Victoria was stumped. She had always thought the only way to motivate people was to create a bonus or incentive program.
“So, if a bonus is off the table,” I started, “what could you create as a positive consequence?”
“I suppose, if I am around and notice something good, I could give them an attaboy,” she floated.
“And if you are not around?”
“That’s the problem, when I’m not around, things grind to a halt.”
“Have you ever heard, What gets measured, gets done?” I asked. “Why do you think that happens?”
“I don’t know. I suppose it’s because people think they are being watched even when they aren’t being watched.”
“Don’t be naive. People know exactly when they are being observed and when they’re not. Here’s why What gets measured gets done. Knowing that something was done correctly, one unit completed to the quality standard creates a positive consequence. But only if it was measured. If no one notices, then there is no positive consequence. If it gets measured, there is a positive consequence.”
“So, then I would still have to be there to count all the completed units?” Victoria resisted.
“No, they’re adults. They can count their own completed units, and post the number on the white board by their work station.”
“What white board?” Victoria asked.
“The one you are going to purchase and put up tomorrow.”