Motivating Employees: Three Steps

Motivating Employees: Three Steps

To be an effective leader, you must be able to consistently motivate your employees and teams to deliver results. Motivated employees have positive attitudes, strong customer-service orientations and take on the same levels of work when you are not around. Motivated employees also enable leaders to focus more on the business; e.g., culture, growth, innovation, etc. In contrast, unmotivated employees are lazy. They do the minimum to get by and negatively impact the people around them. So, how do effective leaders consistently motivate their employees?

First, people do things for their reasons, not yours. Everyone is motivated differently. You must understand what motivates each person and align their incentives and rewards accordingly. Also, know that motivation is largely based on personal goals. For example, if someone wants to manage people, help them develop goals. Show them how their current job can move them forward. Link company success to their personal motivations. Remember, external motivation is short-term (a kick in the ass); internal motivation is long-term (personal goals).

Second, people rise or fall to the level of expectation set for them. When you develop goals with employees, set the expectation level high and communicate your full confidence in their ability to perform. It is not enough for people to have confidence in themselves. You, their leader, must communicate 100% confidence in them too. For example, “By leading and influencing a virtual team of non-reports, you will be building valuable skills to become a people manager. I have full confidence in your ability help every member of the v-team achieve their commitments.”

Third, if you want people to listen to you, tell them when they do something right. Recognition is a great motivator. Recognition gives people a reason to listen to you when you identify coaching opportunities and provide constructive feedback. If people know that they will be recognized for correcting mistakes and making adjustments, they will be more open to listening to your advice and taking acting on it. Coaching and feedback should always be balanced with positive praise, recognition and reinforcement.

Everyone is an organization plays a critical role in the company achieving success. Everyone makes an impact, either positive or negative. As the leader, make sure that each person knows that their job is important and how it directly contributes to the business. Remember that your attitude toward employees will be their attitude toward customers and partners. Your employees’ attitude toward customers and partners will be their attitude toward the company. Hiring motivated people and developing motivated employees is good for business.

All contents copyright © 2012, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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