Lead Employees Based on Motivation Levels

How to Lead Employees: Different Motivation Levels

Employees are all motivated by different things, and one of the most effective leadership methods is to manage based on motivation levels.

To be an effective leader, have one-on-one conversations with each of your employees to discover how they each learn, work, and need to be managed. Ask questions like:

  • How can I be a better manager to you?
  • What types of training would you benefit from?
  • Where do you need more support from me?

There are typically two types of employee motivation levels: high performers and low performers. Each group needs different things out of a leader, and you’re responsible for discovering what they need.

Managing High Performers

High performers regularly go above and beyond without being asked. They’re always looking for the next challenge, and when you give them the next challenge, they hit it out of the park.

It can be easy to ignore high performers because they demand less attention than your low performers, but make sure not to ignore them. Let them know how valuable their contribution to your company is.

High performers are often self-motivated, so work with your employees to set measurable goals and give them regular feedback. Have direct conversations with them to talk about their strengths and what they hope to achieve during their career in your company. Tell them what it will take for them to get to the next level.

Make sure that you provide ample opportunities for growth and development so that your high performers don’t get bored and start looking for a new job.

Managing Low Performers

Low performers are employees who do a good job, but only when they’re encouraged and guided throughout the process.

It can be easy to get frustrated with low performers, but try not to. If a low performer thinks you’re becoming frustrated, they’re more likely to perform poorly.

The likelihood of an employee being a low performer is often less about their motivation level and more about their abilities. Take advantage of teachable moments to boost your employee’s confidence in their ability to perform the job.

Low performers often want clear instructions and goals, so sit down with them to create concrete milestones and a timeline outlining when they need to hit those milestones. Ask them what they need to be successful and how much time they need to complete their tasks and assignments.

If they’re still not able to perform well, consider if the strengths and abilities match the position they’re in, or whether they’d be more successful in a different position.