Five Steps for Motivating Employees

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Tips from the field on communicating and motivating your employees

1.1       Assign fun work

  • Recognize that what’s fun for one individual (you) isn’t fun for everyone. Fun work means having to meet reasonable expectations that are challenging but not overwhelming or unachievable. Being challenged makes work fun and interesting instead of dull and monotonous, because fun work usually means that team members are learning on the job. Challenging work makes teams stretch their skills in ways they may not have tried before. Your team members may be working on the edge of their comfort zone or even outside it—the key is that they have the confidence to achieve what they set out to do.

1.2       Keep skills sharp

  • Technical team members need to feel competent doing their jobs. Many want to stay current and marketable so they can continue to be attractive job candidates—they want to continue to stay in demand. This is a win-win scenario for the organization, because valued team members have current skills, and these skills make team members value their jobs.

1.3       Give recognition—always

  • Your teams should feel good about themselves and their work. They want to demonstrate their skills and know that their skills are contributing to the team and organization’s success. Providing recognition for work well done can build team spirit. Tell your workers specifically how they, personally, are doing good jobs. Help individuals feel valued for their contribution. Providing flexibility in a job to support a team member’s needs is another way of showing that you recognize their contribution and are willing to work with the team member to support them.

1.4    Communicate freely

  •  Actively solicit individuals’ ideas. Keep everyone “in-the-know.” Make people feel important. Tell your team everything you can tell them even when they don’t need to know. Giving information freely and soliciting opinions makes individuals feel like they are important parts of the team.

1.5       Walk your talk

  •  Operate with honesty and integrity. Ensure that your actions and the actions of the management team are congruent with your messages: pay attention to words, tone, and body language. People value fairness, honesty, integrity and sincerity. They need clear, consistent and achievable performance goals. Walking your talk ensures that team members will value the recognition you give and trust what you communicate to them.

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