3 September 2017

Strengthen your leadership through motivation

Strengthen your leadership through motivation


Motivation is of key importance for all managers. It is about using your leadership skills to foster employees to demonstrate responsibility, engagement and initiative and enabling them to effectively carry out the tasks you assign.

Yet, although most leaders set high targets when it comes to motivating every single employee in the workplace, even the best intentions can be pushed aside during a busy working week or when a deadline is looming. At these times engagement can be lost – which may lead to a risk of decreased efficiency, an uptick in sick leave and — worst of all — even the risk of your employees seeking a new job.  

Only one out of every three employees feels engaged at work
Generally speaking, employee job satisfaction isn’t very high. According to a survey conducted by Gallup, only one in every three employees feels engaged at work in countries such as Germany and the US, while on a global scale the number is a mere 13 percent.    

Management advisor and motivation expert Mark Anthony, states that motivation is a crucial factor in the context of leadership. On average, motivated employees are 43 percent more efficient and contribute 28 percent more profit than unmotivated ones. They are happier, they show more initiative and have fewer sick days. And they create better results.

“Numbers from the UK show that sickness absence is 66 percent lower among motivated employees. That is a number that makes a difference isn’t it?” Mark says.

Stop demotivating your employees
Given these numbers there is a strong argument for making motivational management a priority. And according to Mark, the first step for many bosses is not to learn how to motivate employees – but learn how to stop demotivating them.

"Many managers don’t come close to realising how motivated – or demotivated – their employees are."

“Many managers don’t come close to realising how motivated – or demotivated – their employees are. We are fairly good at creating a good workplace and working environment, but many leaders could be a lot better at managing the individual employee and creating satisfaction from the inside. It is vital to make every employee understand ‘why am I doing this?’” he says.

“One of the most common reasons for demotivated staff is the lack of appreciation shown to them. It is very important to acknowledge the work of your employees. And even though they sometimes fail, you should nevertheless acknowledge their effort. Another topic is the “no-mistake culture”. How do you manage to never fail, come up short or make a mistake? Then you must do everything right all the time — and that is difficult.” 

According to Mark, you should let go of some control and show trust instead.

“Inspire the employees to show courage and take on responsibility. Motivation is the art of creating interest, and if people are interested enough they will grow professionally — because it makes sense to do so.”

Create a path and a purpose
It can be difficult to maintain a focus on motivating your employees. So as the motivational leader you should create a strategy for yourself and your employees.

“We have strategies for all sorts of things but not for the one thing that actually makes a strategy work: how we create motivation and keep it in order to succeed,” Mark explains.

Read also: How to motivate your team

He emphasises that it is not enough to just go by the annual job satisfaction survey. You must continuously be working to create a motivating environment.

“It starts by acknowledging an effort and a mindset, and it is crucial to make visual the direction and purpose of this for the employees. In any project they need to know “what is this contributing to the organisation?” and “what is my purpose in this?” Give people an opportunity to shape their work and grow as individuals. Achieving this will go a long way,” Mark explains. 

The leaders’ check list to create engagement, ownership and motivation among employees

Remember that most people want:

  1. To be a part of something
  2. To contribute to something
  3. To be successful at something
  4. To be good at something
  5. To be something

Source: Mark Anthony

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