June 15, 2021
Performance Management 24 September 2020
How to Maximize Potential Within Employees- Driving Motivation
Hannah Son
motivation, employee, potential, listening, compnay culture,  mentor, networking

Maximizing employee potential and motivation levels should be one of your top priorities. Each employee you bring onto your team should be carefully considered and treated as an investment. If your employees are unmotivated and disgruntled, they are a burden to your company. But what if you could bring out the best in your employees and boost employee motivation and potential? 

Being able to push your employees to their maximum potential will enhance your entire company's potential (not to mention productivity and culture)! Here are 7 ways to help your employees reach their full potential at work:

1. Hire the Right People 

First and foremost, recruit and train the right people! This seems simple and not worth mentioning but more often than not, employers choose the safe choice and end up missing out on great candidates. Pooneh Ramezani, CEO of Dr. Brite, LLC says,

I recommend hiring qualified people that you can trust and delegate tasks to. Think about it, if you hire passionate employees with integrity, you can bring out the best in them by allowing them to work independently in their specific task and watch them bloom. 

I try to hire independent thinkers, always making sure my employees are problem solvers and think outside the box. By praising them and providing small gestures of appreciation (buying lunch, coffee etc.), you can boost their motivation and increase efficiency. This will go a long way and will ensure that your team is always the best in the industry.

Remember that hiring can also be done from within your organization! Sometimes the best candidates are already working for your company in a different capacity. If you have an empty role or gap in your organization, be sure to look at your current employees to see if any of them can be promoted to fill the position or be trained to take over. Be the company that helps them reach their full potential.

2. Improve your Listening and Communication

Let your employees know that they can talk to you when they have issues at work, a bit of empathy will go a long way in showing how much you are invested in your employees. So many issues in the workplace can be solved just by simply listening and as simple as this may sound, many business leaders rarely practice active listening. Brandon Monaghan, Co-Founder of Miracle Brand says,

I have made extra efforts to focus on communicating more with my team on an individual basis, taking into consideration the lack of engagement due to working remotely. I am continuing to listen to my employees and asking for their opinions on how to implement positive changes to make significant improvements to the work-life balance of everyone. 

In addition to direct communicating and listening, I have set up a feedback portal for my employees, which is meant to give them the opportunity to report any comments or concerns without feeling pressure. This also helps create a communication flow where employees can share their work and build trust with one another. Through this, they are able to cultivate stronger and more authentic relationships, both with each other and the company itself. 

Here are four easy tips to improve your listening skills:

1. Give the speaker your full attention: No phones and no side conversations! Make it obvious to the speaker that they have your full attention.

2. Observe your body language: Are you inclined towards the speaker?

3. Don't interrupt: Resist the temptation to interrupt the other while they are speaking.

4. Ask for their opinion: Welcome any questions, comments, concerns, or complaints that they might have.

3. Use Employee Evaluations and Continuous Performance

Employees need to be thoroughly and continuously evaluated - not only at the end of each year or when they are up for a raise. By consistently evaluating your employees, they know what standards are expected of them and they know how they are performing. Evaluations also help people to form mental timelines and goals. Shiv Gupta, CEO of Incrementors Web Solutions shares his advice:

Keep clear expectations and provide your employees with clear achievable goals and make sure there are measurable standards in place to evaluate their performance. 

If you want to discuss the ongoing performance with the employees, discuss it privately, and when one of your employees makes a particularly outstanding presentation, sale, or other notable achievement praise it publically. Set up a series of smaller rewards throughout the year to motivate ongoing performance excellence. 

Building a culture where employees are engaged to perform at their maximum potential requires strong management skills and a consistent process for providing quality feedback. Easier said than done, but recent progress in HR-software designed specifically to address workplace challenges like these is helping significantly. Ultimately, quality feedback is what keeps your employees' heads in the game and can be used to motivate them to their fullest potential.

4. Provide Opportunities for Mentoring and Networking

As a (good) mentor, you’re tasked with helping guide and aid the development of your employee. In this working relationship, you can teach them soft and technical skills, show them how to avoid the pitfalls that you struggled with while you were in their position, and help identify with their struggles. Seeing their mentor as someone who has successfully made it through will motivate any mentee. James Boatwright, CEO of Code Galaxy had this to say:

In my experience, employees do their best work when they feel appreciated and supported. As a leader, it is important to always offer support and resources to help employees improve their skills and grow as a team. Providing learning tools and mentoring can really help boost morale!

Invite your employees to events whether they are community, charity, or networking events. You can’t lead a team without knowing your team on a personal level. Encourage departments to go together, find external learning and network opportunities. It's a chance for your team to grow as well as the company to make more ties with the community. When employees interact with others at these events, it can increase their motivation to be all they can be.

5. Identify Skills and Utilize Them

Assessing individual potential is crucial to bring out the best in anyone. Often times, an unhappy employee is simply a bored one, stuck in an unchallenging and unfulfilling post. Take the time to try to understand your employees, maybe some are innovators, some may be followers or even great team leaders.  Andrew Taylor, Director at Net Lawman recommends using strength assessments as a way to identify employee potential: 

I use CliftonStrengths for my employees so that we can together understand their skills and find ways to use them in a productive way that benefits the company and the individual as well. 

If you can find ways in your employment to ensure satisfaction by utilizing your skills as appropriately as possible and having goals for the future that are tangible and coincide with your natural state of being, you are naturally going to be more motivated and reach your full potential.

Without attempting to identify these traits, you may never find out. Nurture and develop talent in house, this method will allow you to have a pretty good idea of who your future leaders will be. Prospective leaders should also be aware of your intentions to promote them, this will up their motivation and determination. 

6. Leave Room for Creativity

“Creativity inspires, builds emotional commitment, and captures thoughts.  Creativity is a learned, practiced, and disciplined skill.”  

Ultimately, creativity is priceless to your organization. By giving your employees some wiggle room, they will feel trusted and motivated to come up with some great ideas that will impress upper management. Maureen Joseph, Chief People Officer at GoodVets says,

Empower individuals and hold them accountable. Individuals love to find meaning in their work, give them the space to do that, and to be creative with how they operate. But hold them accountable to standards that are important in your company. Listen to what employees want and how they want to grow their skillset. Chances are it will help them and the company as well.

Next time you’re sitting in the board room, have your employees speak their minds through vision boards or draw out ideas. Give them autonomy to pitch something they are passionate about which might help solve your current problem. This will not only help your company culture, but it will also be a great tool for fostering innovative solutions. 

These are just a few ideas that will get you better in tune with your employees which will help maximize employee potential and drive up their motivation levels! For more information on improving employee motivation, schedule a demo with one of our specialists to learn more: