Ten Top Ways for Managers to Motivate Their People

Martin Haworth

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So to help start the ball rolling, here are ten top ways to get your people motivated. Ten small steps for you to start with.

  1. Recognise them
    Recognise your people as people, by saying ‘Good Morning', checking that they're OK and taking a little time with them.
  2. Challenge them
    People need stimulation at work, so to encourage growth, build on their achievement of one skill, with the introduction of another. Instruct, coach and then delegate the new task.
  3. Encourage fun
    Whilst it is a fine line between having fun and anarchy, it is worthwhile spending the time to understand, define and explore that boundary. Having fun is a great way to build team spirit. Checkout where everyone's ‘fun’ threshold is, respect it and then have a lot of laughs.
  4. Listen - a LOT!
    Listening to your people builds rapport and a bond which in itself is powerfully motivational.
  5. Encourage mistakes
    By stretching themselves, people sometimes get it wrong - and sometimes make gloriously powerful ‘inventions’ to move your business forward. By creating an environment where mistakes are not wrong but encouraged, you will find creativity soars. Even mistakes where things go wrong and cost money should not be wasted. Create value from these by really learning for the future. . . as Henry Ford once said “Bring me people who make mistakes" Make it a safe place!
  6. Say Thank You
    It is surprising how much reward we all get from being recognised. The humble (if rare in some organisations), “Thank You" is a simple, yet very powerful way to recognise the efforts every one of your team puts in every day. Think of the last time someone said thank you to you and how great that made you feel.
  7. Be Understanding
    This tip needs careful and skilful management and great managers can do it. Understand that your people are real people with emotions and experiences which impact on them. Being sympathetic to their needs, occasionally and not so often that it impacts your business, will bring great rewards and commitment. Do set ground rules for yourself which allow ‘understanding', yet enable you to draw the line clearly and firmly when you need to. Be consistent and fair.
  8. Get Out of Their Way
    By allowing your people to carry out ‘the boss's work', you strongly build self-belief in your people. Be fair and don't just delegate the ‘rubbish’ jobs, but some of your fun jobs as well (and remember to choose individuals whose strengths match the task).
  9. Share How You are Feeling
    By being a partner with your people and showing that you are a real person too, you will encourage others to take big steps with you. This works because understanding that you share hopes, fears and challenges in common with your people makes them feel a committed part of you, as well as your business - this is a powerful message which they share
  10. Reward
    Last but not least, pay appropriately. Whilst if you pay brilliantly, yet miss out 1-9 you may get short-term gain, it is unlikely to maintain motivation for more than a while. Conversely, if you pay badly, you may lose people because they simply can't afford to stay with you, however great it is. Striking a balance is the ideal. Don't forget to recognise with some fun rewards and as in No. 6, say thank you a lot. It will pay dividends and is free!

Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, http://www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com/motivation.html (Note to editors. This article may be edited for use in your publication or newsletter as long as a live link to the website is included)

. . . helping you, to help your people, to help your business grow. . .


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