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Motivated Employees WANTED: Here’s the Roadmap Leaders Need to Follow
How do I motivate my employees? This is a common question that leaders ask themselves. Well, the answer may surprise you! Motivation is hardwired within each of us INTRINSICALLY. While some of us are motivated by money, achievement or learning, others are motivated by recognition, teamwork, or challenges.
So, as a leader, what’s the best approach for addressing the challenge of employee motivation? The reality is you can only consciously influence what you understand. Here are two steps you can take as a leader to ensure your approach is tailored to the motivational needs of everyone.
Step #1 directly engages with your employees to understand their unique motivations. It sounds obvious, yet most leaders don’t know—unfortunately, they assume. Being genuinely curious here, asking questions, and deeply listening to the answers will likely be a positive experience for both of you. Once you have this information, you are set up to do the actual work of Leaders. Step #2— Create the EXTRINSIC Conditions for your employees to realize their internal motivations. When leaders do this, it is the classic definition of being an INSPIRATIONAL Leader!
Ensuring your employees are motivated is a multi-step process, and for those leaders who learn to do it effectively, the rewards are significant. A motivated individual, team, or organization is more engaged, resulting in higher energy, creativity, innovation, and productivity. In turn, these higher levels of employee satisfaction will consequently show up in your positive cultural engagement survey results, your favorable talent retention levels, and your employee community proactively assisting in recruiting new talent to join your organization. A triple Win, Win, Win!
With the business case for employee motivation clear, let’s explore some proven leadership approaches to inspire your employee community for optimal performance.
Connecting Company Purpose to Everyone’s Roles and Goals
Employees motivated by understanding the bigger picture context will appreciate you communicating the company’s mission, vision, and goals. Helping them see how their contributions fit the larger organizational objectives will enhance their role clarity. While setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals is a best practice in many organizations, you can add a twist to this with what are referred to as SMART(ER) goals. Going beyond SMART to ensure the goal is also (E) exciting and (R) resonant for your employees will enhance their motivation and fortify their commitment.
Emphasizing Recognition and Appreciation Beyond YOUR Comfort Zone
Employee recognition is a powerful motivator for many employees. Regularly acknowledging and appreciating the efforts and achievements of your team members can make them feel valued and boost their motivation. You may publicly recognize a job well done through a simple thank-you email, a shout-out in a meeting, or a more formal recognition program, which will foster a positive and encouraging work environment. Here’s a vital watch-out: if you are a leader not personally motivated by recognition, you may shy away from offering it or dismiss it as unimportant—this is a mistake! Being in service of others as a leader means tapping into our social awareness to provide what is needed for our employees, not what is needed for ourselves.
Investing in Technical and leadership Skill-Building for Professional Growth
Learning is a significant motivator for many employees, especially, aspiring future leaders. Investing in the development of your employees by offering professional growth opportunities enhances their skills and demonstrates your commitment to their long-term success. Discussing career paths and providing coaching, mentorship, and structured learning programs to help them build their skills for the future will be both a motivator for them and a win for you as a leader.
Creating a Positive Work Environment that Embraces Flexibility
Human beings are inherently social, so leaders who create a positive workplace environment that addresses hybrid flexibility, inclusion and belonging can drive employee motivation significantly. Encouraging teamwork and open communication and designing a comfortable physical workspace atmosphere reduces stress and fosters creativity and collaboration, which create enterprise value while building healthy relationships. Leaders who can appropriately structure in-office time to be meaningful on a community level will inspire motivation in those employees who crave social connections in their work experiences.
Utilizing Leadership Styles that Empower Autonomy and Ownership
Enlightened leaders know that certain styles can be positive or negative depending on their employees’ personal preferences and hardwiring. Inspiring leaders have style versatility and use it to encourage employee motivation. Compared with a disempowering directive style, an empowering leadership style gives employees motivated by autonomy in their work a sense of ownership and personal accountability. Encouraging these individuals to take on challenging tasks and make decisions within their job scope boosts creativity and builds problem-solving skills as employees feel more engaged.
Designing a Transparent Philosophy on Compensation and Benefits
The intrinsic motivation of fairness is a strong driver for many employees and in their careers; this is often expressed in their salary, bonus, and promotional opportunities. Leaders must be transparent about their company practices and transparent in communicating them. Ensuring that your team is compensated competitively within the industry and rewarding outstanding performance through bonuses, incentives, or promotions can be a solid way to satisfy this motivation. Leaders often underestimate the feeling of financial security in terms of how significantly it contributes to their employee community’s overall well-being and motivation.
Giving Continuous “Carefrontational” Feedback and Performance Coaching
Younger generations of employees are significantly motivated by continuous and constructive feedback that focuses on their growth and development. Scheduling one-to-ones or coaching sessions to discuss achievements, opportunities, and goals is a best practice for inspirational leaders. Providing carefrontational feedback that uses a lens of seeing greatness in your employee while offering insightful performance coaching to get them there can turbocharge their motivation and engagement. This ongoing dialogue helps employees understand their progress, fosters continuous improvement, and demonstrates your personal commitment to their success.
Delivering Well-Being Benefits that Go Beyond Work-Life Balance
How much you genuinely “care” about people is a tremendous motivation for many employees. The last few years have unleashed a new level of expectations for leaders to demonstrate empathy, compassion, and understanding about health and well-being that are unlikely to recede any time soon. Burnout is an organizational challenge, not just a personal one, and it can erode motivation and productivity on a massive level and affect your company’s morale. Leaders can inspire their employees by encouraging a healthy work-life balance by respecting reasonable working hours, promoting time-off policies, and providing support services that can assist those who are struggling. Employees who feel supported in managing their personal and professional lives are more likely to be motivated and committed.
Inspiring employee motivation is both an art and a science. You can create an environment that ignites performance across your organization by combining a clear vision, effective communication, recognition, professional development, a positive work culture, and fair compensation. Remember, the key is understanding your employees’ unique needs and aspirations and tailoring your approach to cultivate a motivated and high-performing workforce.
Now, Organizational Leaders can have a structured turn-key solution for inspiring the many aspects of employee motivation through an online leadership training platform that offers the most comprehensive leadership content available while delivering an interactive social learning experience that covers a broad range of personal and community learning preferences.
The Leadership Rigor Virtual Academy is a customizable leadership training platform that will take your organization to the next level of performance and productivity. Finally, the code has been broken on why most leadership training fails and how to deliver real success on the ground that you can see, hear, and feel immediately.
By providing a fully customizable experience or “Journey,” the Leadership Rigor Virtual Academy will energize your culture and develop your talent bench so individual motivations are unleashed, and the true potential of your entire organization can be realized. Let the “Journey” begin. Visit The Leadership Rigor Virtual Academy or email email@example.com.