Set the Tone
The office should be a place your employees feel comfortable and relaxed in. If they feel stifled in their surroundings, their work may suffer. Play music, give them comfortable surroundings, encourage laughter and creativity / productivity will follow.
As a boss, yes you’re busy – but try to never be too busy to give time to your staff when they need it. Even if it’s a regularly scheduled time slot during the day, allow your staff to come to you with ideas, issues, questions and anything else that is important to them because guess what? Even if it doesn’t seem as important to you as what work you have to get done, it is important to THEM. Give them your time and be a leader worth following.
Motivate as an Individual
Sounds obvious right? But empowering each employee individually is vital in getting the best out of them. Know each employee’s strengths and weaknesses and strategise around your knowledge. Every person contributes to success, no matter how small their role so acknowledge their contributions and point out the good work they’ve done and they’ll feel empowered.
Understanding is key, so try to make sure that they understand your vision. On your part, that means presenting it clearly and not waffling on. This includes ensuring that your staff understand the “why” along with the “what” and “how”.
Sometimes “why” a project or task needs to be done gets skipped over during briefing in the quest to focus on the task itself and how to complete it. But when looking particularly at tasks that require personal change or are especially challenging, to overcome staff resistance, explaining the “why” is essential to prompting commitment and understanding.
On the flip side of the communications coin is listening to your staff. No one likes to feel as though they’re not being heard so try to create a working environment where staff feel comfortable to speak up and express themselves AND feel as though someone is listening.
Get their Buy in / Support their Ideas
Try to get your staff as involved as possible with the decision making about the projects they need to complete. If a staff member feels as though the idea has originated from themselves, they will take ownership over the idea / project and do a hell of a good job on it.
Set Attainable Goals
There is nothing more damaging to a person’s personal motivation than knowing with gut wrenching certainty that no matter how hard they work, how many hours they put in or how far they go above and beyond that they still won’t reach their goals. So make goals attainable.
Don’t be a Jerk!
Fun fact – people will work harder / do a better job for people they like. They will also work better if that same person is providing them with trust to do their jobs properly and not looking over their shoulder / second guessing their work every 5 minutes.
That doesn’t mean you have to be their best friend and if you’re holding your breath for universal popularity? Well, you may want to rethink your strategy – but trust, fairness, kindness and respect for your employees will go a long way towards motivating them.
Recognise and Reward
When you have good staff, they bust their butts to get the job done. Show them their work is valued through recognition and / or reward. It could be as small as a personally written card saying Thank You for a job well done but a token of gratitude can ensure continued motivation and success just through showing staff that they’re appreciated.
Mix it up!
If something’s not working, has become static or you feel your employees need a change, don’t be afraid to mix it up. Try something totally different – at ALRA for example, we do half day Friday’s for staff to play golf, get massages or just start the weekend early and productivity has never been higher.