Leadership & Communication

Top tips for staff motivation

31 Aug 2013, by Informa Australia

Effectively managing people and teamsThe ability to keep staff motivated is one of the key characteristics of a successful leader, showing they have the charisma and drive to get the best out of their employees.

And while it may be easy to put the effort in when it comes close to deadline day, maintaining that level of productivity when it’s just another day in the office can be the hardest part of management.

Leadership development is all about taking on new skills and applying them to different situations in the workplace, so here are some top tips for ensuring your staff stay at the top of their game.

Set a good example

Want your employees to show up on time every day? You need to make sure you get in early yourself!

The same goes with expecting workers to stay late on a project; it’s hardly fair if you clock off at 5pm while everyone else is slaving away in your absence.

Any managers who fail to comply with their own rules and regulations will quickly become a source of resentment, which can result in workplace discord and apathy.

Listen to your employees

One of most important factors for feeling valued as an employee is being listened to – so make sure to take the time to hear out any grievances or ideas put forward by your personnel.

However, this doesn’t simply mean nodding through their comments and complaints and then putting them aside for a later date.

You will need to show that you’ve taken their opinions onboard, and even if it’s not possible to resolve staff issues immediately, a simple explanation of why this is the case can go a long way.

Acknowledge achievements

Praising your workers for going the extra mile is vital if you want people to continue performing at a top level.

Employees like to know their contributions matter, so publicly acknowledging their achievements goes a long way to building staff morale.

Be sure to explain exactly how their efforts are positively affecting the business and always be consistent with the ways in which you reward outstanding performance.

Help your employees succeed

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your employees is essential to creating a supportive and motivated workplace.

Remember, it is your job to make sure their performance is up to scratch – so it’s as much your fault as theirs if they are failing to meet standards.

Whether this involves additional training, one-to-one sessions or adjusting workloads and duties to cater to their best talents – try to minimise weaknesses and build on strengths.

Set clear goals

Setting clear goals helps to keep teams focused and motivated, as well as encouraging people to work together to achieve a common aim.

A bit of friendly competition between employees can improve performance, but be careful that this doesn’t become an exercise in exclusion.

In other words, having staff work with each other to overcome an obstacle is often a better alternative to having a workplace contest that results in ‘winners’ and ‘losers’.

Maintain high standards

Top-performing businesses set premium standards for their staff, ensuring work is completed on time, within budget and to a high quality.

And although it can be easy to put a framework for quality assurance in place, standards can slip if processes aren’t monitored effectively or performance isn’t being measured.

Make it clear what company expectations are, how they will be met and what potential rewards there are if standards are exceeded.

You will also need to have adequate performance management protocols in place to handle underachieving employees.

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