The job of owners, directors or managers is to get things done through their employees. And to make this happen, leaders need to be able to effectively engage their staff. Nevertheless, for many people, this is easier said than done.
Regardless of all of the research and books on the subject of engaging people in the workforce, employee engagement is not fully understood and often times poorly applied. To truly understand employee engagement, we must first understand people, which tends to be a complex process. However, once a leader has mastered this skill, effective management and leadership is more easily implemented.
No matter what one does for a living, everyone needs to be motivated. Whether you are a cabinetmaker, chef or CEO of a Fortune 100 company, you need to be driven or at least motivated—internally and externally—to do your job.
Self-motivation is a trait that everyone has, but the level of motivation varies from person to person. You can improve your staff’s motivation quickly (and often times at little or no cost) by following these five steps from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Alabama:
1. Make work more challenging, fun and interesting — Training workers in new areas and assigning new job tasks can give workers new insights about the business and improve their skill sets. This can build confidence in their ability to perform different job functions and increase worker morale.
2. Give praise for a job well done — Everyone appreciates being noticed when they do something right or go above and beyond their normal responsibilities, especially if the job is monotonous or difficult. As Dale Carnegie said, “Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
3. Give rewards for outstanding performance — Make bonuses or perks a motivation for employees to work harder and better at their job. Share their outstanding performance with other employees.
4. Keep an open line of communication with everyone — You need to know if your employees are no longer challenged or have become bored with their job. The only way to become aware of this is when employees are able to communicate their desires to their immediate supervisor. Although no one can accommodate the needs of everyone, you should try your hardest to lend a proactive ear to the needs of your employees.
5. Improve the physical work environment — Look for simple ways to make it more enjoyable to come to work, like putting on a fresh coat of paint, having clean bathrooms or replacing some worn out carpet. Even a larger or updated company sign can bring new life to the work environment.
Remember…there are many factors that motivate people. Surprisingly enough, pay, benefits and working conditions are typically given a low rating. And contrary to popular belief, money is NOT the prime motivator. Most importantly, people want to be respected, acknowledged and rewarded for a job well done.
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