I don’t believe it’s a manager’s ‘responsibility’ to motivate employees. I believe adults are responsible for their own choices, including whether or not they choose to be motivated to do a job.
As a manager, however, you can influence others and can inspire behavior and results. Here’s how you can influence your environment:
1. Set clear expectations. Most expectations I see aren’t always clear or measurable. By setting clear, measurable goals you are defining what you expect and what you will manage to.
2. Give feedback often. Don’t save this for the annual review. The more opportunities you have to share what’s working, what’s not, and what you’d like to see differently, the more opportunity your employees have to adjust their course and be successful. That in itself contributes to motivation to do a job well.
3. Coach. Coaching creates conversation and helps you guide, inspire and reward progress. It also helps create shifts when necessary before goals are missed. It doesn’t have to be time consuming – create opportunities (even if they are in 15 minute increments) to share what you like, and anything you don’t with your employees.
4. Eliminate ‘negative nellies’. You know who they are – these are the people that don’t like being there, are ‘victims’ to their negative attitudes and environments, and spend their time spreading their negativity to others. Employees that demonstrate these behaviors cause distrust, disruption and detract from the business at hand. Pretending they don’t exist doesn’t work and often hampers the environment you’re trying to create. Deal directly with these people: they are making the choice to be negative and be clear about the consequences of that.
5. Set the example. If you watched yourself on video at the office what would you see? Are you inspiring, energetic, happy or are you stressed, frustrated and tired? Your behavior contributes to the tone of the office and organization. So, if you don’t like what you’re experiencing, answer the question: What is my role in contributing to the situation I say I don’t like?
Lastly, find yourself support: a mentor/coach within the organization, or outside. Be sure you have a place to go to for ideas, advice and help managing everything on your plate.
For more career, sales, and leadership advice please contact our coaches
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