Yes, your executive team wants to develop and retain talented employees. However, they also want double-digit growth and increased profit margins. So how do you motivate and engage your workforce in a useful way while also staying laser-focused on your organisation’s goals and objectives?

MYTH #1: Talented workers don’t need to be managed

While autonomy is appreciated and necessary, in order for employees to flourish you need to keep motivation high. As leaders, we know that our high-performing employees crave more work and more challenges in order to keep their full engagement at work. Nothing motivates high-performing workers like giving them more opportunities to grow. You’re top players don’t want to be micro-managed, but they do need their efforts recognised, and they need to know why you chose them to take on the big challenges. If you take a completely hands off approach you’re likely to find their performance dwindling.

MYTH #2: Employees only respond to positive feedback

Employees want praise when things go well. How you choose to recognise and reward your top performers is a strategic choice that should be aligned with your corporate values, it’s important to commend those workers who go above and beyond. When things aren’t going well, people want transparency, a dose of radical candor, and to be told directly, rather than hearing it through the grape vine. That’s why managers ought to have ongoing performance discussions instead of a simplistic annual review. Giving and receiving feedback becomes a lot easier when it’s done regularly.

MYTH #3: Motivation comes from management

The science of motivation is more than just the science of productivity. It’s the stuff of life. Science has a lot to say about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Some of it is junk and some of it rooted in a hierarchy of human needs. Scattered in the cloudy waters of behavioral science, we’ve learned that meaningful work and purpose are important motivators for high-performing workers. It’s important to fight the myth that managers and leaders are solely responsible for creating a culture of happiness and innovation. We work in communities, and we are all responsible for creating cultures that motivate and spur innovation.

Could you use a hand motivating your employees? We’ve got lots of strategies to help with this, check out our leadership development programs.