Periods of change in the workplace often leave employees with feelings of fear of the future and nervousness in the present. It is this emotional reaction to change that fuels resistance, demotivates staff, and ultimately can destroy innovation, creativity, and productivity. Leading people to the future vision of a merger, new procedures, or organization-wide software upgrade, for example, require leadership that utilizes and adapts motivational methods in the workplace.
Lifting employee performance with motivational methods in the workplace
The key to ensuring that employees work at peak performance is to maintain employee engagement. Of course, employees may rightfully expect reasonable wages and a safe working environment, but these things alone will not gain commitment to a change project or longer-term objectives. Today’s employees crave more than a financial bonus for a job well done.
Here are five ways in which leaders of change can employ motivational methods in the workplace and energize employees to progress toward the future vision:
1. Show respect to employee’s as individuals
Engage employees in the change conversation, listening to concerns and encouraging open discussion. Encourage the sharing of opinions and involvement in decision-making, while getting to know what motivates each employee to come to work every day. This will help you identify talents that may otherwise remain hidden.
2. Utilize individual and team strengths
With a greater understanding of individual talents, the leader will be better placed to design working teams that play to their strengths. Realizing the challenges and attributes of high-performing teams will reap benefits such as increased innovation and creativity, higher staff retention, and reduced costs.
Helping people identify their strengths and then building teams that share values, beliefs, and goals is a key to ensuring that employees remain effective and focused.
3. Make work challenging, meaningful, and with targets that stretch
In a 2012 study by the Society for Human Resource Management, 81% of employees reported overall satisfaction with their jobs when given challenging positions within their organizations. People want to know that the work they do makes a difference, and to feel that they have achieved something. Giving employees responsibilities and then recognizing a job well done builds self-esteem and mutual trust.
Employees also need to feel challenged, with targets that stretch and ask the individual to improve skillsets. Remember here that goals need to be clear with metrics of achievement agreed between manager and employee.
4. Support excellence with two-way feedback
Forums for open and honest feedback should be targeted at providing a positive environment in which the employee feels able to discuss concerns with their manager. Through exchange of ideas, strategies for the continuous improvement of individuals and teams can be developed and iterated.
Feedback needs to be specific and lead to the embedding of desired behaviors and learning of required skills.
5. Provide opportunity for development
Throughout the process of modelling motivational methods in the workplace, strong leadership will engage employees in an environment of learning and improvement. This may include the provision of in-house or external training, coaching, job exchange, cross-functional skills development, and enhancement of knowledge, as well as sharing of strategy and organizational ambition.
Promote from within where feasible − and invest the time and support in developing employees so they can take on new opportunities.
Recruit, train, and retain top talent
Leaders are sometimes misguided in the belief that engaging employees in self-development and the learning of new skills is more likely to empower them to leave. In fact, the opposite is true.
By providing a forward-looking and engaging environment, with motivational methods in the workplace designed to give responsibility and help individuals reach their full potential, an organization will be seen as a good employer: and good employers have high staff retention statistics, as well as the credentials that encourage top talent elsewhere to apply for career opportunities.
Contact Forward Focus today and discover how a Change Agent Bootcamp and coaching in consulting and facilitating will help your organization take advantage of the modern, geographically challenged, collaborative workplace