I've often used some form of the quote, "What gets measured, gets managed." If you don't measure what you're doing, you don't know if it is improving or getting worse.
Last week, I was reminded of a simple change in that statement that raises it to brand new heights.
What gets measured and rewarded, gets improved.
Measuring is only the first step. Rewarding the behavior you seek will lead to you getting more of that behavior. Rewarding the behavior shows your staff what is important to you. Rewards in the workplace are the scorecards by which your staff rate themselves.
Do this. Get a reward.
Do more of this. Get more rewards.
That is simple enough for everyone to understand.
Rewards don't have to be huge. They don't even have to be monetary. Praise is a reward. The more public the praise, the bigger the reward. Recognition is a reward. Recognize those who have done well at your next meeting. Honors are a reward. Whenever we had no groups signed up for our Saturday morning flag-raising ceremony, I would honor one staff person by picking that person to raise the flag and telling everyone else why I chose them. The pride they beamed was worth far more than a gift card to a local restaurant or an extra vacation day (although those do make good monetary rewards that are far more memorable than cash).
Measure and reward the behaviors you want improved. You'll get more of what you want.
PS You'll also get less of what you don't want. It won't take long under this kind of system for you to find out who doesn't want to put in the effort and doesn't fit in to your system. Although it is never fun to fire anyone, the best way to get the staff you want is to get the right people in the right jobs.
PPS Tim Miles and Roy H Williams both brought this concept of Rewards to light during our Shareworthy Customer Service workshop last week. Yeah, I like to work with really smart people.