Categorized | Featured Articles, Management

A competitive advantage

Four ways to create motivation and buy-in

By John Chappelear

“Motivation and buy-in” are like everything else in life, always cycling up or cycling down; there is no static position. Energy and effort must be applied continually and consistently to create and maintain a high-performing organization with the momentum needed for motivation and buy-in.

The cornerstone to successful motivation and buy-in is trust. The level of trust that exists within your organization will determine how hard and how long you will have to work to get your organization fully motivated and completely committed.

Four simple ideas

By utilizing these four simple ideas every day, you will be more able to generate the results you want.

#1. Trust. To build trust, you should begin with a more honest, open and inclusive communication style and be more trusting of others. Trust is the pipeline through which all good business practices flow, and it instills a sense of confidence without the presence of worry or suspicion.

Without trust, people move at whatever speed they can move at without getting into any trouble, which is not the speed you want for your organization. If people feel their input is unwanted or their mistakes will be met with criticism or possibly dismissal, then mood and morale will be bad, turnover and absenteeism will be high, motivation will be low, and buy-in will be nonexistent. The cycle is heading down.

Trust is maintained by the consistent achievement of personal and organizational goals. With trust, workers move away from a self-protection, begin to take risks, look for new ways to improve workflow, and exceed expectations.

When goals are achieved and exceeded, your trust and confidence in the whole process is strengthened. The cycle is heading up.

#2. Transparency. Transparency is allowing people at all levels to have a clear understanding of your organization’s overall goals and objectives, as well as the importance of their personal and departmental roles in the success of your organization.

When times are tough, making sure you have transparency in your management becomes even more critical to the success of your business. When employees understand the issues that you face on a regular basis, they are more invested (buy-in) in the solutions.

And when organizations encourage frequent two-way communication at all levels, they generate a level of positive energy (motivation) making it easier to find new ideas and/or solutions. Change is much easier to implement with open communication, support and trust. Very quickly employees do more than buy into change, they own it.

As you willingly open up your thinking and decision-making processes, your organization becomes more transparent and “same side of the table thinking” begins. The entire staff knows what is expected of them individually and collectively, and will be much more supportive of any necessary changes to ensure the success of your organization.

With transparency, employees are more motivated and feel an increased sense of self-value and self-worth that is directly related to their efforts. It also becomes much more likely that their wages will increase because profits will increase, and levels of absenteeism and turnover will decrease. And that’s a good start.

#3. Treat everyone the same, but differently. Consciously or unconsciously people connect with some people better than others. And while it’s human nature, making that kind of mistake can ruin morale, interfere with productivity and occasionally create some discrimination issues.

The most effective way to communicate and reward people is to base it on individual need and personality style. The rewards for comparable work must be of the same value, but not necessarily the same. For example: One person may need public acknowledgement of their successes in order to be motivated while another may be embarrassed by that method and instead require some one-on-one time for personal recognition.

A good manager or management team needs to know their people. They need to understand what motivates the individual and respond accordingly. It may seem like a lot of extra work, but the dividends are worth the effort.

#4. Change the people or change the people. Good management is focused on making sure everyone in the organization has the necessary training and support to maximize their ROI. Once it becomes obvious an employee is not living up to his or her potential, however, a good manager will make the necessary change.

Do everything possible to change or improve the people, but if that isn’t possible, then change or replace the people. Change takes time and how long it will take depends on the shape your organization is in when you begin this process.

Remember, the way to achieve motivation and buy-in is through trust and the key to building trust is your willingness to assimilate all four ideas; trust, transparency, treat everyone the same but differently, and change the people or change the people. Make the commitment and don’t give up. You and your organization are worth the work.

John Chappelear is an author, speaker, executive coach, and trainer. John’s programs build positive, powerful, and balanced individuals, and more productive, creative, and profitable organizations. He is internationally recognized as a life balance, leadership and communication expert. He can be reached at or through

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