Even average leaders have come to realize that a constant back and forth between intimidation and reward is by no means the best approach when wanting employees to follow. The system’s weakness comes from employees countering with their own question, ‘If I’m not valued as a team player, what is the least amount I can do without being fired?’
The back and forth between management and employees is a negative in the accounting books, but by employing neuroscience to truly determine what motivates workers can change the game. It’s not a matter of how to continually motivate, but how to build a relationship based on reciprocal trust and open communication. Once team dynamics are established, the focus of a team environment becomes one of sustainability – keeping the work flowing in a positive and self-sustaining manner. To do this, leaders need to throw out old fashioned concepts of how to lead, and think outside the box.
The answer lies in certainty
Employee productivity comes from a place of valuation and confidence, and these translate every day from a great leader’s ability to instill these feelings in the team. The strength of certainty derives from something as simple as the effectiveness of a routine with favorable outcomes, say for example that questioning established processes with the goal that they might need to be adjusted will garner positive feedback. This reinforcement of positive outcomes adds considerably to confidence.
This certainty also comes from the projection of Leadership. Team members are more likely to see growth in their own certainty factors when confronted on a regular basis by the positive nature of leadership. Leaders who are constantly indicating positive outcomes, derived from steadfast analysis and research, project this confidence to the team. With a track record of positive results, the certainty projected from management becomes a certainty.
Though affecting the motivation centers of the brain with the release of a different set of chemicals, uncertainty can be used in a positive manner to gain results and promote certainty. This may sound counterproductive, but the concept comes from how uncertainty can be an indicator of when to slow down and make careful considerations. One might think of it as a yellow flag being waived by the brain to indicate something needs more attention before a final decision is made.
Use this indicator to consider the issue at hand, but not for too long. Have a definite, unbreakable deadline for when a decision is to be finalized so as not to bog down a project. Repeated practice of this will translate into improved communication, confidence, and results.