Human beings are complicated—and motivating them can be complex. When it comes to motivating your employees, there’s no one tactic that guarantees results. Instead, leaders must take a more holistic view, one that encompasses several different motivating factors. Here are five that I’d recommend for any employee motivation plan.
First, it’s important that employees see you as a supportive leader. Notice that I didn’t say micromanager, or overbearing. What I mean is that, when employees need resources, or they run into a problem they can’t wrap their head around, they should feel comfortable coming to you. They should always know that you’re invested in them, and that a big part of your job is setting them up for wins.
Along similar lines, it’s important that your employees feel empowered. This means entrusting them to tackle big projects and to assume more and more responsibilities over time; and, rather than feeling like you’re peering over their shoulder, employees should feel like you trust them to do the job you hired them for. Finally, employees should feel encouraged to dream bigger, to take initiative, and to think up their own ways to add value to the business.
The work environment you create should be a positive one—but what does that mean, exactly? It means giving people room to fail. It means listening more than talking, and taking employee feedback seriously. It means hearing out new ideas without judgement, whether you end up implementing those ideas or not.
Collaboration is another key. Your employees are all part of a team; their role is important in advancing the team’s goals. Make sure they know that, and see how they fit into the big picture. Also make sure you leave them plenty of space to work with their team members, augmenting and enhancing each other’s abilities.
Finally, it’s important for employees to feel recognized for their good work. Be generous in thanking your employees, patting them on the back, and even offering incentives and rewards as appropriate.
These are obviously big-picture items, and you’ll need to tailor them to fit within your own day-to-day leadership style. That’s something I can help you with. Reach out to me today, and let’s talk more about steps you can take toward better employee motivation.
This article originally appeared in Dr. Rick Goodman’s Blog.