3 ways business leaders can better motivate their employees than financial targets

Financial targets are a driver for employee motivation, but overemphasizing them can be harmful for morale, performance and long-term strategy, according to a Feb. 26 article published in Harvard Business Review.

Business leaders often emphasize financial targets as goals the company needs to achieve. However, researchers have found doing so makes employee and customer relations strictly transactional. 

Instead, building belief in the organizational purpose is more effective. When employees have passion for what they do, they won't look for another job, and their job satisfaction radiates through their customer interactions.

Three ways to better motivate employees:

  1. Use company meetings to discuss direct customer outcomes and financial results. Experts suggest to use 50 percent of the time for each. Doing so supports the company mission that businesses hope to instill in employees.

  2. Discuss individuals that have been positively affected by the company's work. When employees understand their direct influence on customers, they will go the extra mile to experience greater fulfillment.

  3. Avoid overwhelming employees with too much financial information. It does not encourage employees to change daily behavior. Experts suggest being selective with what is sent out to employees.

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