I was talking to a client recently and he was telling me how frustrated he is with his team. They are union and work on commission and their motivation appears to be getting done as quickly as possible rather than making as much commission as possible.

I then asked him a few questions:

  • Exactly how much money are they leaving on the table?
  • Does his team realize exactly how much money they are leaving on the table?
  • Are his team members motivated by money? If not, what is their motivation to come to work each day?

He wasn’t able to answer any of those questions.

It’s very easy for managers to get frustrated with their teams when some things seem like common sense; however, part of a manager’s role is to ensure their teams are educated on these matters and also to know what motivates each individual on the team.

The more clarity around expectations, tied to an individual’s motivations, the more engagement will result.

A conversation could sound like:

Manager: “Did you know that you are literally walking by wads of cash on the ground?  Each time you fail to do xyz, you leave a $2000 wad of cash for someone else to easily pick up and put in their own pocket.”

Employee: “Really? I didn’t know that. That much money?”

Manager: “Yes, and it is easy money – you just need to do xyz. That is what I did and it helped me to get into the role I currently have.”

Employee: “Wow, incredible.”

Manager: “By the way, what gets you really excited to come to work each day? I don’t think I really ever knew”

Employee: “Well I love doing xyz. It feels good to me.”

Manager: “Great. Let’s see how we can get more of that for you to work on.”

While it is vitally important for managers to inform their teams on how to be productive, find out what motivates them, ensure they are adding value to the organization themselves, it is also important for individuals to self-direct and do the same.

Let’s take this conversation to YOU. Are you doing work that makes you feel motivated and engaged?  If not, why?  Are there strengths that you have that you are not tapping into? If so, why not?

It’s easy to “blame” the manager, but as “leaders” (and each of you is a leader) you need to also self-motivate, tap into your strengths and find out what keeps you engaged and adds value to your organization and your own career growth.

Most motivation is not about money – that will get you in the door, but it doesn’t keep you there. Motivation after that is intrinsic – which means it comes from inside of us. Basically, feeling jazzed up about what you are spending most of your hours doing each day.

Let’s go back to leaving money on the table again. Are you maximizing all of the benefits that your organization is offering you? My company offered a plethora of benefits, like a concierge service to do personal things for us, pet insurance, low-cost attorney assistance, stock options and much more. I found out that my team never read through all the HR brochures so they didn’t even know they existed!

Here are a few check-ins for you:

  • Find out all the benefits that your organization is offering you.
  • Are you getting the biggest bonus possible? What can you control in terms of a bonus?
  • Max out your 401K to ensure your company is making the greatest contribution to your retirement.
  • Use all of your vacation each year. You need it to recharge. Also, if you don’t take it and lose it – you are literally losing free money.
  • If there are stock options with your organization, find out how you can participate. This is a great way to increase your package.

“Leave Nothing on the Table.” If you give each day everything you have to give, you will go to sleep each night with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.

Wishing all of you happiness and prosperity. Grab that wad of cash that is sitting there just looking at you!

joanne newborn
Joanne Newborn is CEO & Founder of Newborn Evolution LLC. She is an Executive Leadership Coach and Consultant working with Organizations and Dental Practices around the globe. Her Superpower: Interpreting Senior Leadership’s vision and strategy and translating it to achievable goals to ALL levels of an organization from C-Suite to Middle Management to Individual Contributors. She and her team are Transforming Organizations’ Visions into Results through Leadership Coaching,Training and Consulting. Using a unique blend of Eastern & Western Methodologies in her Coaching practice – she combines hardcore Business Strategy with Jungian Theory and Eastern Philosophy. She has Coached clients on every continent with the exception of Antarctica and has her MBA from Penn State, her ACC from the International Coaching Federation, is a DiSC Certified Practitioner and a DEI Certified Coach. She can be seen speaking at conferences on Leadership around the US and at Universities and Colleges. You can connect with Joanne on LinkedIn or visit her website.

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