As a business coach, one of the most commonly asked questions I get asked is how do I increase the motivation of the employees who I manage? This is often asked by those who have recently been appointed as managers and don’t feel as though they have the necessary skills to motivate a team of people when they can just about motivate themselves in the workplace!
Though it’s a common question, there is also a typical answer to this question; treat your employees with the respect that you would expect from a manager and work on the basis that if the method which you choose motivates you, then it will also serve to motivate your employees.
Here is a selection of techniques to try working on as you attempt to engage and motivate your employees.
Recognize Your Employee’s Good Work and Try to Applaud Them on a Regular Basis
Okay, so employees receive remuneration for their work through their end of month pay packet. However, if you want them to do a great job each time and take pride in the work which they are doing for your company, it pays to show them a bit of respect for such successful results.
There isn’t a considerable amount of us who would readily come to work every day, five days a week, if we could afford not to – but, we all have bills to pay. Yet, just because we must be at our desk each day that doesn’t mean that we give it one hundred percent if we find ourselves in a working environment which lacks general motivation.
If you want to keep your employees in their position, you need to show them that they do matter and that you do appreciate their contributions. This way they feel more inclined to make a concerted effort in their role and go above and beyond when necessary. Ultimately, an employee who feels like what they do is valued by their company will work more efficiently overall.
Whenever your employees successfully accomplish a job, make an effort to praise them. These need not be long-winded or excessive. You may be surprised at the power those simple two words, well done, can have on the performance of the rest of your employees working week!
Set Every Employee a Goal – But Make It Obtainable
In the working environment, we all need a goal – something of value and worth to work towards. After all, with no intention, there is no motivation to aim towards something or try to achieve anything. We all need to feel as though our life has a purpose and nowhere is this more evident than in the workplace when working for somebody else.
Make sure each member of your team has a goal set for every job they work on. Productivity levels immediately rise when employees know what is expected of them and what they need to do to achieve their objectives.
Not only does it make business sense to have employees working towards a goal, but it also makes for a much more pleasant and professional working environment if everyone knows what is expected of them every day they arrive at the workplace.
Lead by Example and Keep Your Manner Positive
There is no point expecting those employees you manage to be upbeat and positive if you, as their manager, fails to portray themselves as positive! A clear majority of the time positivity is contagious but then that also, unfortunately, means so too is negativity! Too often, managers who have such a massive workload radiate negativity of their own schedule onto that of their employees.
Once again, this doesn’t have to be overdone. It merely means that instead of being cynical about looming deadlines, bad performances or even errors, try to rephrase the way you deal with them and approach the situation differently.
Your employees are more than likely all too aware that they may have made a mistake, but if you can deal with it in a better manner as opposed to spouting unhelpful comments and negative criticism, you can get to the root of the problem and get it dealt with in no time at all.
Remember, employees, and indeed managers are human beings, and we all make mistakes. The task as a manager is to ensure you both learn from these mistakes and work productively to move on from it. Try changing your responses to the more difficult aspects of your role and watch the way your workplace changes for the better.
Encourage Teamwork from Your Employees
All too often, employees working together in close capacity can feel more isolated than those based in separate buildings. Though, it usually has less to do with distance but rather how each department pulls together as a team. As a manager, you will most likely be responsible for a group, and that means you will need to find a way of encouraging them to work together as a team, as well as individuals.
Teamwork is beneficially proven to encourage high levels of productivity as the self-esteem it offers each employee means motivation levels are higher. Witness your team at play. How do they work together? Do they even come together as a team should, or is there any reluctance from a few individuals?
Being part of a team should make an employee feel valued and secure and free to express and contribute their own valuable ideas at the same time as the other members. It should also be a neutral environment.
Take the time to study how each member works together and whether you are getting the results you require from them as a team. It is crucial to understand that having your employees all working from the same page equals improved results and a considerable boost to the workplace. If you feel that you could provide some input, don’t be afraid to take the team aside and start a discussion on how things could be best improved.
Sometimes, all it takes is a simple move around for individual employees before you get that perfect productive working team that both manager and employees deserve.