Secret Sauce to Motivated Employees
What is Motivation?
Let us understand that first. Oxford dictionary defines it as "the general desire or willingness of someone to do something". It is the will of a person, his desire.Motivation is an immensely Positive emotion. It is full of positive energy.One more important aspect of Motivation is - It comes from within. You cannot enforce it on someone, you cannot pour it in anyone's head or heart, you cannot bombard it in their brain.
Why do Businesses need Motivated Employees ?
To answer that let us first find out Why do Businesses need Employees in the first place ? Because no matter how much you want to, you cannot do everything alone. That's exactly why people form companies. They come together, work together to reach a place which was not possible to reach for any one of them individually. Company is a symbol of triumph of unity. Basically, Businesses need employees to do stuff. And how exactly do you get things done by them ? Well, there are many ways.
You can force someone to do something - using fear (job loss, demotion, etc.)
You can make someone do something, reluctantly - running them down the guilt trip,shaming them
You can lure them into doing something - incentives, dangling baits
You can motivate them. And they will do it on their own, happily.
All of these, except the last one, when done in excess become useless. Not only they stop being ineffective, they bring with them a lot of negative energy that stays much longer. And It shows up especially when the temporary good results start subsiding. But the push from motivation that comes from within is far greater and long lasting than all those temporary artificially created jerks. That's why Shrewd businessmen takes motivation levels of employees seriously. It is one of the best long term investment you can make into your business.
But why Long term investments are so important, when you should actually be worried about the next quarter's results?
Growth and Continuity are two pillars on which every business rests. People say Business is all about Money. I'd say, Business is all about More Money. And the path to achieve that, is to keep making money and keep making more money today than you did yesterday. Essentially Growth and Continuity.That's the reason why shrewd businessmen intuitively understand immense importance of long term investments, long term solutions, long term plans over quick returns short term paths and solutions. So they crave for motivated employees.
Now that we understand what is Motivation, And We recognize why Businesses crave fro Motivated Employees. Let me get to the point. The Secret Sauce.As I said, it has to come from within. You cannot enforce it on someone, you cannot pour it in anyone's head or heart, you cannot bombard it in their brain.
Then how to motivate them? How ? I cannot wait forever for them to get motivated on their own. I don’t have that kind of time.
The secret lies in Listening. You gotto listen more and talk less.
You have got to ask them right questions. You can leave them with those questions to ponder on.
Again, don’t try to force your way into their answers. Let them think, let them assess all the factors, let them digest all the data, give them time. Roughly, if you follow the rule of 20-80, where 80% time they are the ones who are talking while you are listening, you will start seeing the results. Make sure in every meeting, you follow this simple rule.
Ask them to talk at length about your business. Sometimes you would be surprised how little do they know.Ask them about their favorite restaurant, why they like it. What good things can we (as a company) learn from them. You can even discuss the ones they did not like and why. Just be careful to stick to 20-80 rule in all such discussions, even if initially they may not talk much. You can only stir something inside them. Don’t try to push them to the Conclusions that you want to reach. Be open to all kinds of thoughts and reasoning. Because even if they don’t immediately come to the same conclusions as yours, the very fact that you were successful in triggering their mind, the very fact that you have made them think and express something on this (business side of things) topic, is a very positive sign.
Within 3-4 such meetings, you will start seeing the effects in your office. The attitudes of team members, the energy levels in office, the quality of work and your confidence in your own team will see a significant jump.
Second most important thing that you can do is : Create Positive environment in your Company.
Apart from creating an interactive, active minded team, who feel confident enough to articulate, speak out, reason out, get involved in the thick of things, you have to ensure no negative energy creeps in. That's when the leadership qualities come into picture.
Then how to handle customer issues with employees ? How to get accountability without asking stern questions ? We are not here to be nice to each other. We are here to work. We mean business. And each employee must understand this. So its okey to scold, its okey to shout at employees so that they think twice before committing such mistake in the future.
That's the usual line of argument. The catch here is, when you come across an Issue, the mistake has already been done. The damage, whatever it is, has already been done. Scolding employees is not going to reverse the damage. There is no point in losing cool and making things more difficult. If you start finding a person to blame every time an issue appears, the employees also start playing the blame game. The culture changes from working together to each one playing safe and saving his/her own skin to avoid any possible blame. Let’s see how to skillfully address potentially negative things :
1. The only response to Issues - finding out the exact root cause. Never losing the cool and vitiating the air.
2. At the end, Each one involved in Troubleshooting speaks about what lesson they all learned
3. Write down all these lessons (important step) and create internal wisdom collection
This way each new customer issue will strengthen your team instead of weakening it and within a short period the number of issues will start dipping.
Let them completely define their own Performance Measurement criteria.
Here again, follow 20-80 rule and just ask the right questions so that each one knows how their efforts are being measured. If you try to keep these measures hazy, not defining them in exact manner (for whatever reason), there will be plenty of scope for misunderstandings and for negative energy to creep in. That’s a motivation killer.
The more efforts you put in this activity, the more seriously you take these discussions, the better the quality of work and productivity of each employee will be. When the customer satisfaction is aligned with employee satisfaction, you have reached the right place.
To sum it all up, Basically to have motivated employees, all that the manager needs to do is
Listen more and Stay positive.
Sounds too easy to be true, doesn't it? Then why not give it a try and find out for yourself ?