As a manager, you want to get the most out of your employees. But you know the only effective way to accomplish that is to motivate them to want to perform at their best. This is often easier said than done. Many managers mistakenly believe they must drive their employees to success rather than lead them there. However, this is contradictory to our human nature.
Everyone wants to improve themselves. It is wired into us as humans. As managers, you need to tap into that drive in each of your employees. Below are five ways to engage your employees at work and help them deliver their best.
Challenge your employees
Everyone wants to better themselves. Challenge your employees with goals they can strive for and acquire. Set goals that are just out of their comfort level yet still attainable. Ensure that these goals are specific and measurable and that your employees understand them. But don’t just stop there. Provide each employee with regular feedback on how they are doing. In this role, you are similar to a sports coach that keeps track of each player’s game statistics. As a result, each employee will know how they are performing, what areas they excel at and where they need to improve.
Set the tone
Your attitude as a manager will be reflected by your employees. As you already know, you have to lead by example. Do your employees see you as an example? Do you come across as enjoying your work? Be gracious and available. Treat your employees with respect and courtesy. Encourage creativity and thinking outside the box. In a nutshell, your attitude will set the mood for the team.
Give a little
Punching a clock is difficult enough. Beyond that, your employees shouldn’t feel that every minute of their day is scrutinized. Do you have an employee with small children to get off to school in the morning? Allow that individual to come in a little later to accommodate their schedule. Showing flexibility towards the needs of your employees will be greatly appreciated. If possible, allow for flexible work hours, lunch and work breaks.
After setting goals and challenging your employees to reach and surpass them, it is only fair that you reward those that succeed. Offering public rewards is yet another way to keep employees motivated and engaged in the workplace.
You can be as creative as you want in providing rewards for individuals or the whole team. A simple plaque or acrylic award is appreciated when given with a sincere thank you. The more useful the reward the more it will be appreciated as well.
Other avenues for rewarding success include cash prizes, a few hours off with pay, or, to show appreciation for the whole team, a meal served at the office. Not only will this show your appreciation for a job well done, it will offer a valuable team building experience.
Help with their continued success
If your computer software needed upgrading would you contently accept the outdated version and put up with the loss in productivity that comes along with it? Of course not. Yet many employers fail to regularly update their most valued assets, their employees.
Money and time invested in improving your employees’ skills is not wasted. Not only will they be on top of their assignments but they will also be willing to tackle additional challenges. A fruit tree will never reach its potential bounty if it is never pruned, trained, and fertilized. The same is true of your employees.
Anna McCarthy is an HR specialist who writes primarily on topics ranging from business relationships to employee satisfaction for Able Trophies, a supplier of glass awards and acrylic awards. She spends her free time going on weekend hikes and writing short stories.