MP900399215I’ve been working with a client to develop a performance management system that BOTH promotes outcomes AND inspires people.   Do these sound mutually exclusive?  I may have thought so in the past, but not anymore.
If you’ve ever experienced the “joy” of introducing new performance metrics to your team or network, you know how tough it can be.  Then, to ask people to be accountable for the outcomes?  Not so easy.  Push back is pretty normal.  So how can you move past the negativity and toward team success and maybe even excellence?
Here’s the deal.  Research shows that people are not really motivated by punitive measures.  So, first off, retire the old “carrot and stick” analogy.  It just won’t work.
Second, consider tapping into what really inspires. 

People are motivated by:

1) Their Peers — We humans have a strong herding instinct.  If everyone else is doing it, we feel we should, too.  It’s kinda scary, but true nonetheless.  
2) The Possible — Studies have shown that people will throw their support behind a cause they feel is win-able in the short-term, versus a cause that may have much more impact in the long run.
3) People — Individuals, that is.  We care more about the plight of one than the plight of many, and we’ll make our decisions based on an emotional connection to that one person (even if we don’t know them personally).
4) Participation — If social media has taught us anything, it’s taught us that we will actively engage when given the opportunity for authentic shared participation.
So, what does this have to do with performance management?  Stay tuned for Part Two of this post.  Tapping into these realities, I’ll share some ideas and tactics you can use to galvanize both staff and volunteers alike.
PS… If you want to read more about the latest research on communication and behavior, check out the free eBook Homer Simpson for Nonprofits at Network for Good.  Also, check out the Health bothers’ book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard and Dan Ariely’s The Upside of Irrationality for a good start.