By Mckenna Clarke, blog writer at TOP CFOS
Former president Dwight Eisenhower said, “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” Motivating employees is a delicate art. You don’t want to come off pushy, or bribe-y, or just too much.
Here are some ways to motivate employees without being any of those things:
- See your employees as whole human beings. Work is not the only thing your employees have going on. They are mothers, fathers, spouses, children, friends, and siblings with interests, passions, and hobbies outside of work. When they feel like you know them for who they are, they are less likely to feel like robots and less likely to do their work like one.
- Mentor employees. If you sense that one of your employees is lacking in motivation, maybe some one-on-one tutoring will help. One leader did the following to motivate an employee: “He started talking more with his employee, giving him challenging work, seeking his input, and including him in important projects, the employee responded with increased enthusiasm and commitment. ‘I can’t believe what a difference it makes,’ he [said] after a few sessions.”
- Reward employees for a job well done. While we hope that all employees will intrinsically motivate themselves, this isn’t always the case. Having some kind of reward can motivate employees to reach goals. The reward they receive will reinforce the good performance and create a positive cycle of motivation. A friend who is the CEO of a local company buys lunch for the whole office when the sales team meets their goals. Talk about motivation!
- Look at things from the employee’s perspective. HBR writer Monique Valcour says, “I believe that most interpersonal problems that arise in the world…come down to the fundamental difficulty humans have in seeing things from others’ perspectives. When we make assumptions about what employees believe and value…we reduce their humanity and their complexity.”