Is your workplace an area of inspiration in which everyone is enthusiastic and psyched-up to give of their best all-day, every day? If not, why not?
Motivation is that wonderful energy and excitement that employees feel when they are inspired to contribute, both individually and as a team. And when they do, they feel recognised for the contribution they make to the overall programme, project, target or proposal.
Motivation is a most powerful emotion that employees can experience at work. The managerial commitment to motivating employees through a shared vision and efficient communication are the fundamental skills that great managers bring to the workplace, particularly during challenging times. It is the one skill that cannot be outsourced, but is an integral element of the role of a leader and manager.
Ignoring the appeal to personal feelings can be a costly mistake because if fear and negativity are the endemic emotions within your organisation, then you will need to counter those with even more powerful emotions such as loyalty, belief, vision and optimism. Overall, your success will depend on your ability to inspire and motivate.
Motivation flourishes in a positive management/employee and customer/client-centric work culture. Let us look, therefore, at a few ideas that can help you to increase employee motivation.
Make someone’s day
Are you a Mr. Scowl or a Mr. Smile? As a leader, you have it within your power to make or break someone else’s day. It is you that sets the tone.
If you arrive at work in a bad mood then the whole department can suffer. Your team will instinctively observe your body language and the tell-tale signs that indicate that you do not want to be approached. You may not fully appreciate that the first moments you spend with your team each day have a measurable impact upon motivation and morale.
Even if you are not in a good mood, if you want to be a leader then you must always communicate effectively. You need to share goals, give feedback and appreciation for work well done — not forgetting that it is the small words that leave a big impact.
Let your team know that today is going to be a great day and they all have an individual role in making it happen. Remember, the day starts with you and how you set the scene as a role model.
Treat people with respect
Your team will want to feel that they are appreciated by you as their manager and that is achieved by treating everyone with dignity and respect, which applies to everyone no matter what job they do. Everyone should be valued for their contribution — whether large or small.
We should always treat people with courtesy and politeness. By listening attentively, you indicate respect for thoughts and ideas and this, in itself, encourages the level of motivation of both the person and the team. Asking for ideas and implementing them, where appropriate, to change or improve work processes or schedules will increase energy levels.
Conversely, never humiliate anyone in front of others, or deliberately marginalise or exclude. Ensure that everyone feels valued for their part in the organisation and treat others in the same way as you would like to be treated yourself.
Your team and its individual members will appreciate your positive recognition of improved performance and this will be in an environment of openness, trust and acceptance. Recognition can be carried out informally with a simple ‘Thank You’, or alternatively in a more formal fashion. But take care never to single out one person at the expense, or exclusion, of others.
Effective employee recognition is motivational not only for the individual employee receiving recognition and also for their team.
Don’t forget, whether you choose to been seen as an unapproachable Mr. Scowl or a communicative Mr. Smile can make a marked difference to the working day of another person or, possibly, a whole department.
The author is a BBC Guest-Broadcaster and Motivational Speaker. She is CEO of an international Stress Management consultancy and her new book, ‘Show Stress Who’s Boss!’ is available in all good bookshops.