The question of how to motivate others in the workplace is continual for many leaders. Faced with varying Gen’s to manage, personalities, life experiences (you/others), the culture of the business, budget, season, etc., fostering motivation can be challenging. There are several books on the market that will provide you great insight on ways to tackle this issue. In today’s blog, I want to share with you six steps you can take to make motivating others SIMPLE.
#1 –See people as individuals with a true desire to learn and do their jobs, even if they “seem” apathetic. There may be hygienic factors driving their behaviors that you need to uncover and address.
#2 –Involve yourself in your team’s development. That means training, setting goals, reinforcing learning, celebrating successes, driving accountability, succession planning, etc. Doing so will build trust and increase employee satisfaction; thus, creating a motivated workforce in the organization.
#3 –Meet the individual needs of your team by acknowledging their value and recognizing their contributions – no matter how large or small. Remember, the way a person wants to be valued and recognized may vary from person to person, so know your audience.
#4 –Provide reinforcement once you’ve found an individual’s “sweet spot.” This helps you foster a tailor-made environment of motivation, rather than a “one size fits all” approach to motivating your team. For example, if Sally is motivated by candy, particularly licorice, reinforce her rewards for achieving goals by providing her different kinds of licorice. If John likes to be valued by not being recognized publicly, tell him during a private meeting how his contributions are affecting the team, organization, etc. If Mary wants to promote to another position, and meets performance milestones, reward her by scheduling her next development session with a mentor in the department or position she is seeking.
#5 –Love your team authentically by accepting them for who they are as individuals. People have diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs, etc., and all need to be treated with kindness. It goes a long way when an associate knows their leader really cares for them as a person, not just as an employee. Remember, fake is felt, so make sure your actions are altruistic.
#6 –Engage the team by asking for input on decisions that affect them. This doesn’t mean every action you take must be approved by the team first. It means learning and acting on the matters that are important to them. An example is asking associates for input on how to support a new member of the team. It could also mean asking for feedback on a new system, particularly learning what’s working well, and what improvements are needed to support performance outputs.
Ultimately, I believe that everyone is responsible for creating a motivating work environment. As a leader, however, you can contribute to a motivational atmosphere by keeping it SIMPLE.