The Basics of Motivating and Inspiring Employees
One of the biggest roadblocks to work productivity is low morale among your employees. When your employees are simply coming to work just to get a paycheck, rather than to accomplish the greater good, you can expect the bare minimum in terms of work ethic from your employees. When your employees are motivated and inspired by you, however, productivity soars.
If the equation is so simple, then why do so many business leaders seem to ignore the basics of what motivates and inspires? More importantly, how do you make the transition from being a boss that is a bore to being a great leader that fosters a healthy and productive work environment?
What creates a motivating environment?
According to a recent article by Management Issues, morale in the workplace is motivated by one primary factor, and that’s the boss’s behavior. That means if you, as the boss, come into work dragging your feet, so will your employees. Similarly, if you create a culture that is supportive, collaborative, and fun, your employees will follow your lead. As an interesting sidenote, the same is true for classrooms. If teachers are motivated, typically, so are the students.
If you are looking to boost morale, then the number one way to do it is to look at your own attitude. As the boss, you truly are the biggest cheerleader for pumping up your team.
Additionally, make sure that the people you have hired as leaders also maintain a positive attitude. You’ll notice as soon as some of your chosen leaders are unhappy, that unhappiness will multiply and infect the rest of their team. To keep morale up, keep your leaders happy.
Once you have attitudes in check, consider the following idea to boost morale.
Talk, Think, and Work in Terms of the “We”
In the book, “We–How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement,” the authors suggest that you can determine morale among employees by one simple litmus test. When you sit down with your employees, pay attention to their rhetoric. If they talk in terms of goals “we” are trying to accomplish, rather than “they,” then company morale is often where you want it to be. For example, you want to hear “we are developing a new software to help our clients,” rather than “they are developing a new software to help their clients.”
To accomplish this, make sure to speak in terms of the “we” as well. This is not only a matter of rhetoric, but also a matter of attitude and action. Remember you have hired a team of employees to help accomplish a great goal, so rely on them to help you. Involve your employees in the decision making processes. Ask for their insights. As a boss, walk the floors of your sales team, customer support team, marketing team, and all of your employees and listen to their concerns and questions. This hands-on involvement will help you understand a deeper perspective of the attitudes at your company, and it will give you multiple new ideas for improvement. Win-win.
Acting in terms of the “we” is definitely not an easy task, which is why it often goes ignored. But, it is worth it.
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