In a world where office morale is all over the map (in large part due to the ability of employees to work from home) it can be challenging for managers to not only motivate their employees, but keep them that way. Yet, despite all the changes found in workplaces throughout New Zealand, Australia, and North America, the way that people are motivated remains the same. With a few tried and true techniques, coupled with a modern-day take on it all, you can motivate your employees to become passionate about their work, and to care about the end goal. Here’s how.
1. Communicate clearly
Yes, communication is key to motivation. Here’s why. Employees like to feel as though they’re part of the team. They deserve to know all of the pertinent information that pertains to do their job. How can you expect them do to a job well done if they don’t have all the information necessary to make that happen? This means visiting your employees where they work to discuss information that might impact their work. This includes letting them know about upcoming training seminars, talking about potential changes in due dates and more. Consider also holding weekly one-on-one meetings with anyone who reports to you. This gives them the satisfaction of knowing they always have this time with you to air grievances, discuss problems and more.
2. Get your higher-ups involved
Everyone is well aware of the chain of command at work, and most employees respect this chain. A study by Towers Watson demonstrated that the more involved the higher-ups of a company are with employees, the more motivated these employees become. How can you achieve this? Make sure your execs and managers subscribe to open-door policies. Be sure these higher-ups don’t spend the bulk of the day behind a desk. Rather, they should wander through the trenches, so that employees realize they’re approachable and, in fact, “one of us.”
3. Provide opportunities
Few people are ever truly satisfied with how things are. Often times, your employees want the opportunity to better themselves and their job title or earning potential. Nurture this desire by providing opportunities for your employees to develop their skills and abilities. This means more than just offering professional development classes, however. This means inviting your employees into important staff meetings. This not only introduces employees to a new environment, but it gives them the sense that you believe in them, and their potential.
4. Let them do their jobs
An easy way to stifle motivation is to micromanage. Employees are motivated when they feel they have a certain level of authority and independence, so give that to them. Allow them to make decisions on how they’ll approach a job and make ongoing decisions. Be clear on the milestones and end goal, but allow your employees to craft their approach based on what they see fit.
5. Address problems early on
A manager who allows problems to fester will quickly discover a workplace environment that’s dysfunctional beyond repair. Managers must take every complaint seriously and be clear how he or she will address this issue. Even if the complaint can’t be resolved to the employee’s satisfaction, the fact that you addressed it and offered feedback will be appreciated, and will make your employees believe that you have their back. Part of this process of nipping things in the bud is making sure your employees are comfortable with approaching you. Keep your door open (literally), so that your employees feel welcomed to talk to you about issues that arise in the office. And always address the concern and provide an outline of how you plan to address and resolve the issue.
A manager is the leader of a team. As their leader, your team members will follow you wherever you take them. This could be to a fortuitous future, or straight off a cliff. The choice – and destiny – is in your hands. By keeping your employees motivated and passionate about their work, you’ll find you have more time to take care of the managerial tasks that make your job most rewarding, such as helping your team achieve its short term and long-term goals.
Need help finding ways to motivate your employees? Edmond Otis can help. Otis offers seminars and one-one coaching and consulting to clients throughout New Zealand, Australia, and North America. Contact him today to learn more about how he can help you become a motivational leader.
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