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5 Tips for Motivating Employees to Exceed Your Expectations.

Updated: 5 days ago

The key to effectively running a profitable business is motivating employees to perform their roles at a high level. For employees to perform at their best, they must be intrinsically motivated. Intrinsic motivation comes from understanding who they are, who they want to be, and how their current role can help them close the gap. Finding intrinsic motivation is a deeply personal process. Still, it can be assisted by leaders that take the time to understand employees' goals and help them to see how their goals can be accomplished within their organization. Leaders that help employees identify how their work connects to their vision for the future can create higher levels of commitment and personal accountability. Higher levels of commitment and accountability will lead to employees working hard to accomplish company objectives because they understand how their success is linked to the company's success. Former MLB Coach Yoga Berra once said, "If you know where you're going, it's a lot easier to get there." This is as true in business as it is in baseball. When you help your employees develop a clear vision of where your company is going and the benefit they will receive from excelling at their role, you create an environment where employees want to thrive because they know they will win, as the company wins.

Motivated Employee handing a customer a coffee
Be clear on the company's mission and vision.

The first step is ensuring employees understand your business's vision and mission. This understanding needs to be clear, aspirational, and values-based. Managers often view vision and mission statements as empty words that do not provide much value to the day-to-day operations of a business. This could not be further from the truth. Vision Statements offer employees a picture of what a company wants to be. At the same time, a mission statement details why the work that is being done is essential. By providing your employees with the what and the why of the company existing, they can better find purpose in their work within the company. Employees' commitment and motivation are highest when their vision for the future and purpose in working align with the company's needs. By consistently communicating the company's vision and mission statement, managers can help employees understand how central both are to everything the company does. This lays the foundation for the employee to connect the dots between their role and the company's overall success.

Gain Commitment.

Once a manager has helped employees understand the company's vision and mission, their next job is to gain employees' commitment to their role within the organization. Gaining employees' commitment transfers the burden of accountability from the manager to the employee. When employees are committed to doing a task, they are more likely to show initiative, seek help, and require less follow-up from their manager. Gaining commitment is essential because commitment is the foundation for accountability. Accountability is an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions. People of character generally will only accept responsibility for things that they believe they can accomplish. Also, once someone commits to an action, they are more likely to follow through and honor their commitment. By soliciting commitments from an employee, you gain awareness of the employee's belief in their ability to complete a task and their word to put their best effort into achieving it.

Secure Resources.

After gaining commitment, a manager should seek to understand what resources employees need to complete the task. If the employees are going to complete the task for the first time, the help they need might be coaching or training. A manager should work with the employees to identify the resources required to complete the job. Aligning the amount of time, money, materials, technology, people, or other resources upfront can prevent future frustration, conflict, and delays. By identifying and securing the resources necessary to complete the task upfront, the manager can better position the employee for success.

Monitor Performance.

The manager and employee must establish a routine for discussing the employee's relationship with the company and their performance. By defining periodic moments to pause and review actions and results, both parties have certainty that they will be able to discuss

  • How is the employee performing compared to expectations?

  • How does the employee's current work align with their personal goals?

  • What additional training or support does the employee need?

  • If any changes need to be made to current roles or responsibilities?

  • Ways to improve communication, partnership, and collaboration between employees and other stakeholders associated with the company.

During these meetings, the manager and employee should review previous commitments to ensure that both parties follow through on the previously communicated actions. If either party fails to meet prior commitments, a resolution should be found to adjust expectations or provide additional resources or support.

2-Way Feedback.

During the progress check-ins, both the manager and employee should have the opportunity to provide each other with feedback. Managers often see check-in meetings as a way to communicate expectations and provide feedback. While this is one of the primary reasons for check-ins, healthy relationships require mutual benefit. Employees should have time to voice concerns or give feedback on work conditions, goals, organizational culture, and management practices. Encouraging employees to be candid about their wants and needs can help to strengthen relationships and remove leadership blind spots. By providing a space for employees to voice their thoughts and concerns, managers can better understand the employees' work and what might be getting in the way of their productivity. With this information, the manager can better support the employees in finding solutions that help the employees and the company perform at higher levels.


Employees join companies to satisfy their wants and needs. Leaders who can help employees envision how their wants and needs can be fulfilled through work can create employee loyalty and commitment. Committed employees will do everything within their power to support the success of an organization. To improve your employees' productivity and effectiveness, start by understanding why they're working for you. Then, help them see how their commitment to bringing the company's vision and mission to life will bring them closer to achieving their goals.