What Managers Can Do to Motivate Employees

The Manager’s Role

Jon Gordon is a best selling author and keynote speaker who focuses on working with leaders to create great cultures and united teams. In his book, Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture,” Gordon talks about how employees are overworked, distrustful, and have less enthusiasm and passion at work than ever before. It is a problem that can be fixed, though. Wellness programs help to prevent burnout and teach employees how to better manage stress, which improves both their health and their happiness levels. However, to truly transform workplace culture requires managers to have the ability to motivate employees. Motivation is the most powerful emotion that employees can bring to work, they just need to be inspired by their leadership.

How Managers Can Motivate Employees

  1. Communicate responsibly and effectively: Employees want and need information in order to do their job effectively. Make sure to always communicate with them about any company information that may have an impact on their work., such as changing due dates, customer feedback, product improvements, or training opportunities. If the information greatly affects an employee, always communicate with them in person and one-on-one if possible.
  2. Recognition of employee performance: Recognition is one of the best things managers can do to improve motivation. As we discussed in a previous article, 82% of employees would rather receive recognition than a gift. Praise, a verbal or written thank you, out-of-the-ordinary job content opportunities, and attention from their supervisor all rank high with employees.
  3. Implement an open door policy: Employees find honest and transparent communication motivating. What is even better is that they feel they can come to you with any questions, concerns, or ideas.
  4. Allow employees to further develop their skills and abilities: Having the ability to continuously grow and learn is much more motivating to employees than tedious “no-brain drudge work.” Make sure employees are placed in the correct positions to suit their strengths and then help them evolve their weaknesses. Encourage quarterly goals as part of a performance development plan, reassign responsibilities as necessary, and provide additional training or cross-training opportunities.
  5. Provide authority: Employees seek autonomy and independence in decision making and in how they approach accomplishing tasks. A good way to provide them with this is to allow employees to self-manage and make decisions. You can also expand their job to include new, higher level responsibilities as they improve and assign tasks to the employee that will help him or her grow.
  6. Listen to complaints: Encourage employees to come to you with concerns or complaints and conduct surveys to learn more about how your employees perceive the workplace. Then, be sure to address any complaints before they make an employee or workplace dysfunctional. Even if a problem can’t be solved to everyone’s satisfaction, communicating and making an effort to resolve issues goes a long way in terms of motivation.

For more information on how to motivate employees and additional examples for each category, visit The Balance Careers!

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