6 Questions to Get the Best Performance from your Team.

Do you manage people at your nonprofit?

How could you figure out people’s motivation to help them perform better in their roles?

You should check out these motivations-and try to match them to people in your organization.

Have you ever read Conversations for Creating Star Performers by Shawn Kent Hayashi? In this book he talks about the 6 types of workplace values. Check the list below. Which one is yours?

6 types of workplace values

1.)  Theoretical: Wanting facts, data, answers, truth

2.)  Utilitarian: Wanting things to be useful and productive, seeking financial well-being

3.)  Traditional: Wanting instructions or procedures so life can be lived correctly

4.)  Social: Wanting to make a difference, solve poverty, hunger, etc

5.)  Individualistic: Decision making, winning and leading in a world class way

6.)  Aesthetic: Wanting things to feel good and look good- creative, artistic, subjective

When you see these different values in the workplace, when you really start to understand where everyone is coming from, you can start to touch into what motivates them, and know how to give them meaningful praise. For example, if someone has a “traditional” mindset, you might want to praise their creation of systems for your office. If someone has an “individualistic mindset,” you might want to help them get more speaking engagements to talk about your cause, and praise them when they do well. For a person with an “aesthetic” mindset, you might want to draw attention to how you appreciate that they have arranged the waiting room to be more comfortable and beautiful, with prints and potted plants.

How do these personality types get spread out among nonprofit job types? 

I would venture a guess that we can see different aspects in all of us.

We all have a bit of the social value in us, wanting to solve our particular problem for our world.

But knowing a few nonprofit fundraising friends, I see

Aesthetic, wanting things to feel good and look good-in my event fundraising friends. They can really let their gift shine in this role.

In Theoretical, I can see my advocacy nonprofit friends as they gain enough knowledge to help make policy recommendations. I’d hazard a guess that some executive directors and chief financial officers have this value as well, to want to make decisions by data.

In Utilitarian, I can see some of my social worker friends, wanting things to be useful for people and connect them with resources.

How about you? Can you see some personalities that you know in your work in this list?

What can you say to an employee who isn’t performing the way you want them to?

Connect with their values and ask them:

  1. Who inspires you and why?
  2. What about your current work makes you feel most alive and passionate about being here?
  3. What do you appreciate about the team?
  4. When you consider how you have spent your time over the past several months, what do you notice about how it reflects your values?
  5. In past roles, what caused you to be motivated?
  6. When you think about the next year and what we have on our to-do lists, what gets you jazzed up and excited?

After you ask them more about their values, you really have to articulate what they can do better, and you need to be specific. Here are 23 skills they can improve:

  1. Conceptual thinking
  2. Conflict Management
  3. Continuous learning
  4. Creativity
  5. Customer focus/donor focus
  6. Decision Making
  7. Diplomacy and tact
  8. Emotional intelligence
  9. Empathy
  10. Employee development and coaching
  11. Flexibility
  12. Futuristic thinking
  13. Goal achievement
  14. Interpersonal skills
  15. Negotiation
  16. Persuasion
  17. Planning and organization
  18. Presenting
  19. Problem solving
  20. Resiliency
  21. Self-management
  22. Teamwork
  23. Written communication

Sometimes though, it’s not just about work performance. It’s about personality.

What is holding people back at your nonprofit in terms of their personality?

1. Adding too much value: Needing to put in your 2 cents in every conversation

I confess sometimes this is my flaw. I really shouldn’t have to speak up in every situation- but somehow I can’t help putting my 2 cents in!

2. Passing judgment: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them,

Also me. YIKES! I judge people ALL THE TIME. I am such a judgy person.

3. Making destructive comments: Needless cutting remarks

I had a boss who did this fairly often. It really decreased morale.

4. Winning too much: The need to win at all costs and in all situations

5. Claiming credit we don’t deserve: and failing to give proper credit!

One of the things that I find interesting about this is that in fundraising we so often cannot take credit for the money we raise, because other people before us built the relationships to raise it. But when we truly do succeed at getting a new sponsorship or raising money from a donor, so often

6. Making excuses: Re-position our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it
7. Clinging to the past: To deflect blame away from ourselves
8. Negativity: Let me explain why this won’t work
9. Telling the world how smart we are
10. Excessive need to be “me” exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are
11. Failing to express gratitude
12. Not listening: passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues

I saw this happening a lot in different offices that I worked in. When the leader would talk, everyone paid attention, but if a person who was lower in the chain would talk, there would be much less listening. I mean actual listening going on, looking into the person’s eyes, not looking down or checking your phone.

13. Refusing to express regret: to take responsibility for our actions, to admit when we’ve been wrong.
14. Withholding information. To maintain an advantage over others.

This happened a lot with a previous boss, where he wouldn’t approve anyone’s budgets, so nobody knew what we were able to spend. And we got frustrated and worried that we would be fired for spending money that we needed to spend for our budgets.

Henry Ford:

“One who fears the future, who fears failure, limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again. There is no disgrace in honest failure; there is disgrace in fearing to fail”

“There are no big problems, there are just a lot of little problems” – Henry Ford

“Our greatest weariness comes from work not done.” -Eric Hoffer

Once you have talked with each person about what they can improve both their work performance and their personality performance, here’s the next step. You want to show them HOW they can improve. So, follow the 7 steps below.

1) Define the opportunity
2) Define the goal
3) Create the action statement
4) Create the action plan
5) Set the evaluation standard (how will you know the plan is working?)
6) Confirm the understanding
7) Plan the followup.

What ideas does this give you? Could you manage a little better this way?

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