Today I was reminded again that different people have different reasons for doing (or not doing) good work.  It’s an easy lesson to forget when you are busy and juggling multiple priorities.  You can fall into the bad habit of doling out projects based on availability and capacity rather than trying to make sure that everyone on your team has the right balance of work they have to do and work they want to do.

And that balance is different for every individual.

I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating – the best way to retain great people is to have a defined growth plan that you develop together and revisit regularly.  Quarterly is good, monthly is better.  Start with these questions:

  1. Which of your current projects/tasks are you enjoying the most?
  2. Which one do you dread?
  3. Are there any particular projects or types of work you would like to work on?

Study after study (here‘s just one example) shows that above all, people are motivated by the opportunity to do interesting work.  So talk to your team members, and find out what they like and what they hate.  Find ways to work in some interesting projects so everyone has at least some time to do what they like best.

And if you haven’t watched it, be sure to check out Daniel Pink’s TED talk about it too!

Looking for more ideas on how to grow your management and leadership skills?  Why not join the Survive Your Promotion group on LinkedIn?  Share management and leadership resources, ask questions, make connections and help other emerging leaders!

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