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“Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.”
― Lou Holtz
Making a motivated workforce your priority will ensure your employees and your company achieve their full potential. The following will provide you with some simple and effective ways to energize your team.
Motivating others is the ability to show enthusiasm and provide encouragement, recognition, constructive criticism, and coaching to direct reports. Leaders skilled in Motivating Others are personable and have positive relations with their direct reports. They display the tact and social skills required to give constructive feedback and provide direction.
Leaders who are successful in motivating others can influence a host of behaviors in their employees. They can inspire employees to perform at their best, motivating them to work not just harder, but better. They encourage a friendly climate at work, where making mistakes are considered part of a learning process and employees are encouraged to take calculated risks in order to learn and grow. Employees who are motivated to work are happier and more satisfied in their jobs. Employees who are satisfied are more productive and are less likely to leave their organization.
Develop positive relations: A good working relationship between leaders and their employees is an essential first step in the process of motivating employees. Leaders who are seen as personable, friendly, and supportive have employees who are happier, more satisfied, and more productive. Over time, leaders can learn what motivates each specific employee, and use these motivators to increase productivity.
Use goal-setting techniques: One of the most effective motivational tools is goal-setting. Difficult but attainable goals are effective tools to boost motivation and performance. Leaders can help employees set goals for themselves, based on their current skill set, the experience they’d like to gain, and the goals employees have for their own careers. When leaders can use goals to align an employee’s personal interests with the organization’s objectives, employee performance benefits both themselves and the organization.
Allow employees autonomy in their work: Dozens of research studies have shown that one of the best ways to motivate others is to provide them with autonomy. Having autonomy means an employee can choose how to complete their work. It shows trust in the employees’ skills and abilities as a worker. It allows employees to try new strategies, manage their own time, and enjoy the process of their work. A leader should offer support and guidance, not micromanagement or restrictive instructions.
Provide feedback: This key step in motivating employees is often overlooked. Without regular, detailed feedback, individuals are unsure if they are meeting performance standards. To avoid confusion and wasted time, leaders should encourage employees to seek feedback, in addition to offering praise and constructive criticism. No project should be considered complete until the leader has briefed employees on their performance, reviewing what they did well, and where they can improve in the future.
Deliver rewards: When employees perform well, attain their goals, and complete projects, they should be rewarded. Although raises and bonuses have been traditionally used as rewards, leaders skilled in motivating others use a different set of tools: recognition, praise, and opportunities. Leaders should recognize the value in an employee’s work, and respond in a way that acknowledges current accomplishments and encourages future success.
The following steps can help you become better at motivating employees:
DEVELOP your ability to Motivate Your Team by taking advantage of SIGMA’s coaching services.
Interested in a hard copy of this handout? Download your PDF copy of Motivating Your Team.