the best organizations intentionally develop leadership at every level. Leaders have the privilege of influencing other human lives for the better. That's why Phillip cares so much about learning to lead well and helping others do the same.

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