Motivation and Performance

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Motivation and Performance

Because Your People MatterMotivation is the psychological process that gets employees going, keeps them going, and determines the direction and strength of the effort they apply. It’s what causes them to stop and apply their energies elsewhere.

Substantially, employees are motivated by the jobs they do and the context of these jobs.

If there's motivation, performance is possible. Motivation and performance lead to personal outcomes for each employee. When aggregated, employee outcomes lead to organisational outcomes like turnover and profit.

TimelessTime consultants have trained thousands of managers in how to motivate their staff.

And each has managed the motivation and performance of hundreds of subordinates.

Measuring Performance

Fundamentally, managers sense the presence of motivation by assessing the performance of a worker.

But performance is not easy to measure. Performance is assessed by managers daily and more formally in performance appraisal and development review.


Many staff select in to a career. A lawyer wants to be a lawyer, a nurse wants to be a nurse.

In these cases, their internal or implicit motives are in line with job activities. It’s therefore easier for a manager to motivate them. For others who take a job because they need the money, management must instil a sense of meaning through good job design and training.

Ultimately management must create a feeling of job satisfaction in all staff. Job satisfaction comes from task performance and feeds back to reinforce feelings of meaningfulness.

Meaningfulness reinforces motivation. To kick the process off, motivation requires management attention and effort.


Performance must be measured against job descriptions and goal set from time to time; and goals and expectations must be quantified.

If the employee is motivated, resulting performance then depends on the personal characteristics of the individual worker and the situation or environment they work in. Their personal characteristics include personality and general mental ability. And for adults, these are substantially unchangeable.

Personal characteristics also include skills and knowledge. These can be changed through training and experience. Performance can also be influenced by situational factors like company policies.

To secure performance, management must work on characteristics that can be changed.

Performance Management

Most employees who commit to their firm and engage with their job perform well in their job. Some employees will however need close management attention to correct poor performance. They need to be performance managed. This involves invoking a published company procedure. This is not unlike the disciplinary procedure BUT it has a positive bent since it aims to improve, not chastise.

Performance management uses the principles of motivation and performance measurement.

Corrective action must be actively managed to success. But in some cases, the employee must be managed out of the firm.

Managers moderate and enhance motivation, and enable staff to perform. They do this through the jobs they create, their own leadership, the work environment and the culture that they engender in the firm. The link between leadership approach and culture must be appropriate and differs in each firm.

Many managers would argue that their people come to work and put in an 8-hour shift (or whatever) to earn money to keep their family. And for nothing else.

That bluntness and single mindedness is rare. True, some people do nasty jobs, and stick the job for a while because they need the money. But let’s be clear. Money does not motivate anyone. Money acts negatively on motivation. If there’s not enough of it, it will demotivate. Money is instrumental in employees’ lives – but it does not enable management.

It’s the manager’s job to motivate the employee for all the reasons we argue in our book.

If you'd like us to help you with motivation and performance of your staff, call us.

Here's what some of our clients said about us

The TimelessTime training solution was ideal. It covered the subject matter and minimised intrusion into the working day. The fact that everyone had to complete work before and after brought the training to life. Everyone turned up familiar with what was to be achieved in the 90-minute sessions.

Lyle Jackson, Managing Director, White Kite Predictive

The project progressed smoothly from strategy to blue-print for change. The modelling gave us the evidence we needed to present the change to senior managers. And we were particularly pleased that staff were involved in the various activities. This latter point made consultation easier when it came to implementing re-structure.

Manager, Major UK Not-for-profit