If you’re a manager, you can become a motivator by inspiring your employees to high performance—and produce beyond the ordinary.
- Purpose. Even the mundane can become meaningful in a larger context. Howard Schultz, the founder and CEO of Starbucks once said about providing propose, “People want to be part of something larger than themselves. They want to be part of something they’re really proud of, that they’ll fight for, sacrifice for, that they trust.” Sometimes that’s all people need to get their skates on—because nothing is worse than feeling that they’re are stuck doing a meaningless task.
- Autonomy. Empower people to innovate and make decisions. Be clear about performance expectations. Reduce your direct supervision of their work. Don’t micromanage.
- Appreciation. Reward your employees’ small as well as big successes. Recognition is easy and need not be expensive and time-consuming.
- Involvement. Interact directly with frontline employees, observe their work, solicit their opinions, seek ideas for improvement, and work directly with the frontline to identify and resolve problems. Encourage employees to talk about the “undiscussable,” even if others don’t want to hear it.
- Challenge. Put people in situations where they can grow, learn new skills, and gain new knowledge.
- Urgency. Disregard command-and-control and, instead, become an expediter and facilitate your employees getting their job done. The pioneering management guru Peter Drucker encouraged managers to frequently ask of employees the one question that can initiate more improvement than any other: “What do I do that wastes your time without contributing to your effectiveness?”
- Empathy. Care about your employees’ success and give them hope about their performance. Be sincere. Demonstrate you value differing opinions.
Idea for Impact: The bottom line on motivation is this: People know what motivates them. Ask them. You may not have any idea what they want.