Many companies today still manage employees based on our primal instincts to control, coerce and dictate employee behavior at the workplace. After all, they are on company time and the company is paying them. If we want results from our employees we must manage, manage, manage. Right. Wrong?

Mismanagement or better yet over-management is not the answer. It is no wonder employee loyalty is at an all-time low in corporate history. The whole key to high-performance employees is the use of strategies that foster engagement, commitment, and connection to create self-motivated employees.

First and foremost, we must invest more time and resources into finding, attracting, and selecting people who have an openness to sharing our company’s core values. Finding the “right fit” for your organization may seem daunting but if we spend more time upfront in the selection process we will spend less time later managing employees. Hiring employees we believe share our same ideals and values for accomplishing our firm’s goals and objectives is just the beginning but key.

Next, we must create an environment of commitment and connection to produce results instead of relying on commonly used processes of coercion and control. Managers must resist the notion of using their power to “force” employees to produce results. Establish an environment that consistently reinforces your company’s core values.

How do you get your employees to “embrace what your company stands for”? Be creative as well as practical. Walt Disney created an entire language to reinforce his company’s culture and ideology. Disneyland employees are “cast members”. Customers are “guests.” Jobs are “parts” in a “performance.” At Hewlett-Packard, Dave Packard attributes the company’s remarkable growth rate to the attributes of its cult-like core values of respect for the individual and granting immense operating freedom within well-defined objectives. This environment reinforces the company’s focus on entrepreneurial discipline.

Finally, employees can join your organization only if they will commit, verbally or contractually, to your guiding principles and values. Be upfront with them. Self-motivated employees will be the fruit of your efforts. The important thing to remember is there is no need to control self-motivated employees. You need to guide, teach and provide direction only. If you select the right people, you don’t need to control them. Provide them the right environment and see results.

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