Leading by Example: What Managers Need to Know About Motivating Employees

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leading-by-example-motivation-ideasMotivation comes in all shapes and sizes. What motivates me might not appeal to someone sitting next to me.  Thus, the idea of “motivating a team” should be taken as a holistic approach.  Managers must understand that motivation doesn’t have to break the bank, and can be as simple as a thank you.  Kindness and thoughtfulness can go a very long way and while this mindset may take some mindfulness, it is free.  A simple “Thank you” or “Good job” can motivate employees and show your appreciation for a job well done.

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If you are a manager or supervisor and feel your team could use some additional motivation, here are a few basics to know:

  • Lead by example. Motivate in a positive and thoughtful  If you want your team to be thoughtful and kind, you must first display that behavior.  You are not just the manager, but the leader and often, a professional role model.
  • Motivate with feedback. Feedback is a gift and it should be given and received as an extra opportunity to sharpen your skills
  • Give praise. Recognize a skill that your employee has, or a task that he/she does well.  This will let your employee know that you are aware of the tasks they must do regularly, and you see them excelling.
  • Motivate in a challenging way. Initiate a team challenge to get a friendly rivalry going.  (Positive peer pressure can go a long way.)
  • Motivate with monetary gain. Most employees like the opportunity to receive recognition by earning or winning a prize, and even regular drawings for gift cards can be a motivator.
  • Motivate honestly. Be transparent and honest.  Most employees want to know how they are doing, long before they get to their annual evaluation.
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As you can see, there are many inexpensive, sincere ways to motivate employees.  All of the examples above can be used effectively, depending on how well you know your employees.  You must develop a personal connection to determine which example would work best for an individual or a group.  If you don’t know what motivates someone, that is your trigger as a manager and a leader to open that communication process and learn what they like and don’t like.

Staff One HR’s team of Human Resource Managers can help you conduct employee surveys, build your company culture, and assist with training for your team or managers. Contact the author directly at tammy.gunesch@staffone.com.

Image: Yarruta