Employee Motivation – a Secret Society?
Motivation is a key ingredient to success. This is not a news flash by any means and every manager and good leader embraces some degree of motivational program for their employees – whether they do this consciously or subconsciously they all do it. Motivation is not some secret society either, but the secret to motivation is the ‘what’ behind it. So what is the ‘what’ anyways?
Great question and one that every great leader seeks to answer and the answer is never the same twice! Ok, so that is what makes motivation part of a secret society – remembering and understanding the same employee will have different motivators at different times of her life. And yes, different times can be as often as yearly, monthly and even daily. This is the ‘what’ behind keeping your employees motivated and feeling empowered.
Now that you are a part of this secret motivational society and you’ve been let into the inner sanctum, you are reading this and still thinking “What? That isn’t a news flash either!” And yes, you would be right but the news flash is the remembering which translates into engaging in some form of communication with your employees regularly to ensure you are in the know of what their current motivator is or might be. Regular communication is the real secret ingredient to realizing your success as a great motivational leader.
Think about the great leaders you know; they succeeded due to the fact they never stopped communicating, even when faced with difficulties. They, like you have invested time, money and energy into inspirational literature and lectures trying to properly identify role models who will help them lead their employees to success by providing their own sense of inspiration and motivation. It all sounds circular and somewhat confusing doesn’t it? But as a great leader you have and will have clear cut goals to reach and you will need to have various sources of motivation yourself, regardless of the price tag, empowering you to forge ahead, ready to make tough decisions that might not be so warm and fuzzy or well received but knowing what motivates your employees to empower them to be on board with your difficult decisions will be what sets you apart from the rest.
Communication is the only way to keep your employees motivated and feeling empowered. Remember communication is a two-way street so the feeling of empowerment will come from your wiliness to listen and consider their ideas, feedback, and comments all with an open ear, mind and heart. Their motivation will be derived from this sense of empowerment as it will nourish whatever their current motivator might be.
As a great leader you will take their input and find a way to incorporate some small element into your long range plan and if appropriate into the more immediate business strategies as well and communicate these ‘adjustments’ back to your employees. And why would you share this information to employees? Not just to be sure they are aware of the changes but because empowerment comes from your employees feeling powerful; not necessarily power over people per se but feeling they are in control and have power over their own lives. The great leader that you are, you are able to give credit where credit is due. All your great ideas are based on something you’ve read, heard or observed and in your leadership style you need to be able to incorporate passing on the credit to those that follow you. And as you do you will easily continue to empower your employees to go the extra mile, think outside the box and be creative within their responsibilities. By embracing this type of leadership approach you will not only inspire but increase your employee loyalty which will ultimately work to the benefit of the overall business.
Of course, this is the balancing act of a great leader – balancing the employees with the bottom line. Business goals can set the level of expected achievement for your employees and business while also serving as a source of motivation. As a great leader and now a member of the inner motivational sanctum you will be able to easily identify, provide and empower your employees which will inspire them into action and their action reinforces the bottom line.
Your investment in regular communication with your employees will continue to support your business’ growth and success. The great leaders who continue take it upon themselves to find better options of inspiration and motivation realize it all needs to start at the individual level with the employees ensuring the ‘what’ in motivation resonates with each of the employees as well as with all those who are around.