Monday, October 20, 2014

Motivating Employees - Part 3 - The Influential Employee

Every organization needs a few i-style employees.  These fun-loving and energetic folks can generate a lot of positive energy and forward motion for a team or group.  While often seen as encouraging, open, optimistic and fun-loving, they can also be seen as implusive, talkative, and even naive.  In fact, they also can be a real sense of frustration for our more conscientious team members who can feel their i-style colleagues are running too far ahead of the rest of the organization.

Your i-style employees and teammates prioritize enthusiasm, collaboration, and action.  They often get excited about opportunities or new possibilities and can be very expressive. Others often appreciate their enthusiasm and optimism but can rarly match their high energy levels.  Because they get excited about ideas, and they also value action, they are eager to get going.  They can become impatient and frustrated at the slow and methodical pace of their teammates who value a more thoughtful approach to decision making and implementation.

In addition, i-style employees often make great team members because they greatly value collaboration and teamwork.  To help a group take action, they are apt to want to be in a leadership role. I want to caution that I am providing some broad generalities, but you will likely be able to easily identify your influential teammates through characteristics such as Active, Bold, Assertive, Dynamic, and Accepting, People-focused, Empathizing, and Agreeable.

If you really want to de-motivate these employees - keep them out of key decision making activities, ask them to work on their own, discourage collaborative discussions, dampen their enthusiasm by asking lots of difficult questions, and take a plodding, methodical, and calculated approach to new ideas.  If they don't explode, they'll leave.

On the other hand, if you want to develop and grow your i-style employees, offer to listen to their suggestions, create outlets for them to run with their ideas, and invite opportunities for collaboration and group working environments by assigning them to a team.  I am sure you have heard the saying, if you want something done, give it to a busy person...we could adjust that and say, give it to an i-style employee.

These employees and teammates greatly appreciate public recognition of their accomplishments and will be appreciative of your openness to their new ideas and ways of doing things. Be sure to make time to go over assignments and details with them.  They will appreciate your efforts to build a personal relationship with them and will likely reciprocate. Be sure to help them stay on task and prioritize their activity, and redirect them if their socializing gets them of track.

Your entire team can be energized by your i-style employees and if they are teamed up with some unusually collaborative employees who can help them pay attention to the details and ensure they are covering the bases, you can have a highly motivated and productive team members.