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Motivation skills for managers: 6 Steps to improve employees’ motivation

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motivation skills

There are many reasons employees might be lacking in motivation and it is up to managers not only to be motivated themselves but also use their leadership skills to motivate their employees. Motivation and inspiration do come and go naturally for everyone but there are a few steps managers can take to encourage and influence staff to remain inspired and motivated in both the short and long-term.

Find out what motivates employees

The first step to motivating staff is finding out what it is that gets them motivated. Managers should undertake regular employee satisfaction audits to determine employees’ views. Generally, some of the things that motivate staff include autonomy, recognition, opportunities for achievement, career advancement, participation, and having interesting and worthwhile work.

A great way to motivate employees is by providing them with training and development and continuous learning opportunities.

Seek suggestions for motivating employees

A formal suggestion scheme should be implemented to encourage and reward staff who suggest ways to improve work methods and
operations. Small prizes should be awarded for ideas that are implemented. The more involved staff feel the more motivated they will be. It is important employees feel that their views are valued and recognised by management and that they are making a worthwhile contribution to the company’s success.

Respect that employees need a work-life balance

Employees have interests and responsibilities outside of work. As a manager, it is important to help staff achieve a healthy work-life balance to help them avoid situations where they become unduly stressed or burnout. A few ways to improve employees’ work-life balance are by offering flexible working hours, mental health days and opportunities to work remotely or from home.

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Create a sense of staff involvement

Managers should communicate the importance the work employees do to the organisation. Participation in the formulation of goals leads to commitment through a sense of ownership and high performance. Employees’ motivation will be increased if they perceive their work as making a significant contribution to the objectives of the organisation.

Communicate the company’s vision and goals

Goals should be specific, realistic, measurable, and challenging. Most employees want an interesting, challenging job rather than an easy and boring one. Knowledge of results should be accurate and timely. Managers should meet with employees for continuous performance appraisals, rather than an appraisal once a year. This will help staff rectify problems as they are highlighted through feedback, and also continually identify training needs. They will know where they stand with their manager rather than the uncertainty of waiting 12 months to find out.

Give praise as appropriate

Recognise when employees have done well and thank them for their work. Give credit as soon as possible, after the event deserving praise, for immediate impact. When showing appreciation, you should specifically describe the desired behaviour, state why the desired behaviour was helpful and express sincere thanks.  Encourage staff to give their best and give rewards proportionate to effort.

Get the most motivating blogs, tips & quotes from our weekly newsletter #MotivationMonday.

Leadership, Delegation & Motivation

These are just a few ways to get inspiration and motivation back into your workday. For more on motivating both yourself and your staff, check out "Leadership, Delegation & Motivation."

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