Most good leaders and employees are motivated internally through challenging themselves to improve their own skills, experience, and productivity. Internal motivation is very powerful when present, and can be easily quashed by micromanagement and ineffective delegation. The key to keeping challenge-motivated workers at their best is to develop your company culture to encourage autonomy and professional development across the board.
Building a challenge-motivating culture can be difficult for some entrepreneurs. The same self-assurance and drive to do things right that makes an entrepreneur successful can also make it difficult to trust employees to work on their own. But, if you plan to grow your business, you will have to rely on your staff to do things right on their own. Good employees will not only cover the tasks that you don’t have time for, but will also contribute their own knowledge and skills to drive the success of your venture.
Good leaders are masters of delegation — telling workers what needs to be done but not how to do it. Set clear objectives in the job descriptions for each position, clearly communicate those objectives to your staff, then get out of the way and let them work. Get to know each employee’s individual skills and talents. Assign tasks accordingly and encourage your staff to utilize their skills. Also, find out which areas your employees wish to improve and develop opportunities for them to do so. For example, most people wish they were better at public speaking. Consider starting a lunchtime Toastmasters club for your staff or sponsoring your employee’s memberships to an established club. The better your worker’s skill sets, the more they can contribute to growing the business.
For those employees who are particularly challenge-driven, it is even more important to encourage them to push their limits. Be careful not to burden these workers with too many mundane tasks. Give them assignments that allow them to show off their skills and develop new ones. Let them know how much their skills and willingness to improve are appreciated…then get out of their way!
Building a challenge-driven culture is critical to the growth of your business idea. The stronger your staff is in the skills that drive success, the stronger your business will be. As an entrepreneur, the odds are that you can relate to challenge-driven motivation better than any of the other motivators. Think about the environment required for you to be the most productive, and build your company culture around these ideas.