Monday, November 26, 2018
By Tom Snee

Let's jump in: 

  1. Rewards. That parking spot next to the front door set aside for a company’s top performer each month might actually help improve team performance. A study by Ning LI, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship, found that work teams that singled out top performers with an Employee of the Month reward program saw increased production. In teams that did not offer any kind of reward, production remained flat.
  2. Motivate strategically. Managers can improve their work team’s performance by focusing their motivation efforts on a single individual. Associate professor of management and entrepreneurship Ning Li found teams function better when the team member who shows the most willingness to go above and beyond their job description is in a more central position in the workflow where they come into contact with as many teammates as possible. A more strategically placed “extra miler,” Li suggests, improves team dynamics and performance.
  3. Tailor your style to the situation. Not every leader has to be a charismatic disruptor like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk to improve their workers’ productivity. A study by Ning Li, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship, found leadership style did little to improve a work group’s willingness to take charge of its own work. In fact, when a team was already functioning at a high level, transformational leadership was counterproductive because it got in the way. Li says successful leaders tailor their transformational actions accordingly, rather than use a one-size-fits-all style.