In order to get the most from your employees, and from your staff you need to learn and communicate WIIFM. (What’s In It For Me). In order for employees to embrace organizational goals they must view them as their own. To do that they must clearly understand how meeting the goals of the organization is tied to achieving their personal goals.
It is much more difficult to separate personal and professional lives than it was even twenty years ago. Money alone is not the primary motivator but a short-term benefit quickly absorbed and forgotten. With the commonality of the two job household, work is a huge part of personal conversation and thought.
Leaders who take the time and make the effort to understand employee wants and needs, and helps the employee set personal goals that complement organizational goals will find better leadership results very achievable.
Goal setting is not a common practice among most of us. It starts by defining what you want in clear and crisp terms. Most of us have great difficulty in understanding or accepting what we want. Needs are easier to define, I need $500 more per month, I need a new car. Once the need is met the problem goes away and along with it the motivation.
Wants are very difficult to define. If you haven’t tried it you may be surprised. One of the exercises in our Leadership Development program is to develop a “dream inventory”. It’s a list of anything and everything you want to achieve or own or whatever your dreams are. We tell the participants to stop at fifty.
I have seen very few got even ten.
We are programmed to take care of needs and forget about most wants. If you can understand your employees wants and tie the achievement into attainment of organizational goals, you have a long term recipe for leadership results.
WIIFM starts with your personal goals and ties into your professional goals why should it be different with your employees?
Leaders need to encourage goal setting on a personal and well as professional level. Most people don’t have a plan for their lives, they just allow life to happen. They give more thought and planning to a two-week vacation than they do for the most important journey of all the journey through life. If you can help your direct reports understand this and set goals, then have them take it down throughout the organization, how effective do you think that might be?
Explaining your organizational goals so al understand and giving everyone the opportunity to buy-in and develop personal goals that they can achieve through attainment of your goals is a win-win for everyone.