One thing we are always complimented on with our work is…. Our ability to motivate people in the workplace. In 95% of cases engaging employees is easy for our team and we usually follow up with some great results…. Led by the people.
So what is it that makes our approach so unique?
Before you read on ask yourself these two questions:
[Pause] Think about it. You clicked for a reason?
2. And more importantly......WHY did you click?
[Pause] WHY? What’s in it for you?
Are you a manager that genuinely cares about his team and wants them to reach their full potential? Do you enjoy learning and have a thirst for knowledge? Are you looking to improve the efficiency of your staff to provide yourself with a higher financial reward? Are you feeling de-motivated by poor relationships and conflicts in the workplace?
It may be that you answered yes to all of these questions, one of these questions or maybe none of the above. Why? WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. Not just in a physical sense but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Before I go on to explain these differences, do me a big favour, read this blog for YOU. Think about how YOU are different. You may have clicked on here to find out what motivates other people (and we will cover that) but if you don’t understand what motivates YOU, how can you learn to understand motivate others?
Ok, so we’re talking about you now. What motivates you? What makes you different? You’re made of the same stuff and living on the same planet as the rest of us but there is one thing that makes YOU unique. The way you think. Your thoughts control how you interpret the world, what you say and how you behave, so in theory, you are what you think. Your thought patterns are totally unique and due to the billions of neurons in your brain, only demonstrated by you. You think completely differently to everyone else on the planet and the four main reasons for this are:
1. Your background, upbringing and past relationships
2. Your past experiences
3. The company you keep today and the people you spend time around
4. The media, TV, web and books
These four factors have influenced your thoughts for all these years and have made you what you are today. These influences may have had a positive or negative impact on your decision making and you may believe certain things to be true based on someone else telling you so, therefore you may not have experienced something but you still think and believe it to be true. This is how you perceive the world and how you make your day to day decisions in life and at work, by your thoughts.
Why am I telling you all this about your mind and how you think? To give you a deeper understanding of ‘how we are different’ and ‘how we are motivated’, as these are built on different foundations for each person. This multiplied by your current personal circumstances and your perception of the work environment makes the possible motivational factors for each person almost infinite. Not the answer you were looking for? Sorry, but I can give you some guidelines that may help. Here goes:
1. Understand you. Before you start to engage with others in finding out what motivates them, start with you. What motivates you? Not sure? Get yourself a trusted advisor or coach and find out. You need to build your own emotional intelligence before you start to tackle others. Display the behaviours you want to see in others first, you will be amazed how much of a difference this will make.
2. Ask them. Sounds a bit too simple, but ‘keep it simple’ is often the best route for me. Depending on the size of your business you may be able to sit on a one to one and ask your team individually or for larger businesses an Employee Survey may be more time efficient. Not everyone likes to put a survey out there and be exposed but we need to find out where we are now if we want to improve employee engagement.
3. Become a coach. If you want to truly motivate your team you need to become a coach. Think about the people that are highly motivated, political leaders, athletes, serial entrepreneurs, they all have coaches. Learn to actively listen and understand your team.
4. Treat people as individuals. Build relationships with your team, have regular appraisals. Know what each person want from their job and from you. Don’t expect all the change to be about them. You may need to change yourself to see more productive behaviour in others.
5. Provide the resources. Einstein’s definition of madness; doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If we are looking for people to change we will need to provide the resources for them to do so, such as, training, time and materials.
6. Allow mistakes. Difficult I know but you need to allow people to fail. We gain our best pieces of learning from mistakes. We need to be there to support people when things go wrong and offer support (not constant criticism or displays of public humiliation). Creating a culture built around learning will remove/reduce people’s fear of failure.
7. Build on values. Decide the behaviours that are most productive for your team and have them recognised as your core values. These will need to be discussed and agreed over time. As you grow your team new members will be well aware of expectations and will adapt in a positive way.
I hope you find these tips useful. Remember we are all different and are motivated in different ways. We are all looking for meaning, striving to be part of something and using the tools we have to do the best we can. I truly believe that the majority of people act in (what they perceive to be) a positive way to achieve results and want to feel motivated. It is down to people like me and you to do our bit to help people reach their full potential.
Please feel free to comment or ask further questions.