Motivation for Employees- Are Your Managers Good Motivators

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Sometimes even the best employees miss the mark.

Maybe they’ve got something going on in their personal lives. Perhaps they’re feeling a little under the weather. Or it could just be an off day, when the coffee spills, rush hour traffic stands still and things don’t get much better when they finally make it to work.

This is where your managers are supposed to shine.

Motivating employees just might be a manager’s most important responsibility. Without the ability to keep everyone on the team moving in the same direction, everything could come to a screeching halt. Employees who lose the will to work–even for a few days–can cause projects to fall off track.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the top performers, those who perpetually seem to be on performance improvement plans or the masses who make up most of your employees. It could be costly. They’ll toss timelines aside, blow budgets, and cause conflict with clients and co-workers.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that everyone is motivated by something, and it doesn’t always come down to money. In fact, a story in Business News Daily points out that money might satisfy someone for a little while, but it actually has very little to do with an employee’s day-to-day happiness.

Your managers are hired to figure out what motivates individual employees and how to tap into those motivations.

Here’s a look at six ways your managers can and should motivate employees (and what to avoid):

1. Respect

It almost seems like this should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how quickly and often respect gets trampled and tossed aside by managers. Everyone wants to be respected. That means everyone wants to be treated with courtesy and kindness. Everyone wants to have their ideas and concerns heard. And nobody wants to be harangued, berated, or belittled.

2. Growth

Managers who encourage employees to grow within the company have more motivated employees. Giving people room to grow means understanding both their skills and interests and areas where they might need to gain ability and experience in order to rise through the ranks. And then giving them the chance to pursue opportunities that let them shine. Employees who feel stuck or like their only mission in life it to make their manager look good won’t be high performers.

3. Recognition

Deep down in their hearts, every employee wants to be recognized for their work by something other than a paycheck. They want to know that someone recognizes a job well done. So if someone goes the extra mile or does a bang-up job on a project, make sure to give them a shout out. Just be authentic. Few things will mess with a team’s motivation more than insincere or undeserved praise from a manager.

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4. Transparency

Employees don’t like being kept in the dark. They want to know why decisions are being made, how the business is doing and what major initiatives might be coming down the pike. So make sure your managers are talking to their employees and being as transparent as possible. Managers who make employees get their company news from the rumor mill are doing more harm than good to both motivation and morale.

5. Culture

Everyone talks about company culture, but how many of your managers are actively working to create a good one? Company culture includes the company vision, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits, according to an article in Forbes. This is the high level view. For employees, it could be as simple as offering flexible scheduling so they can make it to their child’s soccer games. It could mean offering snacks to employees from time to time (which a recent survey found makes nearly 60 percent of employees more valued and appreciated). Or it could just be making sure the workplace is fun.

6. Invest

Investing in your employees is never a bad thing–and there are a lot of ways to do it. You could invest in rewards designed to reward employees who reach certain goals. You could invest in a commission structure that inspires employees to accomplish more. Or maybe it’s a profit-sharing program. The investment could also be in training employees so they can be more effective, grow and take on additional responsibilities. Managers and companies that invest in their employees have employees who are more motivated.

Are Your Managers Motivated to Motivate?

Of course, all of this only works if your managers are motivated to motivate. This means they have to possess the knowledge, skills, and will to keep a fire lit under each of their employees –from the top performers to the perpetually improving to everyone in between.

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