Help Your Employees Reach Their Potential


Employees are truly the greatest asset in any company and helping them to reach their full potential can start with letting them know they’re valuable to the business.  Using rewards, awards and recognition with a set of goals and established expectations will motivate employees to be their best.  Having engaged and excited employees who feel good about what they are doing is one of the best practices to make a business successful.


The first step in measuring success is knowing what success looks like by defining and sharing what is expected.  This provides individuals and teams a target to achieve and understand what it takes to meet and exceed expectations.  Sports, grades, stocks, and businesses are all driven by numbers that gauge performance, the same principal applies for managing people.  Let the numbers and trends monitor how employees perform.  There is an old saying that goes “measure it and it will get better”.  This is to say that if you place emphasis on a certain area, it will improve because of the attention to the metric.  It is also important to hold everyone accountable and support them in the roles they play in their success and growth.  Instilling the idea that a team wins and loses together.


Unfortunately, some Managers will tell you that you need to improve in a certain area but may not tell you how to improve.  When improvement is needed, have steps in place that when met will achieve the goal.  These improvement plans should be incremental and attainable milestones, or they may cause more harm than good. If improvement plans are too monumental, they may deflate and demoralize an employee.  Through these small steps and victories, over a remarkably short period of time, major improvements can be seen in the employee’s performance.  As a Manager, don’t forget that each individual employee responds differently to the message that improvement is needed.  Tailor the message, goals and expectations for the individual to help them be successful.  This fosters an environment of support and continuous improvement that motivates employees to strive to be better.


Is there an employee that wants to feel like their contributions have no value?  Recognize that efforts and achievements of employees motivates them to work harder.  Most individual are motivated by fear, money, and recognition.  Keep this in mind when developing programs to celebrate and reward accomplishments.  Ensure that any incentives are aligned with corporate goals, customer expectations, and providing value to the clients.  Unachievable incentives can be counterproductive, make them hard and attainable by those who work hard.  If everyone is hitting the goals and incentives, question if you are setting the expectations high enough and if no one is reaching them, they may be too high.  Through evaluating this process, a company can continue to motivate employees by pushing them to reach these incentives without being impossible or unattainable.  With incentives and awards, you need to carefully consider frequency of the recognition based on the nature of the work to determine how often to award them.  For instance, in a high-volume transactional environment, a weekly incentive may be appropriate, where with longer term projects, quarterly or annual rewards may be better suited.  Do you believe that pay and salary is all you need to reward your employees? Don’t underestimate the value of celebrating and rewarding successes and achievements.  Recognition does not always need to be monetary, consider laminated certificates, trophies, team lunches, or even lunch with the boss.

Back to All Articles