How to Motivate Employees

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Most leaders think that employees are only motivated by one thing: money. We can probably all agree that earning money is important in terms of paying bills and living a desired lifestyle. As a front line leader, if we think that employees are only motivated by money we’ll fail to recognize that there are a number of other factors that contribute to employee motivation.

Think back to when you’ve been most motivated in your job. Chances are some of the factors included being challenged, learning something new, and having a great team and a great leader.

Here are three tips for creating a more motivating environment for your team:

# 1 Create a positive environment

You as the leader set the tone for your group. Be more positive in your approach. Smile more, acknowledge the team’s successes and the individual contributions of your team members. Avoid focusing too much of your time and attention on the negatives and focus on what is going right instead.

# 2 Involve employees

Ask employees for input in terms of changes, improvements, problem solving and decision making. You’ll find that when your team feels that they’ve had a say, they will be more committed to helping the department perform. Instead of providing all the answers, recognize that your role as the leader is to ask good questions and help the team take ownership and responsibility over the work.

# 3 Provide Challenge

As the leader you can challenge your team by cross training, by setting ambitious goals and by presenting problems for the team to solve. Avoid making the challenge so difficult that it ends up demotivating. You want your team to see the challenge as achievable with some effort and focus. Be sure to offer positive reinforcement when the team succeeds and then provide the next challenge.

Motivating your team beyond the paycheck is about tapping into their need for respect, appreciation, growth and belonging. Your job as the leader becomes much easier when your team is motivated to perform.