How to keep high-performing professionals motivated

Photo by Antonio Janeski on Unsplash

Before talking about how to motivate people, let’s take a look at my concept of motivation:

Motivation is the willingness to strive as hard as it takes to achieve incredible results that directly benefit the people around you, the company as a whole and yourself.

High-performing professionals are looking for real challenges, with realistic results that depend rather on their own efforts. They will not neglect their energies while advancing towards the goal, even though baby-steps. However, some conditions are needed for them to keep engaged in doing their best:

1. Forward thinking

Besides having clear team and company objectives, high-performing professionals need to be encouraged and be free to identify opportunities on their own. They naturally think “out of the box”, therefore these opportunities can be since collaborating with a team what has nothing to do with their goals at first, until creating a completely different product that meets a newly identified customer needs.

Being able to share their ideas and collaborate with the ideas of people around them makes high-performing professionals project themselves within the company, constantly looking for problems or contributing to their colleagues’ problems.

High-performing professionals need to be convinced that the company is making progress and that this drive creates opportunities to be explored, where their actions can be the difference between the company be successful or not.

2. Participation in team’s and company’s evolution

Once the scenarios that need to be explored in the future are identified, high-performing professionals need to see themselves present in this future. It is not necessary to state often they are needed in the future of the company, because they see the changes which make the company evolve as part of their own responsibility, effort and collaboration.

The company must prepare an environment where these professionals can put in place their plans to take advantage of those opportunities that were previously identified and, at the same time, to evaluate the results of these efforts, working towards the direction that the business objectives are always understandable and your needs are met at the best.

3. Visible and measurable results

Let’s keep realistic: Professionals won’t work continuously without seeing the impacts of their efforts, let alone the high performer ones.

It’s required to establish cycles that begin by identifying the opportunities, outlining the action plan, defining how to measure the results and also what are the expected results. Later on, these professionals should have sufficient autonomy to execute or monitor the execution of the plan.

After measuring the actual obtained results and comparing them with the previously defined expected results, it’s possible to say if the implementation of the plan was successful. Even when the results are not positive, it’s possible to extract some learning.

Anyway, due to this cycle has been finished, these professionals can look for new opportunities again, using the learning of previous cycles, remaining focused on the future and idealizing what their participation will be.

4. Personal growth

With visible and measurable results, it’s possible to assess their progress and reward them for the benefits their efforts have brought to the company.

This reward is often wrongly tied to financial matters. Although an adequate wage is essential for professionals to be able to maintain themselves high performing, there are some more conditions that must be kept in mind when dealing with these professionals:

Freedom to make mistakes: Encourage professionals to take risk with certain caution and, in case of something undesired, to learn from their mistakes.

● Recognition: Outline what the benefits their efforts brought and how managers, colleagues and clients take advantage from it. It’s required to be clear, because this information will be valuable for professionals to assess how to evolve and achieve even better results.

Visibility: Let the participation of these professionals in the positive results achieved by the team or the company clear to everyone. Data from satisfaction surveys collaborate to increase understanding of these results.

● Career Advancement: Promotions and higher salaries are not enough, it’s demanded to provide a mentoring which makes them feel that they are evolving their careers while they have also the support of the company and their superiors in this process.

What do you think about this article? Was it helpful? Please leave a comment!

This article was originally written here.

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Software Engineer @ Viaplay. I write about Leadership, Node.js, Go, Agile and Cloud Computing.

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Danilo Cardia

Danilo Cardia

Software Engineer @ Viaplay. I write about Leadership, Node.js, Go, Agile and Cloud Computing.

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