Red orange among oranges.

Asking “What’s In It For Me?” Makes Things Happen

By Meg Underwood

June 11, 2018

As leaders, we are constantly driving toward organizational success. Individually, we strive to do a good job. We also spend significant time gaining building team commitment to the organizational direction to accomplish great things. But this is not enough. We can’t stop there.

The secret to success is extending beyond the head and into the heart of each member of your team. “It’s good for the company” will get you so far. We’re convinced that moving from a “have-to” to a “get-to” and “want-to” mentality will take your organization further than you ever imagined. To inspire that level of commitment, you need to reach the hearts of your team members by answering one very important question: “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM)

As leaders, we must look past money and perks and tap into what really matters to each team member. People long for meaning. They want to know that they really matter and know where they uniquely fit into the company. You should help them discover this on a personalized level, answering these questions: What truly matters to you? What are you passionate about? What gives you the most joy in your work? What uniquely motivates you to succeed? This requires time and intentionality. It requires knowing your team. You must dig deep and place yourself in their shoes. It requires having real, honest conversations, but it’s worth it.

When you offer true meaning to employees, it changes the hierarchical structure from top-down to inside-out. It turns constant questions into continuous actions. Instead of always being asked, “Where are we going?” you will begin to hear, “I’m all in. Give it to me; I will make that happen.” When you align your organizational “why“ with individual WIIFM, that’s the moment a job transforms into a journey.