Creating A Culture Of High-Performers – Dr. Kimberly Janson Coaches Leaders On The How-To Of Effectively Nurturing And Rewarding Employee Motivation

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Dr. Janson is scoring wins for corporate giants as well as individuals seeking to improve leadership skills. She is a premier executive consultant and coach with a passion for making the magic happen for clients who are ready to maximize leadership abilities and become change-makers within organizations

Leaders in charge of talent management and development for an organization are always looking for experienced, educated, skilled, and emotionally intelligent employees. One more vital factor should be among the top items on their wish list – motivation. A variety of factors can be responsible for an employee’s drive to perform with innovation and excellence. Cutting-edge leadership invests time and effort in identifying and retaining highly motivated employees. If the result is increased employee satisfaction, longevity, and productivity, it would be a wise investment. An expert worth consulting on the subject of employee motivation is Dr. Kimberly Janson, CEO and President of Janson Associates. She has 25 years of experience working in over 40 countries and offers premier executive coaching, leadership consulting, assistance with merger and acquisition, cultural transformation, strategic planning, team optimization, and organizational development.

Dr. Janson is vocal on the subject of employee motivation. She devoted an entire chapter to it in her book, Demystifying Talent Management: Unleash People’s Potential to Deliver Superior Results. “One of the most important leverage points you have as a manager and leader is a person’s motivation,” says Dr. Janson. “When you tap into a person’s drive to succeed, you open a world of possibilities.”

Organizations interested in improvement can become the beneficiaries of Dr. Janson’s study and research. “Managers face a difficult time trying to motivate or inspire employees in today’s work environment,” says Dr. Janson. “More and more employees are becoming disengaged, and disengaged employees are almost impossible to motivate or inspire.” Dr. Janson is no stranger to the elements of a work environment that employees might view as dissatisfiers, such as working conditions, employee relationships, job security, salary, benefits, and company policy. She is well aware of how misled managers can be in assuming that pay fits the bill as a top motivational factor. Salary might work for some, but many employees value other factors more.

Employees value achieving results, career advancement opportunities, personal development, being acknowledged for work well done, doing work they are highly interested in, being entrusted with responsibility, and having the space and freedom to follow through are often more influential factors than money. Motivation is contagious – motivated employees inspire others. Unfortunately, if they lack awareness and intentionality, managers can sometimes squelch rather than nurture employees’ motivation. But, this does not have to be the case. With quality instruction and practice, leaders can improve their ability to coach, develop, and motivate talent within an organization. Dr. Janson has helped to change the tone and direction of many organizations. 

Where did Dr. Janson develop her expertise? Her professional history included executive-level positions with H. J. Heinz, Bank of America, Hasbro, and Bank of Boston. In addition, she has a Master’s in Teaching, a Master’s in Organizational Development, and a Ph.D. in Business. Since founding Janson Associates, her client list continues to be just as impressive. 

Often, Dr. Janson has helped organizations improve internal communication and get employees’ answers to questions as basic and mission-critical to fostering motivation as: “What motivates you? When do you find yourself most inspired? When do you feel the most excitement about accomplishing things?” She predicts team members will respond positively to showing genuine interest in them. There are many ways to do this, all of which involve simply asking. You can ask in an employee engagement survey, focus groups, or in a one-on-one conversation. “I don’t care what their motivation is,” says Dr. Janson. “But when I know it, I can leverage it to create a more fulfilling situation for them and, frankly, get more out of them because people who feel valued perform better. These are also questions I ask when interviewing candidates…’What motivates you? What inspires you?’ The answers tell me a lot about the candidate and their self-awareness. Leaders and coaches can teach skills, but you can’t teach self-motivation. Executives must hire for motivation.”

Dr. Janson has a new book releasing this summer, which is now available for pre-sale, Determining Leadership Potential: Powerful Insights to Winning at the Talent Game. The book is based upon several research projects that she and a business partner, Dr. Melody Rawlings, conducted. The most recent research study included more than 50 CEOs from around the world. It is a game-changer in addressing the current leadership crisis. It tackles it by addressing the root cause, management’s ability to choose leaders, and determine leadership potential. One of the four vital components that are reliable predictors of leadership potential is motivation. The other three are: intelligence, personality, and learning agility. The book shares insights offered by these CEOs, which reveal how they think about motivation, how they use it to assess and inspire employees, as well as their tips for becoming a stronger leader.

In partnership with her son, Michael, Dr. Janson co-owns a highly successful family horse business, Legacy Farms, that involves breeding, buying, and building Grand Prix-level show jumpers. She has been riding show jumping horses since she was a child, and her children – Hannah in addition to Michael, now adults, are top athletes in the sport. “There are so many similarities between humans and horses. Both respond positively to relationships built on mutual trust and respect,” says Dr. Janson. “I learned about motivating horses before studying and researching human motivation. Trying to motivate a one or two thousand pound animal with something he doesn’t find appealing is a lost cause. For example, take any one of our Grand Prix horses. They will jump HUGE jumps and come to the ingate after they compete with their focus on one thing – the red and white starlight mints that you take on the way out of a restaurant or a sugar cube. They go bonkers for those and will put in a clean round to get one. The big message here is ‘sugar cubes work.’ When it comes to your employees, find out their version of motivational sugar cubes.” You have to figure out what works – with horses and with humans! Zeroing in on just the right reward can ignite a fire within an individual.

Dr. Janson’s motivation stems from her passion for working with executives, teams, and companies that want to become better at leading and managing. Her life’s work has involved motivating and training others to achieve their best. “I’m so blessed and honored to have the opportunity to work with companies and individuals to help them reach their potential,” says Dr. Janson. “Being part of a person or company’s growth story is pretty heady stuff. I constantly try to push myself and up my game to remain a tremendously strong partner and asset for my clients.”

To learn more about Dr. Kimberly Janson’s dedication to helping clients optimize and transform, you can reach her at Janson Associates.

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