Motivating Your Employees… Basic Rules for Good Leadership
Successful managers know how to motivate their employees in order to carry out the day-to-day operations. Although everyone is motivated by different needs, most people will tell you that two important things they look for are mutual respect and personal involvement. When employees feel good about themselves, the work they do, and the organization they work for, it is much easier to gain their cooperation.
Employees want to believe that their views and opinions count, that management listens to them. They want opportunities for personal and career growth. They want opportunities to do what they do best. They want work that matches their behavior style. They want appreciation from management when they do well.
It is important to involve your staff in the decision-making process. Give your staff a share in decision making. If not deciding what is to be done, then how it is to be done, or when or in what way, by whom. Let their “share” increase over time. Hold regularly scheduled staff meetings. This provides an opportunity for the employee to be heard. Celebrate successes of the association and of individuals in it. Take time for team- and morale-building at your staff meetings.
Think about your employees’ strengths! Most managers worry about what their employees are doing wrong. To build motivation, remind yourself what each employee’s greatest strength is.
Keep employees informed. Keeping the staff informed about changes that can directly affect them such as policy changes, procedure or rule changes, Board of Directors requests, and performance changes will assist in maintaining a positive attitude toward change. Provide an update regarding the results of the Board of Directors meetings.
Maintain an open-door policy. Be approachable, available, and interested, not distant. Let your employees know that you are there for them to lend an ear.
Develop a caring attitude. A good manager trains, develops, counsels, guides, and supports his or her employees.
Communicate! Open communication is most employees’ number one priority. And the majority of employees say their managers don’t communicate openly with them. If employees feel you are withholding information they need about their work or workplace, they will lose motivation and develop resistance to your management. Ask employees what they want and what they want to know. Ask them one-on-one and in group staff meetings.
Listen! Be sure to listen and try to understand what employees are communicating. Be open-minded and objective to what they are conveying to you.
Ask for suggestions. Be sure to invite suggestions and new ideas from employees regarding the operations of the association. Be willing to put good ideas into action by making changes. Involve employees in decisions, especially as those decisions affect them.
Give “constructive” criticism. An effective manager gives constructive criticism and never makes personal attacks. Always point out their strong qualities when approaching with constructive criticism.
Recognize your employees. Give appropriate praise and recognition for a job well done. Provide employees specific and frequent feedback about their performance. Support them in improving performance. When your employees accomplish something, they have achieved something. Your recognition is appreciation for that achievement.
Always treat your employees with respect. Be thoughtful and considerate of the person you are dealing with. Personally thank the staff for doing a good job one-on-one, in writing, or both. Recognize their efforts. Do it timely, often, and sincerely. When there is a reason for praising someone don’t put it off for any reason! Promptness equals effectiveness. Praise people when the achievement is fresh on everyone’s mind.
Believe it or not! Studies show employees find recognition for a job well done more motivating than money. Knowing that what you do is important and appreciated is the best reward. When you hear a positive remark about an employee from a unit owner, repeat it to that person as soon as possible.
Show appreciation. Do you ever call an employee into your office—just to thank him or her for good work or special effort? How about writing a personal note on an employee’s paycheck envelope? Have you ever sent out a memo commending the employees for their good work?
Outline job responsibilities. Make certain employees know exactly what is expected of them and how their performance will be evaluated. Draft an employee manual that outlines what is expected of them and the association’s policies and procedures. Establish quarterly reviews of their performance.
Maintain high standards. By involving employees in establishing these high standards of performance, you will build their pride and self-confidence.
Provide information. Explain how the staff of the association can save time and money, how they can assist in this process with upcoming projects, and strategies for a smoother operation. Explain the employee’s role in the overall plan and process.
Education is critical. Give employees a chance to grow and improve their skills and knowledge; encourage them to be their best and attend advanced training, seminars and workshops. Show them how you can help them meet their goals while achieving the association’s goals. Create a partnership with each employee.
Ask employees what they want and assist them in setting goals. Employees are motivated by…what motivates them! Employees have different goals and desires, and therefore need different performance and development opportunities. You can’t motivate individuals with generic programs. To maximize motivation ask each employee what excites them.
Celebrate. Every now and then ordering pizza, serving donuts, or celebrating employee birthdays will help break up that everyday routine and help employees stay motivated. Because it is a natural tendency for employees to get excited in anticipation of something, structure some of these days in advance.
Strive to create a work environment that is open, trusting, and fun. Encourage new ideas, suggestions, and initiative. If your employees perform routine work, add some fun and variety. You can create a happier work life for yourself and your staff.
If you follow these principles in motivating your employees, they will feel like you care about them, that they matter to the association, and that their performance is important. In the end, they will give you their all and this will increase their motivation, productivity, satisfaction and happiness!
By Marcy Kravit for LinkedIn, Feb 8, 2015