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Motivating Employees - Ten Ways to Start You Off
Yet there is a place for those external 'raft-build's', 'away days' and 'paintballing'! Just get them in context; there is work to do up front to leverage those experiences and get the best value from them. Just build great relationships in your business or organisation, one-to-one - then have the fun day out and grow even more!
You can't motivate people to get excited if the core basics aren't right. So you have to get the financial reward appropriate. Then you have to ensure that working conditions are right. How? Ask your people if they are! Example? Folks don't feel motivated if they are cold.
Apart from the basics, there is another level you have to get just right. How they are feeling. This is where it gets a bit more challenging. You have to ask them about this too. By creating the right sort of trusting and encouraging open relationships with them that they feel comfortable to tell you. This is about how you go about it. Big, important actions for you.
To motivate your people the 'hygiene factors' have to be sorted out first. That's your job and you can't afford to miss anything. Nor can you start doing the smart stuff till you get this lot right. You can't super-enthuse your team if you are not personally connecting with them at a high level.
Get all the basics sorted out, create feedback loops to ensure that you find out those little irritations for them early, and create the ongoing and open atmosphere. You can't rush this stuff though - if you do, it won't work.
Now you can get to the individual. Right now you have 'comfortable' people in a trusting and helpful workplace. Here's where you have to build your personal relationships with individuals. There no quick way around this. Get to know what turns them on, one by one. Understand their strengths and preferences - and the bits they love about their work. Give them more of it!
By giving them more of what they want to do, they will be ready for more. And you can create that for them. Stretch and challenge them - build their confidence. People get motivated when they are excited. They get excited by being confident and looking forward to their work.
Now we are on a new level. So here's the thing - to find out what your people need more of in their working life, you need to ask them. 'What else do you need to get more from your work?' Find out how you can help them.
This is a bit trickier. You can't ask them this. Observe what it is that you do, in your interactions with them, that gives them a buzz. Because it will be different for everyone, you will have to use a bit of trial and error here. You need to work this out for yourself.
Saying 'Thank you'; encouragement; personal coaching; laughter; resources; physical help; conversation; touching base; actions; celebration; rewards; praise; acknowledgement; (private and public); standing up for them. There are lots more and to be honest, everyone is different. That's why Motivation is so challenging. But it's also why you are the boss - because it's your job to deliver this.
The raft building/paintballing/away day? Well, Motivation kicks in here at the very highest level. You can really motivate your people with these exercises. Use them before you've got the basics right and you won't get a return. This is where it often goes wrong. And when it does, it's like pouring petrol on a fire to put it out - it makes things a whole lot worse. Don't chose this wrong level as an 'easy' option too soon.
And a motivated workforce has an energy all of it's own. By making the effort to play your part, you can unleash serious potential - and it is so, so worth it!
Copyright 2005 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website,
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