If you want your employees to have more stamina and drive, the best place to start is by learning what motives them. Getting the best from people doesn’t come with a one-size-fits-all formula. It means working to understand and address the inner drivers that will boost their motivation.
The best leaders understand that they play a critical role in their employees’ motivation. Here are four of the most important things you can do to keep your people happy and productive:
Create a psychologically safe culture. Give people room to express themselves and voice their opinions without fear of judgment or criticism. In a comfortable and secure environment, your team can come together in a spirit of open collaboration, engagement and involvement, with everyone contributing their ideas as well as their labor. When people feel understood and appreciated for who they are, they’re ready to participate instead of just showing up.
Minimize organizational politics. A culture that’s governed by organizational politics is disempowering and demotivating. The influence of political game-playing is so damaging to employee motivation and morale that it’s not enough to minimize it—you need to eliminate it entirely. In its place, establish a culture in which rewards and promotions are based only on valid measures of qualifications and performance rather than political considerations or connections to powerful people.
Recognize and reward people—the right way. Leaders who truly understand motivation maintain a focus on recognizing and rewarding hard work, effort, commitment, tenacity, imagination and risk-taking. The most effective rewards are monetary, so invest as much as your budget will allow in things like pay increases, bonuses, stock options and promotions. Avoid rewards that create pressure for people to achieve specific outcomes, those that risk a large percentage of employees’ compensation and those that pit team members against each other in direct competition. Being rewarded for helping to meet organizational goals boosts people’s feelings of competence and engagement.
Create meaningful and purposeful goals. One of the best ways for people to find motivation is by putting their energy into something purposeful and meaningful. Make sure that the goals you set for your team, individually and collectively, are clearly tied to your organization’s central mission and purpose. When employees have a sense of purpose at work, they feel passionate, committed and ready to come up with innovative solutions. Their outward-looking focus on serving the organization and their inner determination to excel combine in a single purpose, to serve and to bring value.
In brief, the most effective way to boost employee motivation is to pay attention and understand the people you’re leading by making them feel safe, secure, recognized and part of a meaningful undertaking. That’s the best motivation you can provide as a leader.
Lead from within: Be the kind of leader who knows how to boost their employees’ motivation, happiness, productivity and effectiveness.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.