While your enthusiasm for your business never dies, it can sometimes be difficult to get your employees on the same page as your are, which is why knowing how to properly motivate your team is important.
Your company has been a passion ever since you put pen to pad and decided to make a business. Over the years, that passion has made your business what it is today, however, it may seem as though it has become increasingly difficult to inspire that same spark in your employees. If this is the case, there is no need for alarm – recent studies have shown that the majority of workers may not be fully engaged in their work, as Forbes reports that less than one in four non-management employees are not.
While this news does not seem to bode well for business, there are a number of tips that you can employ when managing your business so as to improve employee motivation. It can be a challenging task that requires developing strong leadership qualities and meaningful action, but the benefits of a motivated workforce are well worth the effort.
Take time to know each employee
Be it a team of five or 50, it is important that you get to know everyone on your team. Not only does this show that you have a genuine interest in all your team members, but it allows you to make decisions unique to your team rather than broad general decisions. Inc. Magazine explains that you should create a work environment that is specific to the needs of your employees. If you show that you have an invested interest in your employees, they are more likely to return that interest in you.
Part of this requires taking interest in who your employees are as people. Asking them about their weekend plans is a start, but you should also ask them how they see their experience at your company helping them down the line. It’s easy to feign interest in your employees, but you should be doing what you can to foster strong, genuine relationships with them as people – not simply employees.
Don’t be afraid to show your human
It’s important to have your employees’ respect, but sometimes you can earn it in ways that you wouldn’t expect. Showing that you have a sense of humor can make a huge difference in how your employees see you. If you are the kind of person who is always asking about numbers, you can start to sound like a broken record, to the point where your employees may begin to tune you out.
It also helps to show a sense of humility. While you like to think you have all the right answers, sometimes an employee will have a better idea. It takes a smart leader to know when to see this and acknowledge it as an idea that is not your own. While it could be tough to swallow, know that the reason you hired these people in the first place is because you thought that they could help your business.
Let people share your ambition
You’ve been there since the beginning, but not everyone has. While you want to see your business realize its full potential, it can be difficult to convince others of this same goal. Your challenge is explaining to everyone else how you plan to get there. Your team is more willing to get on the ship when they know where its sailing, which is why its important to make perfectly clear your short and long term goals for the company, according to Inc. Magazine.
Sometimes, this takes an incentive based approach. Be it compensation based on performance, or reward for say the highest selling salesman, sometimes ambition needs to be fed with concrete incentive. For others though, this means bringing in other people’s opinions into important decisions. When people feel like they are a part of a major decision, they will be more inspired to provide you with their valuable insight.
Reevaluate your role as a leader
It is important to realize that at one point, you yourself were not the person calling the shots. You learned what to do (and what not to do) from people who were in your position now. Take a look back at what has brought you to where you are now. What did the most motivational bosses you had do? What did the bad bosses do? How can you succeed the way they did before you and how can you avoid the mistakes they made?
The ultimate goal of a manager is to get your employees to do what it is you need them to do. However, the authoritative approach is aging and people are no longer responding well to it. By creating a sense of transparency and allowing your employees to share your sympathies, it can be a lot easier to motivate them, and they will probably be more responsive to your management.
What management techniques have you used to motivate your employees?
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