10 Great Ways To Motivate Turtles

With the 2013 PRD cycle drawing to a close, a new performance cycle begins. Just like New Year’s Day, the new cycle presents a good time for supervisors to take stock of their own strengths in leading their staff and to re-commit to motivation. Happy employees are productive employees!

As a Supervisor:

1.  Personally thank your employees for doing a good job—one-on-one, in writing, or both. Do it timely, often, and most importantly, sincerely. Praise is priceless, and it costs nothingI

2.  Be willing to take the time to meet with and listen to your employees—as much as they’d like or need. Put them first.

3.  Provide specific feedback about performance regularly, even informally, and then formally through the PRD process.

4.  Strive to create a work environment that is open, inclusive, trusting, and fun. Encourage new ideas and initiative!

5.  Freely share information on how the department supports the mission of the University, and how staff contribute to the teaching, research, and service responsibilities of the flagship institution.

6.  Involve employees in decisions when possible, especially those decisions that affect them. It builds trust and accountability.

7.  Provide employees with a true sense of ownership in their work. They will exceed your expectations!

8.  Recognize, reward, and promote people based on their performance. Deal with marginal performers so that they improve (or leave). Do so with integrity.

9.  Give people a chance to grow and learn new skills: for example, encourage them to volunteer at Commencement, Maryland Day, or for a Senate committee. Create a partnership with each employee to help them grow and thrive. Remember, the “D” in PRD stands for Development!

10.  Celebrate successes: of individual staff, of the department, and of the University. Nominate staff for departmental and University awards. Take time for team- and morale-building activities and meetings. Make a big deal of it!

The University is truly a great place to have a career, and we all play an important part in creating a vibrant and rewarding work community. Cheer the Turtle!


*Adapted from T+D Magazine (March, 2013). American Society for Training & Development


Last updated: May 22, 2013

Last updated: May 22, 2013