~by Haley Lynn Gray~
As a manager, you probably often wonder how you can motivate your employees to perform better. This is not an easy thing to achieve. You have to work hard on understanding what can bring value to your team and what your team wants from you.
If you want to be a good leader, there are a few steps you can take to make sure your staff is motivated and happy at their workplace.
1. Set an example
Don’t be one of those leaders who just sits around and does absolutely nothing to contribute. It sets a bad example and your team will be reluctant to work hard for your goals if they don’t see you working just as hard as you want them to work.
For example, if an employee sees that your business emails are full of spelling mistakes, they are likely to pay less attention to that as well. Steer clear from those kind of mistakes and lead with a good example – use tools like State of Writing to help you out.
Let them see that you are busy as well and that you are doing your best to do your job properly.
2. Show them that their work is meaningful
People are less likely to be motivated if they think that what they do holds no meaning in the big picture. Show them how what they do is extremely important and how essential to the company they are.
For example, you could show them how what they did helped your company each month. This will help them have a clear image of their part in the team.
3. Reward them for their achievements
If you really want to instantly motivate your staff, reward those employees who have performed the best in the past. This doesn’t have to be anything huge – you can give them movie tickets, paid days off, vacation days, small additional amounts of money or anything else that doesn’t cost too much but can bring great value to your employees.
This will show them that they are appreciated and employees who were not rewarded will work harder to be as good as the ones who were.
‘Rewards have always been one of the best tools of motivation. Use them as much as you want but keep in mind that you have to be fair. A good idea would be to reward an entire team and therefore set an example for another team.’ says Martha Gilles, a HR Manager from Best Australian Writers.
4. Delegate some of the decisions onto them
You don’t need to make all the calls, especially if an employee working directly on a certain project would have a much better understanding of what should happen.
Delegating will make your employees care about their work more as they will feel that their jobs are more important to the company. Many businesses give excellent tips on delegating decisions on Huff Post, for example – you might get some ideas from there.
5. Be open to their ideas
Having an ‘open door’ policy is a good way to encourage true engagement. It’s also a good way to figure out who is most interested in their job. People who work directly on a problem often have the best way to solve it. They might also have an idea how the system and the administration could improve, which is all invaluable information.
Allow them to communicate easily with you with tools like Inc or Australian Reviewer.
Encourage idea sharing among your staff and hear what they all have to say. This will give you some great tools to improve your business.
6. Get out of their way
Micromanaging is similar to helicopter parenting – neither your employees or you get nothing out of it. You waste your time checking your employees and controlling what they do and they spend more time being annoyed by you when they could be working.
No one likes to be constantly pressured and watched. Get out of your employees ways and let them do what they do best.
7. Recognize high performers
Another great way to motivate your employees is by recognizing their hard work in front of everyone. If some of them have performed much better than the others, then a good idea would be to talk about those people in meetings and various other occasions.
This positive feedback motivates them.
8. Get to know your employees
Getting to know your employees is a process and not just something you can do in a day. As a person starts working for you, learn some basic things about them and as time passes, you’ll have a much better chance at finding out useful details about them.
This is the key of motivation – different people work for different goals and they have different ideas.
9. Pay appropriately
No one likes to be paid poorly for the work they do. Find out what each employee thinks is appropriate amount for their job is and try to get as close to that as possible. Even though it may seem like each employee will ask for something out of your reach, the payment they want might just be closer to what you can afford.
Offer bonuses and other incentives to support the original amount of money they receive.
‘Paying people what they really deserve is one of the best motivators out there. It’s awful, being underpaid. This is why we make sure that each employee is satisfied with what we are giving them. ‘ says Adelaide Jenkins, a Communications Manager from Write My Australia.
10. Treat them with respect
Treat your employees with the same level of respect you want to be treated with. Learn their names, smile at them, say ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ whenever you can. Those small things go a long way.
If you want to create a motivated and engaged environment, there are several things that you can do. Start with basics like treating your employees with respect and paying them what they really should be paid – you can move on to more complex things from there. Remember how you would like things to be for you if you were an employee in your company and work on motivation based on that.