A great leader has several qualities that sets him or her apart from the whole bunch. One of the most important qualities of an entrepreneur is his or her ability to motivate employees. Imagine you’re buying the latest gadget or toy for your kids but there are no batteries inside. In a way, finding the suitable batteries for the toy or gadget is like finding the right way to motivate employees. Moreover, the end goal will be similar: energy for action, but you have to set up the proper connection to ensure the energy flow.
A great leader will always motivate employees or a team with finesse and professionalism, being considered by many to be an art rather than science. Here are some strategies which will increase the chances of motivating your employees and thus enhancing productivity:
1. Focus on the bigger picture. In this field, you’ve probably heard this a million times. Probably, the most universal motivational trigger, being able to connect a present action with a bigger picture is primordial. Take for example the moment you just started your first company. What drove you wasn’t only the motivation of having a business. You had aspirations and dreams such as building a better life for your and your family, to aid people in need or even leave your mark on the world by making it a better place. That drive, my friends, is the bigger picture and not the daily to do list.
This doesn’t apply just in the case of startup founders, but it can also be applied for your team or employees. Should they lack in motivation and thus productivity, this is mainly due to the loss of connection between their tasks and why they are doing them. Always search for the “why” during your conversations with your team so that when the lack of motivation arises you are there to remind them of the bigger picture. It may seem like a puzzle at times, but you need to be there to help them fit the puzzle pieces to create that larger picture.
2. Also, do not forget to emphasize how important the process really is. Teams may procrastinate at times because they consider that by putting off some tasks there will be no harm. However, you know better and the more they delay actually dealing with those aspects, the worse it will be for your business and the productivity of your team.
They may not have the same experience you have, therefore explain to them that what may seem unimportant may be the next best thing (product or service) that will take your company one step closer to success. You probably know the cliche that there are no small roles in theatres, but only small actors. Well, the same goes for the business environment. There are no small steps, only small thinking. However, this cannot apply if you have unnecessary redundancies. If it so happens that you do, make sure to do an audit and clean those procedures spotless.
3. Be observant and determine what excites your team or your employees. The most sincere form of motivation does not come from you, but rather from employees themselves. When you’re in a meeting with you employees, make sure to always be observant of what they are saying and the manner in which they are saying it. Most likely, they are offering you hints on how they prefer or would want to be motivated by you. Pay attention to these keywords and take advantage of them so that the motivation process runs smoothly.
You will be able to recognize these keywords as employees tend to emphasize them or if not, they will surely stand out from the rest. At times, these keywords might be more pointed or said on a louder voice. Moreover, their eyes might even widen. When I first opened my translation headquarters, I called for a communication training session. I was able to tell that one member of the team was not really all that glad to be taking part in the training.
During the first break, I decided to approach him and ask him his thoughts on the whole manner. He said that “The training session is great and all, but I do not understand how this will help us move forward”. When I heard the “move forward” phrase I noticed that he accentuated his point. This lead me to believe that progress and future were his motivational triggers and I spent the last few minutes of the break trying to explain how by means of this training the company can actually move forward and meet its goals. Believe it or not, after the break that person became extremely attentive and participatory during the rest of the training.
4. Last but not least, a great leader will always make use of positive reinforcement. In my opinion, the best way to ensure that a person is motivated and productive is by acknowledging it and rewarding his or her success. Do not make the mistake of motivating someone to take action, yet not acknowledging their accomplishments. Employees will tend to become jaded when you will approach them in the future with other issues. By recognizing past accomplishments, you are able to motivate employees in the future.
Being a source of motivation for your team or your employees is one of the toughest burdens great leaders have to bare. Your team should see you as a friend and always come up to you with pleasure and stress-free when they feel the need to address you with a problem. Paying attention to their needs should be your main focus when you are trying to motivate people.