Don’t Ever Motivate Your Workers. Ever.

_RDL9185 LR  From the desk of Kamahl Barhoush.

In the ever quickening pace of the modern workplace, our workers seem to feel overloaded with responsibility, are stressed into underperformance and suffering from ‘presenteeism’ more and more.

Essentially, they’re at work, but they’re really not at ‘work’.

The interesting irony with this, is the fact that employers are paying more than ever before, have perks and privileges for employees above and beyond any wage standard and at the same time, those same employers feel like they can’t get any more performance from their team even though they’ve done “Everything for them”.

Then I get the call.

Kam: “Barefoot Business, this is Kamahl”.

Prospect: “Hey, I heard you’re really great at motivating teams, can you motivate my team?”

Kam: “Nope”

As you can imagine, this scratches a record.

While there is a very interesting and thought provoking psychology around the overuse, and uselessness of motivation, I’ll attempt to summarise the 2-300 hours I’ve spent studying this phenomenon into 3 words.

It’s short term.

Imagine you’ve been eating junk food every meal for 5 years, while reading health books.

You know deep down that what you’re eating isn’t serving you, and you try and try different strategies (eating the same shitty foods at different times, or eating them while standing instead of sitting, or maybe even skipping one meal of crap and having a double hit at the next meal).

And even though you have the resources (health books) at hand, and you know it’s what you need to be doing, no-one has shown you how to actually IMPLEMENT your new learnings (the 2nd stage of mastery).

So what do you do?

Typically, like 97% of overweight people who eat crap foods but know better, they go and get themselves MOTIVATED.

They turn to page 38 of the health book, make the smoothie listed, chew it down with a grimace (the smirk on the face grimace, not the purple, obese spokesperson from McDonalds Grimace).

This takes place for 5 days (the ACTUAL average health kick length of the obese).

Then its on the scales, to read the number they THINK is important, and, when it doesn’t add up, they delve even deeper into the spiral of poor habits that hurt them even more.

Most businesses I work with have suffered the same (some very small businesses, and some turning over $200m+ and everything in between).

They over-compensate their workers before performance is proven (feeding their business burgers and fries).

Their team goes well for a while, but overall they are slowly going backwards in performance.

They say “we need more stuff… pay us more and we’ll work harder for you”, so the employer goes to his health books (his business books on motivation or on what happens in the Google office), and makes a smoothie.

This time, the smoothie is a weekend away for everyone who makes target.

You’re beginning to see the issue right?

What’s really happening here, is that staff who are paid to perform (i.e. make target), are now being compensated above what they are already compensated for to do the same job they had been paid to do in the first place.

“I’ll pay you $100k to make target.” says the employer

They miss target.

They miss it again.

You sweeten the deal “Make target and its a weekend away… hooray”

They make target for the extra carrot.

Here’s the killer: the next month, they don’t even attempt to make target because “Why should I… we don’t even get a holiday if we do”.

Coming from the most sincere possible place, the employer inadvertently kills his culture of excellence.

He picked a smoothie from the book, rather than first learning why we should drink smoothies, then how, then when.

The great General Sun Tzu explains this well:

“All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.

So calling on someone to help motivate your team is akin to asking someone to pick a random smoothie for you (because you’ve picked 5 before and they haven’t worked).

The key to long-term, sustainable growth and productivity, is through first developing your ‘Environment Of Excellence’ (coincidently the first of our 4 pillars at barefoot).

More than just culture.

Every business has culture.  Every. Single. One.

That doesn’t mean it’s a great culture of productivity and accountability.

So what is the first step forward?

Firstly, if you are going to call me, say something like “Hey Kam, not sure what’s going on but we need to take a solid look at our organisation to get back to the growth that we know we can achieve” – NOW we have something to talk about.

What I would do in that conversation is firstly get a clear picture of where your business is currently at.

To go somewhere, I first must know exactly where I’m starting from.

There’s no use me using a map to plan a yachting trip to Tahiti if I don’t know where my starting position is.

We have developed a sensational tool to give you these Optix into the state of affairs in your business.

It’s called the 60-Point Diagnostic and you can access it here free.

Yes it’s 60-points.

Yes you have to make time to sit down and do it completely (or make time to enjoy an early, unplanned retirement from your business – your choice).

Once you have completed the 60-Point Diagnostic, you’ll have a clear vision of your current business.

A screenshot of what’s happening right now.

I want you to have it for free because its THAT important.

We’re even going to follow it up with a 15 minute call to make sure you really understand your results… this is the IMPLEMENTATION phase that is so important.

Then we’re going to recommend coaching.

I don’t care if it’s with our team, or another company all together.  You simply MUST have a coach.

Like the best athletes in the world are surrounded with specialist coaches, so too are the best businesses.

If your business is not a good fit for us, we’ll introduce you to some other great coaches who we think could really help you (no kick-backs for us, I simply believe in coaching that much).

We have a huge network and we’re not afraid to use it!

I’m a professional business coach… and I have more than 1 coach myself!

Don’t use the tool if you don’t want to implement (it’ll just be a smoothie for your business).

Use the 60-Point Diagnostic if you’re awesome and you want to see your team kill it in the marketplace!

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