How do you motivate employees? Money doesn’t work!
Okay, to a point money does motivate, of course. And the more money you throw at me the more motivated I will become, especially these days… for a little while anyway.
But that will soon fade as it becomes an expectation more than a reward. At some point more money isn’t going to matter as much. It is going to take something else.
Study after study has shown that being happy at work is more about the little things than it is about large bonuses, stock options and exceptional benefits.
I’m not saying those things don’t help, but feeling valued, respected and trusted at work is even more important.
How do you motivate employees? Here are three things you can do as a leader to help.
1. Communicate regularly. Your employees need to feel that you are being transparent, honest and open.
It is bad news for your staff to find out for the first time that the company is in the midst of massive layoffs when they look over and see Mary packing her things.
They don’t want to find out something big is going to happen when George, the department head says, “something big is about to happen, but I have been told I can’t say, you will find out.”
When possible, communicate transparently, honestly and openly with employees. If you don’t they will fill in the gaps themselves. It is demotivating. People want to feel they are “in the know.”
2. Recognize and appreciate employees. I’m not talking about large rewards or huge recognition banquets.
Taking the time as a leader to do the little things (e.g. personal handwritten notes of appreciation, specific recognition in a team meeting, a sincere email of gratitude) can go a long ways in helping people feel appreciated for what they contribute. And it costs little to no money.
People only know how much you care when you demonstrate how much you care. Taking the time to genuinely recognize and appreciate those you lead yields amazing results.
3. Provide meaningful work and opportunities. Most people like assignments that challenge them and say to them, “I/we trust you with this. You have proved that you can do this.”
While promotions are great, they aren’t always readily available. However, challenging and increasingly responsible assignments are.
It takes a little effort to find them, but they can be found. For example start by asking, “what could be taken off my plate and delegated?” By answering this question you are motivating an employee with a challenging assignment and lessening your load at the same time!
How do you motivate employees? What other things have you done as a leader to help them feel respected and valued?
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