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Financial targets don’t motivate employees

  • United States Image

Mar 18, 2021

It’s natural for leaders to emphasize the importance of hitting financial targets but making numbers the centerpiece of your leadership narrative is a costly mistake. Financial results are an outcome, they’re not a root driver for employee performance, and a growing body of evidence tells us that overemphasizing financial targets erodes morale and undermines long-term strategy.

Leaders looking to motivate employees must instead use their time with their teams to build belief in the organizational purpose, the intrinsic value of the employees’ work, and the impact they have on customers, and each other. To do so, the authors recommend three tactics: 1) Reevaluate how you use your leadership airtime; 2) Discuss your customers with specificity and emotion; and 3) Resist the urge to widely share every measure of financial performance.

Review the full article on the Harvard Business Review's website.

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