Motivating “Above and Beyond” Behavior in Employees

What does “going above and beyond” mean in your organization? Is it listed in the job description so motivated employees understand how to exceed expectations? Or is it up to each employee to determine what constitutes good, better, and best performance?

In many work environments, going “above and beyond” relates to providing exceptional customer service: smiling, showing interest, and discovering ways to connect with customers that positively impact their experience with your business. Although it isn’t listed in a job requirement, most employers want their employees to show enthusiasm and dedication for their work. However, although you can require employees to carry out their job duties, you can’t force them to care about their work. For example, an employer can insist a grocery store cashier balance their drawer after every shift. However, they can’t expect that same cashier to help a frustrated customer find a grocery item when the cashier is enjoying a break—although the cashier may choose to help the customer.

Motivating employees to care about their work is a delicate operation.

When employers expect workers to go “above and beyond”—for example, work overtime, volunteer their time, or expend discretionary effort consistently—employees may resent their jobs and look for other employment options. Their work and attitude may suffer, leading to an even poorer customer experience.

However, in a work culture where expending discretionary effort to improve the customers’ experience also enhances the employees’ job satisfaction, everyone wins.

How can you design a job to motivate your employees to care about their work—and your customers? Consider the following ideas:

Improve communication.
Do your employees understand how their work improves customers’ lives? Communicating the meaning behind daily tasks and connecting them to your company’s mission can motivate workers to care more about doing a good job.

Build your team.
Humans are social creatures and enjoy rich social connections. By providing team-building opportunities, you can help forge relationships between team members that help them enjoy working together and create positive associations with their work.

Provide professional development opportunities.
Many workers feel grateful to an organization for providing opportunities to learn skills that will advance their careers. Employees who are actively engaged with growing their skills perform better and are more likely to enjoy their jobs—and delight your customers.

PrideStaff is here to help.

Looking for employees with “above and beyond” attitudes? Our national staffing firm can deliver qualified, hardworking candidates who will work well with your team and provide an excellent customer experience. Contact your local PrideStaff office today to start a conversation.