The culture of business is always evolving, both because of changes in the economy and changes in the workforce. Gone are the days where companies and their employees remain loyal to each other for years, and they have been replaced with a more profit-driven model that sometimes leaves employees feeling like they don’t matter. If you are curious how to inspire your employees, consider these five ways to improve relations in a way that positively impacts your company.
As an effective manager, you should spend time getting to know and understand your staff. You need to know their strengths, weaknesses, work styles, and even their aspirations. Motivating employees is, on a very basic level, all about developing and maintaining relationships. If you don’t spend as much time on your workers as you do on your bottom line, you are sending them the message that they don’t matter. Be sincere in your dealings with your team and they will respond.
Goals are an important part of motivation, but what happens when those goals are met? Employees who are not learning new skills or setting new objectives can stagnate, which can affect the overall office morale. People who continue to learn are more likely to be engaged, and that engagement can reflect on their overall performance. Keep in mind that lecturing is not how to inspire your employees: training by more collaborative methods can encourage involvement in work processes and tasks. Continuing education is built into many professional careers, but it should be a part of every work environment, as new technologies and techniques are created that has an impact on production and administration.
What if nobody cared what you thought about anything, but they still expected you to perform your duties without error, day after day? Instead of focusing just on profits, make an effort to allow your personnel to offer input. Pay attention to their viewpoint. They may streamline processes in ways you never considered because they are the very people implementing those approaches. Your staff may have some great ideas that can improve your company, but you will never know if you don’t give them the chance to speak. If you want to take it a step further, consider mentoring as a tool for encouragement and education. Your workers may respond better to an advisor relationship that allows for an exchange of ideas rather than a traditional supervisor and subordinate model.
If you are interested in how to inspire your employees, you may need to read between the lines a bit. Motivation at work must be more than adding more responsibility as a form of recognition. It’s about trusting your staff, about believing in their ability, about respecting them and what they do for you. Realize that all of your employees bring different skills to the table, even if they share similar duties. You can always hire someone to fill a job opening, but that new person may approach the same tasks from a different way. Every employee is an individual, and an effective manager never loses sight of that.
Rewards can and should be more than monetary in nature. If you want to know how to inspire your employees, you need to determine which incentives work and which are wastes of everyone’s time. Do they want ownership of a project? Are they looking for more independence in addition to more responsibility? Are they interested in unbiased feedback about their performance and constructive advice for improvement? What works for one employee might not work for another, so try to avoid a cookie cutter approach to encouragement. It’s a delicate dance because you want to be equitable and fair to avoid any discontent that can adversely impact your work environment. Another thing to keep in mind is the strengths and weaknesses of contests. Pitting employees against one another for a prize may not have the outcome you would expect. If you aren’t sure of the best approach, open a dialogue with your staff. If they feel they are heard, they may just open up about what matters to them, and in the process give you information on how to inspire your employees to succeed. The bottom line is there is no bottom line when it comes to motivating your staff. Inspiration is fluid and constantly changing, so be creative, be transparent, and be open to what your employees have to offer and to say. If you would like more information on how to inspire your employees, check out the resources and ideas available at Mighty Recruiter.