Ultimate Guide To Motivating Others7 mins - Introduction
In the world of business, one of the most important qualities to have in a leadership role is the ability to support and motivate other people who work with you. Even when thinking about motivation, it is important that we take into account that there are both positive and negative ways to motivate people. Some of the negative ways of motivating others can be found in general examples like intimidating people or making them feel fearful. It may work in a swift manner; however, these motivational tactics ultimately leave people feeling exhausted, and overall making their productivity short-lived.
That is why it is important to look into more positive ways to motivate people, such as coaching and efficiently delegating responsibilities. They’re more constructive in their approach and have long term benefits to them. They’re also much more customizable. No human in the world is the same, and therefore different things motivate different people. For some people, they want to make a difference. For others, they want to make good money. Some people love the social aspects of their jobs. Consequently, when you find yourself in a leadership role, you’ll want to consider different ways to help motivate people and to figure out what motivates them individually. That’s where this guide can help you. Here’s a guide to the importance of motivating others in a business setting.
Debunking a Few Misunderstandings About Motivation
One of the best ways to learn about motivating others is to learn what not to do. If you’re in a management position, it’s important to keep these in mind. This misinformation constantly gets thrown around and can create a very uncomfortable work setting. Let’s take a look at a few that need debunking.
Motivation comes from them not you
There’s an old saying: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. That’s important to keep in mind with other people. We can inspire people to do better, but ultimately it’s up to them. Your goal is to create a space in which learning and growing are available, but sometimes leaders come across employees who don’t want to grow. For example, if you’re a manager of a retail store, and you’ve got employees who are late, don’t really do their job, and generally, lack motivation. In this case, you can assess what the problem is an attempt to help them. But if you’ve done all you can, and they’re still lacking motivation, then it’s more of a personal problem. They need to find their own motivation.
Don’t expect money to be a primary motivator
It’s true that we all need to make money in order to live and thrive in this world. We have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and need transportation to get back and forth. But without a personal reason for doing something, chances are we’re going to find ourselves in a situation where we’re dragging our feet and struggling to find the motivation to do our best. Your goal in a leadership position is to understand the person who is working for you. They’re more than a paycheck and will only go so far if you assume that an occasional pay raise will keep them going.
Keeping employees on their toes is a great way to motivate them
No, it’s not. Fear or anxiety will only drive a person so far. It can work when you’re in crunch time and need to get stuff done, but it is unhealthy and exhausting to make someone fearful or uptight for extended amounts of time. Our bodies aren’t meant to be in fight or flight mode for extended periods of time. Eventually, we come crashing down and that’s when people quit or no longer work at an optimum level. It can also make their work productivity suffer. For instance, if there’s a deadline coming up, and a writer and editor need to pump out a few stories and proofread an entire magazine spread, they will lack focus and end up having errors slip through and the lack of polish in their work will show.
What motivates you will not necessarily motive others
As mentioned earlier, we are all individual people, and therefore have different things that get us out of bed in the morning. Don’t automatically assume that what gets you out of bed will get your employees out of bed as well. Perhaps you have a husband and two children, and they are what motivate you to do your best each day at work. This will not be the same for those who are single. Their motivation may be more individually based. Perhaps they want to see themselves thriving in their career path several years from now. In this case, appealing to their family to help them find motivation may not be as helpful.
How to Motivation Others and Yourself
Now, let’s get into the meat of understanding motivation. You may be surprised to see that we’ve included you in the motivational factor. The reason is, as you’ll see, motivation comes from a personal space. That means, it’ll start with you and spread to those around you.
Motivate them by starting with yourself
Have you ever found yourself feeling negative after being in the presence of someone who gave off negative energy? Regardless of how great you were feeling prior to being around them, it feels as if they’ve tied an anchor to your leg and have taken you down into the proverbial sea of frustration and anxiety with them. You don’t feel like doing anything productive and are probably trying to look for the nearest exit. Consider this but consider it when you’re stuck with this person or people for over eight hours. Day in and day out, you’re feeling this, and your motivation will be visibly affected.
This is why you’ll want to consider what energy you’re giving out and if you’re feeling motivated yourself. It starts with you. Take a moment to learn about what motivates you. You want to learn what motivates your employees, so first ask yourself what motivates you. Think about this outside of work. What in your life puts a smile on your face? What gives you the most pleasure? Contemplating about it will make it more visible to you and make it easier to conjure up on the harder days. It’ll help calm you down and keep you motivated. The same will happen to those under your employment. But it must start with you.
Find a medium between the organization’s goals and personal goals
Motivation is a great thing to have. When employees are excited, they’ll do what they can to get the job done. The thing is that motivation in business should still be focused – at least on a certain level – with that of the organization. While the individual is important, at the end of the day, there’s a business to run and productivity is just as important as the individual. That’s why you’ll want to find a happy medium between the organization’s goals and the individual’s goals. The best way to do this is to both identify and review the goals of the organization with the employees. These can happen in occasional meetings or other events in which open dialogue up to everyone. It’s also a great way to remind employees of their importance to the overall goals. It makes them feel connected with everyone else and helps to build comradery. Try to keep the goals simple to understand so that employees can easily conjure them up in their individual time and can internalize them. Simplicity will also allow them to find their own personal ways of customizing the goals to their roles in the job.
Supporting employees isn’t a one-time deal. It’s a process.
The business world never stays the same. With the changes in products and other demands comes the need for businesses to change as well. This goes for the motivations and goals of the people involved in the business as well. This means that you’ll have to be able to adapt to the changes in people’s goals and motivations as well. One example is when one person leaves, and another comes in to replace them. In this situation, the motivations of the group as a whole will change in some respects. A new person means a new set of personal motivations as well. Don’t push the same motivations that were there on the new person or else it could put them in an awkward position.
The thing to keep in mind is that it’s a process. You’re never finished motivating people. New challenges come up and they’ll need to be addressed. Sustaining not just their motivation but yours as well is something that’ll be done on a weekly basis. In the end, though, it’s fulfilling and keeps the ball rolling, so to speak.
Procedures, policies and other organizational systems work better than working with just good intentions.
As mentioned earlier, the individual relationship is important, but so is the business factor. Just like motivation, relationships between individuals change. If motivation is primarily based on interpersonal relationships, it’s setting the motivation up for eventual failure if something uncomfortable happens. What if someone assumes that you’re playing favorites, and what was initially a healthy interpersonal relationship with a motivation to receive praise for their job all of a sudden becomes one of hostile feelings? This can also be problematic for those times when stress is high because the company is in its busy season.
This is why you’ll want to rely more on comprehensive systems to keep motivation high. One way you can do this is to establish different systems like a compensation system, organizational policies, and procedures, or an employee performance system. Having a clear system established keeps the understandings between you and your employees clearer. The goal of motivation is to respect the individual but also respect the fact that a business must be run.