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What Steps Do Leaders Need to Take
to Motivate Their Employees?
Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.
Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric
It is not easy to guide people and get them moving forward. A working team has individuals with different levels of motivations. And yet, it is the leader that needs to get everyone moving at the same pace and in roughly the same direction.
In order to do just that, the leader needs to keep everyone motivated through thick and thin, good and bad.
A great leader does not leave motivation to chance. They know that the tiniest mishap— be it external or internal— can bring a momentum to a halt. Leaders should be meticulous and focused in making sure that their actions always push the team forward with productivity and positivity.
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Here are 10 steps to motivate employees:
1. A Leader That Is Worth Following
As their leader, employees are going to look at you to set an example for the rest of the team. Leaders set the values and tone of the company. And by doing so, this can have a meaningful effect on the motivation of the employees. If leaders have positive thinking, employees will follow and the entire workforce will become more engaged and motivated.
2. Be Fair and Neutral
Favoritism and office politics also plague the working environment. It is sad and frustrating when employees can literally tell who will be the one to get the next promotion based on their closeness with the manager and not because of their hard work.
Do not be that kind of leader. Give equal opportunities and make fair decisions and promotions based on employees’ work and dedication. Moreover, never hold personal grudges, swear, send angry emails, or lose your temper, especially in front of other employees. You can give constructive feedback instead of criticizing and humiliating your employees. Remember, to always treat everyone with respect.
3. Create a Friendly Working Environment
Employees spend almost half of their day inside your office. So, why not try to make the office look appealing and friendly as possible. Creating a pleasant working environment where it is comfortable and welcoming can make your employee attendance a hundred percent.
See our page: Creating a Motivational Environment for more.
4. Positive Communication Is the Key
Communication is probably the easiest interaction you can have with your employees, yet it can also be the most difficult of all. A lack of communication can cause motivation to go down the drain and push your employees into thinking that you never care about them.
So, dedicate a short amount of time every day to speak with your employees and discuss even the tiniest details— from ideas to work concerns. This not only motivates your employees, but your employees can also provide you with their in-depth insights about your business.
5. Welcome All Ideas
Everyone is unique and unpredictable — each with our own individual ideas and desires. Be respectful and never shunt away suggestions or ideas, no matter meaningless or silly they may sound. There is no single strategy that will please all your employees all at once, and a small silly idea or suggestion can be brainstormed into something awesome or brilliant sooner or later.
6. Recognize Employees’ Achievements
Everyone wants to be acknowledged for something that they have done properly and proudly; regardless of whether it a personal achievement or something at work. Acknowledgement by their boss of a job done well will mean so much more than you could think. So, always remember to give some credit to your employees when it is due.
7. Rewarding Employees
One of your employees made a sale? Reward them. Someone produced high-quality outputs? Reward them. There will be times when it will take more than just a simple pat on the back however. It wouldn’t hurt to give simple incentives when rewarding a hard-working and engaged employee, right?
It doesn’t need to be a monetary reward all the time. There are much simpler rewards such as an early out or even an extra day off that would be enough. Rewarding employees can also be a part of the company benefits.
8. Create a Career Path
When employees know what the incentives are or have an idea of what is provided, they become really motivated. This will then increase their commitment towards their employer. Your employees will be more valuable to your company, and of course to themselves, if they are given the opportunities to learn new skills.
So, try to provide your employees with the necessary training needed to advance in their chosen careers and to become more knowledgeable about the latest industry news and technologies.
9 Encourage Teamwork
We often see the shameful pride of other employees towards others. These employees might be in a higher position, or a pioneer in the company, but never tolerate their king-like acts.
Try to remove hierarchy and bureaucracy within your company and instead create an “openness” to ideas and inspirations at any level, and try working together as a TEAM. You can also strengthen your employee's teamwork by having team building activities once in a while. These can further motivate your employees to strengthen their bonds and better understand each other.
10. Minimize Boredom
Bored is the enemy of motivation. When they become bored, creating simple tasks will seem impossible because motivation is nowhere to be found. So, to relieve employees of boredom, you can plan a happy hour every Wednesday, host a cupcake bake-off, have a company dinner on Fridays, or let a different individual run the weekly meetings.
Every company is different, but the need to keep employees motivated is the same. If you go the extra mile to improve the motivation of your employees, they will reward you with greater dedication and a positive perspective for the future of your company.
About the Author
Alfred Stallion is a regular contributor to many sites and mainly focuses on business related topics. He also writes for MitreFinch offering employee attendance systems.