By Chris Gandy
In our last post we discussed the importance of consistent motivation.
Here we wish to comment on the pivotal role a Leader plays in ensuring their employees display consistent motivation.
While there are now a number of well tested e-recruiting tools that can assist organisations to select candidates who are predisposed to display consistent motivation, there is little point in making such an investment if the organisation’s culture and working environment do not foster and support this trait.
Here are 10 things a leader may do well to keep an eye on to encourage consistent motivation.
1. A happy team is a motivated team.
I know it sounds corny and totally out of place in a post GFC office but if employees are reasonably contented and look forward to coming to work more than likely they are also a highly motivated and productive group. An environment of mutual respect, trust, open communications, positive support and safe clean working conditions contribute tremendously to a happy environment.
2. Get the work load balance right
An employee may have lost that drive simply because we have piled too much onto their plate. Consequently, they are possibly feeling they don’t have any breathing space. Questioning whether they will ever get to the bottom of their to-do list. Having no sense of making any significant progress. On the other hand having too little to do can also be a problem resulting in boredom and quite often disruptive behaviour. Good leaders know their people’s capacities and can recognise when they have too much or too little going on. They understand that to stay consistently motivated, people need to be doing enough to keep their mind interested and heart engaged but not so much that they are completely overwhelmed.
3. Match rhetoric and reality
Remember your employees are a smart bunch of people. If your organisation professes to be a “caring employer” they will be looking for evidence of this on a daily basis. Be careful what you promise as you will be held to account.
4. Clarity around success.
An area that is so often neglected is providing absolute clarity about “what success looks like”. All employees must be able to understand their goals and determine whether or not they are achieving these goals. To achieve this we need to effectively measure our progress.
5. Having a positive “can do” attitude yourself
Few things more effectively puts the brakes on the motivation of a team than a leader with a “glass half empty” mentality. By all means recognise the challenges that confront the team and realistically assess the risk, but a task should never be assigned if there is no prospect of success. As a leader your job is to encourage the team to succeed and provide positive guidance.
6. Assigning team members to the right roles and providing the tools for the job
No matter the work setting, motivation is influenced by such factors as: having the right person in the job who is capable of doing it; equipping them to do the job by giving them the appropriate tools and support and setting achievable targets.
7. Don’t carry passengers.
As cruel as it sounds, don’t be tempted to carry anyone who is not up to the job. This can be highly demotivating for the rest of the team.
8. Provide feedback
Social media is such a boon to Leaders. With this technology one can easily celebrate success, coach people on specific challenges and address any difficult issues they face – use it!
9. Listening to your team
Technology also allows us to effectively listen to what our team is saying and to respond accordingly. Leaders don’t necessarily need to agree with everything staff are thinking or saying but they do need to understand why they feel the way they do.
10. Honour the uniqueness of each employee.
When it comes to staying motivated, we’re all wired a bit differently and a truly effective Leader must determine what motivates each one and make them feel that they have a part to play in fulfilling the organisation’s mission. If this unique role is clearly identified the employee is likely to remain motivated.
Can you suggest other steps a Leader may take to encourage team members to be consistently motivated?
About the author: Chris Gandy MAPS is the Founder and Principal of Cause and Effective (www.causeandeffective.info) a group utilising their knowledge and experience to assist cause-based organisations to achieve even greater social impacts. You can now follow us on Twitter.