Most uninspired leaders use money or fear in the workplace to motivate people, to force them to obey and do their jobs. Though these leaders reach their monthly goals, they lose the loyalty and respect of their employees. On the long run, employee satisfaction diminishes and these leaders become less effective and don’t last long before being “overthrown”.
Needless to say, being a motivated leader lasts longer nad is much more impactful than directly requiring motivation from their employees.
Wondering how to effectively motivate your team?
What is motivation?
Motivation is central to leadership. It is an active mental process, initiated by certain needs and wants. It solidifies expectations, shapes and encourages dynamic, unique behaviors, actions, habits to achieve specific goals.
Motivation relies on the learning process of an individual and his or her ability to observe the relationship between performance and outcome. Therefore, motivation is positively reinforced by experience and by seeing that the steps taken lead to success.
Being motivated means bein goal-oriented, being disciplined and committed enough to remember, to clarify and to pursue an objective.
Why is it so important?
Motivation is necessary to face high level challenges, to put out thoughts into action and paves the way to a vision, a goal. It improves self-confidence, self-esteem, self-discipline, job satisfaction, work performance, employee health, vision and purpose.
Motivation translates at work into carrying out assignments, measuring results, getting rewarded for good work (pay raise, praise, promotions, …).
It is necessary to motivate your employees when they feel dissatisfied with the status quo, when morale is low, when deadlines are hard to meet and when results aren’t reached.
How to motivate employees?
Because corporate is so competitive, it has a tendency to measure, to reward our performance, to promote some and to undermine others. It is always necessary to protect your sense of self-worth, to stay motivated on a daily basis. It even becomes detrimental to measure the degree of potential success before undergoing further work. To create a climate of high motivation at work:
- Be self-aware, self-disciplined, self-motivated to motivate others. By being your own energizer, people will intuitively follow your lead. Also, this will help you discover the areas where you lack motivation, the areas where you are either distracted, overworked, scattered or where you are multitasking and trying to please everyone.
- Know your own individual purpose and carefully pick and choose your battles.
- When met with difficulties, lead by example, shine a spotlight on what has been accomplished so far rather than what is missing, and focus on the numerous opportunities than can result from the chaos. Avoid using negative energy and worry to motivate your team.
- Develop and secure a harmonious life outside of the workplace. If you are happy and have peace of mind, you will be able to maintain harmony within your team.
- Demonstrate integrity. Do the right thing, especially when no one is watching.
- Stay close to your convictions and to your values.
- Treat yourself and your employees fairly and with respect.
- Avoid lying to your employees, making excuses and learn to keep promises.
- Avoid encouraging a culture of gossip, manipulation, distrust and disrespect.
- Keep learning and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Get to know your team and build strong healthy and mature relationships with them. Allow them to be themselves and not a dull version of themselves. Furthermore, avoid stereotyping them.
- Be loyal to your team. To get loyalty, you have to be loyal.
- Explain to them first hand why they should work for you. To do so, it is imperative that you communicate your company vision and your mission through written statements.
- Invest in the people around you, show them the value of their contributions and don’t hesitate to show your appreciation for them.
- Listen to and understand your employees before seeking to be understood. Leaders have power and authority of their employees but they cannot come first all the time and restrain people’s freedom of speech. Sometimes, it is best to let your team members get their point across first.
- Place their needs before yours. Servant leadership has a bad reputation because it leaves the leader vulnerable and powerless. However, being the last served has real impact on the long run.
- Connect with people who are highly motivated and surround yourself who share your same systems of values.
- Identify the reasons why some people come to work daily. For example, make sure, even in the hiring process, that the interviewees values are aligned with those of the company and those of the leaders by asking the right questions. Also, during the hiring process, invite people to ask the right questions.
- Make sure that your employees are self-aware and honest about their strengths and weaknesses, about their blind spots.
- Put the people on your team in positions where their strengths are useful and maximized in order to stimulate them. People want to feel as if they are doing meaningful work and are part of something greater than them.
- Hire ambitious and self-motivated individuals.
- Challenge your employees and help them reach their goals.
- Give people the necessary power and authority to accomplish their job.
- Hold your team to high expectations, reward them for meeting standards and reward them for their positive behavior.
- Provide honest and positive feedback to your team. On another note, genuinely take input from your team. Ask probing questions and listen to the answers.
- Keep your employees and yourself accountable, especially when in power.
- Empower your team and involve them in the decision-making process so they can take ownership of their work. For example, use the word “we” when speaking about any project.
- Instill discipline in your employees and provide clear guidelines for their behavior. Discipline is a skill that can be thought and that develops in you set ways for your thoughts, actions and habits.
- Nurture motivational thoughts in your employees. Indeed, thoughts have a direct impact on behaviors and results despite circumstances.
- Invest in trainings and in the personal development of your team. There is no need to make these trainings compulsory.
- Welcome innovation. Being an advocate for change helps to increase the lifespan of your company and helps your employees to go through change. There is nothing sadder than a company that has peaked and that refuses to renew their methods.
- Let your employees manage their time and take breaks once in a while. Leaders cannot have control over every aspect of their employees life.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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