Management 101 has it that your employees may have all the experiences in the world, but if they are not motivated, they are unlikely to realize their true potential. On the other hand, action appears easy when people are motivated.
Passionate people have a positive outlook, are passionate about what they do, and know that they are investing their time in something really worthwhile. In short, passionate people enjoy their job and do well.
All effective leaders want their organizations to be filled with people in this state of mind. This is why it is imperative that you, as a leader and a manager, keep your team feeling motivated and inspired. But of course, this is easier said than done! In this article, we’ll review Management 101, the main theories, strategies, and tools you can use to help your employees stay passionate about their work.
Motivation is an intrinsic part (changing oneself from the inside) as opposed to the outside (external rewards) for team building and a challenge to most every team leader. Unfortunately, some managers use outdated methods such as authority and fear or rely on the goodwill of employees to achieve results. If you do, be careful. This only works for a limited time and can ultimately damage your credibility as a team leader.
How do you motivate a team in the workplace?
In my opinion, an employee-focused leadership style is one of the main keys to motivating your team. Through personal experience leading teams, there are key Management 101 steps that can help you become an exceptional team leader helping your employees feel motivated and inspired. If you’re like a lot of managers and leaders looking to motivate employees, the following scenario should sound eerily familiar:
You finally have your dream team. She hired selectively, waiting for the perfect fit for every role. These are the people with stellar backgrounds and proven success records. On paper, these individuals are ready to contribute to your culture and help take your department – and your business – to the next level.
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Management 101: What it takes to motivate your team
· Promote open communication
Open communication with your employees is critical to keeping employees motivated. No one wants to work under a boss who feels uncomfortable approaching him. Implementing methods of establishing effective communication with your team will do wonders for motivating your employees.
An employee invested in his work will naturally have questions, comments, or concerns. Having an open door policy and creating consistently accessible lines of communication will help your employees feel as if their inputs matter (which it should!). If having an open door policy is unrealistic to you, it can be effective to take some time during employee meetings to voice their concerns or write them down for a group discussion.
Following up with your employees regarding their input is just as important as asking them to do so. Although you may not be able to answer every question or solve every problem, following up shows employees at least that you took the time to consider their notes, rather than ignore them or send them to someone else. Your crew will know you listen, and will not be afraid to come to you again in the future.
· Get to know individuals.
Being in contact is better to admit; it’s important that you know who members of your team are going the extra mile, and who is responsible for getting things done. But what is more important than acknowledging valuable actions is to act on them. Letting the individual know that you see their hard work, and how much you appreciate them, is often enough to get them to continue doing it.
Making sure to notice someone can go a long way. On the other hand, not all of your employees will put in the extra effort. Much will function as expected, and some may perform substandard. As a boss or a manager, it is up to you to find out why this is, and to see if there are any obstacles you can remove that will help motivate them, and thus improve their performance.
· Create an agile work environment
Another very powerful way to support employee motivation and engagement is to create a flexible work environment. “Agile work environment” refers to fast-paced project management techniques that place value on continuous change and adjustment on adherence to a solid structure. While this technology is commonly used in software development, the principles behind it are clearly effective in any industry.
In psychology, there is a concept known as the “pleasure principle,” which causes us as humans to desire immediate gratification over long-term rewards. In agile work environments, managers can exploit this aspect of human nature by having employees work on projects with the goal of achieving results as quickly and efficiently as possible. The fast-paced environment is exciting and inspiring, and employees will naturally be more involved in a project that will satisfy this psychological desire to please sooner rather than later.
In an agile work environment, producing a high volume and quality of work requires a great deal of creative thinking. It is important to motivate your employees to take risks and be innovative, even if that means they will make a mistake every now and then. One of the advantages of an agile work environment is that when your employees are not afraid of failure, they will become more daring, making them more ready to generate work that can set your organization apart from the competition.
· Be the person you’d want to work for
Whether it was unrealistic expectations, persistent weirdness, or the impossibility of approaching, almost all of us have had that manager who made work a living nightmare. Even if you love what you do, having a miserable boss can spoil your dream job in record time. This is why being someone you want to work with is an integral part of keeping your employees motivated.
It has been said that smiles are contagious, so if you stay positive and enthusiastic about work every day, your employees will follow. People do not want to please someone who seems undesirable so passion for the work that gets done in your organization is paramount. When you are happy to be at work, your employees will be happy to work for you, and they will be motivated to keep the good vibes coming.
Despite our best efforts, we all sometimes do not live up to expectations as a manager, so understanding the fact that your employees are human – not programmable robots – is essential to keep them motivated. A female employee who is afraid to admit to her boss when she makes a mistake will not feel comfortable in her position. On the other hand, if the same employee knows that her manager will be sympathetic to the situation, she will be happy to get her work done, knowing that there is someone who supports her whenever she needs it.
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