As an IT Manager, you always have more tasks than available resources. To get them done, your team must give all it has at work. How to trigger this performance in people? Check out two ways and discover how they affect your team’s performance.

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Recently, I’ve been teaching my son to ride a bike. He can maintain balance, but he often doesn’t want to pedal. I must keep telling him to push his foot lever. When he doesn’t do it, I remind him to keep pedaling.

Classic way to execute your team’s performance

Working with people usually needs to keep them responsible for their tasks. When you assign a task to someone, you have to check if he completes it. Otherwise, he won’t do it. As classic management rules say, this is the best tool to get the job done. But is it? What do you communicate to your subordinate by constantly verifying his work?

You tell him: “I don’t trust you.” and “I believe you’re so lazy that you won’t do your job unless I check if you do it.”. How well would you feel about doing something for someone saying these things to you? How willful would you be to do the job?

It might seem counterintuitive, but what if you stop verifying accountability? How would your subordinate feel? Would he even do his work? What if instead of keeping people accountable, you’d notice their progress? What if you’d appreciate their accomplishments?

Appreciation instead of accountability

When I keep reminding my son to pedal, he most often reacts by ignoring me. So, instead of saying: “keep pedaling!” all the time, I push the bike and start to scream: “Man, you’re so fast I can’t catch up with you!”. How does he respond to that? He accelerates like crazy and keeps riding by himself! It works almost every time!

Want your subordinate to do the job despite being unwilling to do it? Want him to do as little as you ask him? Keep keeping him accountable. Want your subordinate to do extra work just because he wants to? Notice his progress and appreciate his achievements!

Combine both ways to skyrocket your team’s performance!

Unfortunately, appreciation doesn’t work for some people. If this is the case, first try to check the reason. There may be a significant cause for this person not to perform. He may need support to come back to the usual pace of work. Watch out if there are too many reasons for a too long time. It usually means that the person is lazy but creative with excuses.

In this case, keep this guy accountable for some time and try to appreciate any sign of doing the right thing. You’ll soon notice if appreciation makes any difference. If not, replace the guy with someone who cares about the work, not justifications. Otherwise, you’ll both waste your time managing this person. The person will demotivate the whole team too.

Build teams made of people who react to appreciation with performance. And do appreciate them. This way, your team will accomplish more than you thought possible. And with better quality!

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