Actual behavior is vary important, but so are the reason behind it. In most cases, the only way to know how motivated your staff members is through the ways in which they behave. This includes what they say, their gestures, expressions, and stance.
Be aware that the systems that your staff use mat be demotivating
When trying to read behavior, recognize that while body language can give clues to motivation levels, it can also be misread. More concrete signals will be provided by the ways in which individuals perform their tasks: this is likely to give you the clearest indication of their motivation. Some one who works cheerfully and efficiently is unlikely to be hiding anything if they greet you with a smile. Like wise, a dour facial expression should only be interpreted adversely if combined with a grumpy “That's-not-my-job" attitude to work.
Look for positive responses to any criticism - they are good signs of motivation in staff
Positive motivation is often signaled by positive gestures: a smile, a eager pose, and a relaxed manner. When people carry out a task in which they are interested or enthusiastic, they may have a “sparkle" in the eyes, since their pupils actually enlarge. Confident eye contact is also important as a measure of motivation: demotivated people are less likely to look you straight in the eye. Blushing can indicate pleasure, while an increased rate of breathing can indicate enthusiasm - both of these are good signs of motivation.
Maintain eye contact with your staff whenever you speak with them
Motivation can be recognized in a number of ways - look particularly for signs that your staff feel useful, optimistic, or able to take opportunities. A team in which each member looks after the others’ interest is likely to be a good source of motivation. Look for evidence that your staff are satisfied in their job rather than anxious and frustrated. If you find such signs, ask them whether they are satisfied. You can also establish a good idea of an individual's level of motivation by their attitude towards work. The statements below are all indicative of motivated staff members:
They freely volunteer efforts and ideas, as well as other contributions;
They always react well to request and new assignments
They work to achieve, not “to rule"
They seem to be happy at work
They always respond frankly to question
Ask your staff if any changes at work would help to motivate them
Learn to see the difference between work problems and personal problems
Recognizing A Motivated Worker
A tidy, organized work space and a well-groomed appearance can initiate a positive attitude to work. A tidy desk is a sign of motivated workers who wish to be able to find the things they need easily, while attention to personal appearance suggests a high level of communication to the job
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Manik Thapar (MBA) http://www.careerpath.cc