Mar 30, 2019
by Elizabeth Slater
There was an interesting article a while back in INC Magazine on motivating employees. The article contained a lot of sound advice. However, as an owner or manager you may not always be around to motivate staff, you may not have time. Everyone, at one time or another needs motivation, though few of us are trained in how to motivate employees or ourselves.
However, no matter what position you hold in the company, if you want to perform well, you need to be motived. While motivation from managers and owners is a great thing, it is not always available. So here are some ideas on how you can motivate yourself and how to stay motivated, rather than waiting for someone else to come along and help with that.
Create Goals: Most people work better when they are working towards their own goals as well as someone else’s Decide what goals you want to accomplish today, this week or this year. Goals can be big or small. You may create a personal goal for the month as well as a daily goal. Your goal may be to start or finish a task that you don't particularly want to do or have been putting off. There is always a certain satisfaction when something gets done.
Rewards: Reward yourself when you do something well or you finish a task. As I work for myself (and have no one looking over my shoulder to make sure I have completed all the tasks) I have a reward system in place for when I complete a project. It may be something small, such as reading a chapter of a book or talking a short walk. If it is a big project, I may take myself out to lunch. For instance, when I finish this article, I am going to have a cup of tea and a biscuit.
Give yourself points that can be accumulated until you reach a pre-decided goal.
Think Beyond Your Job: If you are an employee, ask questions about the overall goals of the company. Find out what part you can play in making these goals a reality. Talk to your manager about your work goals and how they can benefit the company.
When motivation comes from the inside it is more rewarding and you will be happier for it. You know when you have done a good job and so do your customers.
If you are an owner or manager, think about what would be good for your employees and what you can do for them to reward and encourage them. If you are an owner remember to motivate your managers. They are the people in the middle and may feel the pressure from both sides.
Positive Outlook: Of course, there are times when people have to deal with the negatives of life, either personally or professionally. Be aware of those times and how these upsets can change personalities, moods and abilities, whether it is you or someone else you interact with.
Individual Relationships: Create as many individual relationships as you can with other employees, managers or owners. This is easier to do in small companies than it is in large ones but at least go up the ladder a rung or two. Of course, you will be on good terms with your boss, but think about their boss and a Vice President. It can’t hurt to say hello when you see them or if you know of something they have accomplished, let them know. We all like to think we are making a difference, whether we are the office junior or the president of the company. If people are doing good work, tell them.
Individual Motivation: Team meetings are great, but personally congratulating someone on a job well done is just as important. As an owner or manager if you have remarked in a team meeting of how well “Jack” handled a situation, make sure that you also tell Jack personally, how much you appreciate what he or she did. As an owner make sure there is someone in your life who is there to tell you every so often how well you are doing (and occasionally how you could have handled something differently).
Take Notice: When staff members stay motivated, especially in times that are frustrating or disappointing thank them for that. When owners or managers do something that benefits you or the company in general let them know that you have noticed.
Working life is so much better when we take control of how we are going to react to things. Don’t assume that if someone is in a bad mood that it has anything to do with you unless they tell you that it does. Walk into work every day with a plan to do your job well. That is what motivates us and makes us stand out.
A tip of the glass from me to you
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