Successful change comes from the real understanding of people, their habits, and their motivations. The challenge of sustainable living requires us all to work together and be bold and ambitious in our hopes for the future. Performance of a person or any organization can be enhanced if one remembers to pivot the right levers for it. It is always a multistep process which if done systematically can give astonishing results.

Much research has been conducted to ascertain the basic levers which actually enhance the performance and cause a change in the behavior of the person so that he can perform to his fullest capabilities.

Types of performance levers:

For the sake of simplicity, different levers have been designed keeping in view the capability and the targets of a person or a group of people who are working together. Some of these are as follows:

Strategy and goals:
Any person who works towards achieving a particular objective is driven by his goals and ambitions. Similarly any organization exists for a particular reason so much so that it is willing to provide something in return of payment. This can only be achieved when both the person and the organization are target-oriented in their approach. This can be achieved by setting certain goals and designing strategies to achieve them. They give a clear cut idea about the areas which are to be focused, and how to play to the strength of both the people and the organization. Without strategy and goals people would lack a compass for everyday work. They actually provide a target which, if worked for diligently and honestly can be achieved. Clear strategies and goals expedite and resolve any of the reservations and contradicting priorities that a person or an organization may face in due course of time and hence the highest level of performance can be achieved.

Clearly articulated expectations give the people or an organization a clear cut idea of how to proceed in cases of uncertainty. New challenges always require risk taking on part of the person, if he is well prepared for that he can take the challenge head on and get the required results. Expectations should be clear and documented and should be linked to the organizational goals and strategy.

Corrective feedback:
Feedback tells us about the progress or the lack of it. However, not all feedback can be trusted upon. Therefore as a rule of thumb, feedback should simply be used as information to guide for further plan of action. Corrective feedback provides an actual picture of how a person or a group of people is performing in order to achieve their targets. Unhelpful feedback, on the other hand, is absent of corrective nature. It does not yield any insight about how to improve the learning or gives any information about how to design an alternative plan of action to improve the performance. However, feedback should be based upon established expectations and should act as a guide in devising further planning and action.

People often see the lack of resources as simply an inconvenience requiring flexibility and creativity on their part. To avoid such a situation, a list of the required materials should be made beforehand and then compared with the available resources so that alterations can be made accordingly. When the resources are unavailable, inaccurate, difficult to use or inaccessible it becomes a hurdle. To overcome it people have developed shortcuts and have enhanced the use of manpower to achieve the desired results. Moreover, in cases when all the resources are at hand, it is advised to design such strategies that can bring out the best use of the resources without wasting them and get positive results.

The consequences, incentives, and disincentives that follow a particular action strongly influence whether that action will take place again or not. It has been seen that incentive programs improve performance. If selected, implemented and monitored correctly, incentive programs with rewards in the form of money and tangible awards can enhance the performance as much as 22% and in case of a team up to 44%. Incentive programs can increase the number of participants involved by increasing their interest in the work. When programs are first offered to complete a task, a 15% increase in the performance occurs. When people are asked to persist towards a goal, the overall performance is increased by 27% when motivated by incentive programs. Such programs also have the advantage of attracting quality employees. Hence the programs based on performance meeting or exceeding the goals generate the most positive results.

Albert Einstein stated this beautifully,
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

Knowledge and skills:
Every person or group of people at an organizational level require a set of comprehensive knowledge and associated skills to perform the required tasks. Obviously, every person on a managing level needs accurate knowledge and skills.  Many of the deficiencies in the performance can be attributed to their lack of knowledge and skills alone. Attempts to provide a manager’s needed knowledge and skills should be combined with other performance levers. New knowledge and skills based on modified workflows and clear cut expectations may limit a manager’s effectiveness. With sufficient knowledge and appropriate skills the systematic approach to training increases the employee-on-the-job retention. This approach must be a facet if people are to perform consistently at high levels, knowledge and skill solutions. This training is a cycle of practice, feedback and then corrected practice.

Effective training includes the presentation of new knowledge and skills and practicing that new knowledge and skill under the supervision of an expert in that matter. This ultimately brings about the best performance of a person or a group of people working together to achieve the same target.

As said by Nelson Mandela,
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”


Article Author: Smiljan Mori is the founder of MindOver™ Network, Brilliant solutions for Performance, Motivation and Happiness. He is also the creator of Big U Academy, , the Kitepreneur NetworkTM and Kitepreneur Lifestyle Academy. He has literally created a successful business and coaching empire from scratch and is a best-selling author and motivational speaker who brings unparalleled professional experience and the latest scientific research from neuroscience and positive psychology to audiences around the globe. He has shown more than 150,000 people from 50 countries how to change their lives for the better.

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Article References:
Motivaction For Life by Smiljan Mori

Photo Source: courtesy of Stuart Miles / Free Digital Photos