The ability to motivate employees is one of the greatest skills a manager can possess. Whether you are new to a management position or been doing it for years, we can all stand to learn a thing or two when it comes to motivating others. We often fall into the trap of assuming that everyone is as self-motivated as we believe ourselves to be, but people are individuals and need to be recognised as such.
Here are 9 points that will help you become a motivational figurehead, courtesy of http://www.inc.com/ilya-pozin/9-things-that-motivate-employees-more-than-money.html?nav=linkedin#ixzz24RZ82exY.
- Be generous with praise. Everyone wants it and it’s one of the easiest things to give. Plus, praise from the CEO goes a lot further than you might think. Praise every improvement that you see your team members make. Praise needs to be delivered one-on-one to an employee and in front of others.
- Get rid of project managers. Projects without project managers? That doesn’t seem right! Try it. Removing the project lead or supervisor and empowering your staff to work together as a team rather then everyone reporting to one individual can do wonders. Think about it. What’s worse than letting your supervisor down? Letting your team down! Allowing people to work together as a team, on an equal level with their co-workers, will often produce better results faster. People will come in early, stay late, and devote more of their energy to solving problems.
- Make your ideas theirs. People hate being told what to do. Instead of telling people what you want done; ask them in a way that will make them feel like they came up with the idea. “I’d like you to do it this way” turns into “Do you think it’s a good idea if we do it this way?”
- Never point the finger of blame. No one, and I mean no one, wants to hear that they did something wrong. If you’re looking for a de-motivator, this is it. Try an indirect approach to get people to improve, learn from their mistakes, and fix them. Ask, “Was that the best way to approach the problem? Why not? Have any ideas on what you could have done differently?” Then you’re having a conversation and talking through solutions, not criticizing.
- Make everyone a thought leader. Highlight your top performers’ strengths and let them know that because of their excellence, you want them to be the example for others. You’ll set the bar high and they’ll be motivated to live up to their reputation as a thought leader.
- Take an employee to lunch once a week. Surprise them. Don’t make an announcement that you’re establishing a new policy. Literally walk up to one of your employees, and invite them to lunch with you. It’s an easy way to remind them that you notice and appreciate their work.
- Give recognition and small rewards. These two things come in many forms: Give a shout out to someone in a company meeting for what they have accomplished. Run contests or internal games and keep track of the results on a whiteboard that everyone can see or invest in a recognition scheme. Tangible awards that don’t break the bank can work too. Try things like a dinner out, spa days, cinema tickets and vouchers.
- Throw company parties. Doing things as a group can go a long way. Have a company picnic, hold a happy hour or organise departmental nights out. Don’t just wait for the annual Christmas Party to come around; organize events throughout the year to remind your staff that you’re all in it together.
- Share the rewards…and the pain. When your company does well, celebrate. This is the best time to let everyone know that you’re thankful for their hard work. Go out of your way to show how far you will go when people help your company succeed. If there are disappointments, share those too. If you expect high performance, your team deserves to know where the company stands. Be honest and transparent.
John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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