Motivation is an important tool to use in the workplace because it keeps employees uplifted and inspired to keep moving forward. But every employee responds to different methods of motivations, so the leader must be able to know what makes their employees tick and what works for them. Employees work best in an environment where their feel their leader is behind them and gives them a good reason to do great work.
Make it Challenging
It can be difficult for a leader to make the workplace a challenge because they may not be aware of what their employees can handle at one time. But a servant leader should be aware of the term ‘grow or go’ that is often used in the workplace. ‘Grow and go’ is a concept that means if a team leader or other management does not challenge the employee or make a stimulating workplace (i.e. ‘grow’), the employee may ‘go’ elsewhere. This could mean they leave the company entirely, or it can refer to their sense of confidence and willingness to work. A servant leader can help keep the workplace interesting by helping the employee grow in their own area, as well as others, by allowing them to expand their job duties or take on additional projects. Never feel threatened by those that want to take on more, but welcome the challenge they seek in new opportunities.
Sometimes the simplest form of motivation is ensuring the employee has everything they need to succeed. This can refer to physical resources, such as supplies, team members or training materials. Resources can also include personal support, such as encouragement and feedback. After all, employees cannot do their job right if they do not have all the resources that they need. As a leader, let your team know that you are a valuable resource they can use, especially if they need something they cannot acquire on their own.
Ask for Employee Input
Sometimes a leader can struggle with finding ways to motivate their employees, but the simple solution is to just ask the employees what they want. Seek out the employee’s input on various topics, such as how they like to be rewarded, what drives them to do better, or simply ask what their leader can do to make their job easier. Most employees are eager to share what make them happy and will feel valued while giving their thoughts and opinions. Now that the leader knows what makes their employees happy and productive, they can use the information to find better ways of keeping them motivated.
Bonus and incentive programs are a popular motivation tool for many employees. Incentives can come in many forms, such as monetary bonuses, gifts, special titles or even manager recognition. Some employees may not respond to certain types of incentives, so a leader should recognize different forms of incentives and know which ones are best for their team. It is important to know the difference between an incentive and a bribe for good work. Employees want to feel rewarded for the work they have not – not like they are being coerced with a small gift to work harder.
This post is from January’s topic on “Servant Leadership“, which is also a full course on our MBA Certificate program, available online from Harvard Square. To build a strong foundation in leadership and business administration, this 100% online 6-month program is scheduled to start on the 1st of every month.