Motivation is the most powerful tool your employees bring to work.
Great managers are adept at stimulating that motivation in their team members to achieve superior workplace results. If you’re in management position, you’ll be happy to know that you can learn to inspire motivation in your employees. No matter what kind of work environment or culture your organization provides, your words and actions can directly affect—and enhance—your employees’ level of motivation. Everyone is motivated about something in his or her life. An important part of your job as a manager is to help your staff members find the employment factors and work environment that encourages them to contribute more and perform at their highest level. Follow these five principles to build a highly motivated workforce that’s driven to succeed:
Principle #1: Help them feel meaningful.
No matter what your organization does or what industry you’re in, it’s imperative that your culture be infused with meaning. Studies show that people who have a sense of purpose are more focused, creative, and resilient, so you should make a point of reminding your employees how their work is improving people’s lives. Communicate the vision of your team and your company so your employees will feel part of something fabulous. The vision can’t exist on a piece of paper; it has to come to life in their hearts and minds and be woven into the fabric of the culture you create.
Principle #2: Get in tune with what drives them.
Managers who are disengaged and don’t recognize their employees’ wants and needs make for bad motivators. Great managers are attuned to their employees and provide valuable feedback that can help with their career development. For example, the annual review offers an excellent opportunity to show your employees that the leaders in the organization understand and care about their progress. A well-conducted evaluation will motivate your employees to strive towards new goals. On the other hand, a poorly conducted evaluation can leave them feeling deflated, unappreciated, and questioning their long-term future with the company
Principle #3: Show your respect by actively listening.
A good manager listens to their employees’ views and values their contributions. Whether those ideas are implemented or not, employees who feel they have the power to make positive change in their organization are much more motivated in their roles than those who feel their opinions don’t matter. When employees don’t feel valued, they won’t step up their game. In fact, they’ll probably start searching for other opportunities. Demonstrate your respect for your team members by keeping an open mind and a welcoming attitude.
Principle #4: Expect the best.
A micro-manager who controls every minute detail of their employees’ day-to-day activities will foster frustration among his or her staff. Strong managers strike the delicate balance between guiding and monitoring their employees’ work and respecting their competence to do the jobs they were hired to do without constant supervision. When your employees feel that you trust them to deliver high-caliber results, they’re motivated to work harder and to put forth their best effort.
Principle #5: Show your appreciation.
By creating a culture of consistent recognition and appreciation, you can effectively produce a sense of well-being, trust, optimism, and confidence among your employees. A little gratitude goes a long way when it comes to improving employee morale and satisfaction.
By the nature of your managerial position, you lead by example.
Your actions set the tone of the workplace environment: from your work ethic, to your expectations, to your communications, you are responsible for creating a positive atmosphere that inspires and motivates your employees. By taking the right approach, you can be the catalyst for robust employee engagement and enviable retention.