7 Unusual Ways to Motivate Your Employees – Leadership Resources

How to motivate subordinates effectively?

Motivation / October 7, 2022

One of the most difficult components of being an effective manager is not only learning to keep your employees organized and on task, but to truly know how to motivate employees as well. Unfortunately, not every employee is naturally willing to go the extra mile in their everyday efforts, and many times this is because they don’t feel a sense of ownership in their work.

However, employees who do take ownership of their work and who feel as though their work truly matters are much more likely to be motivated and feel engaged while on the job.

If you can increase the level of engagement that your employees have with their everyday tasks within the workplace, you can start seeing the overall productivity of your entire department increase almost instantly. While the reasons to motivate employees are clear to most managers, finding ways to actually get team members engaged in their work is often far more difficult.

No matter how much training or talent you have on your team, engagement is one of the most powerful tools that any team member, and any business, can have. Here are three of the most effective ways for managers in all types of fields to effectively motivate their employees.

1. Focus on Company Impact: Avoid Talking About Financial Results

One of the most substantial ways to start motivating your team members is to change the way you talk about your company.

The truth of the matter is that while shareholders often care about a company’s financial performance, most employees don’t have as much of a rooting interest in the financial results of their organization. This is particularly true when employees do not see a direct correlation between their salary and the financial success of the company.

In order to get employees truly engaged in the company, many successful managers have found that team members are often motivated more by the impact that their organization has on the world around them instead of the financial success of the company. In fact, many studies have found that the younger employees who make up today’s workforce often embrace more of this mindset. With this in mind, managers looking to motivate their team should focus more on the impact the company has on society than its financial stats.

Taking this approach in team meetings and in all employee-manager interactions can help inspire a more natural engagement from team members.

2. Focus on the “We” Mindset

Many times, when managers notice an unmotivated employee, they instantly start looking for the issue within that individual team member. However, when managers place blame on an employee or ask, “Why are you doing this?” they're often only discouraging their employees, not motivating them.

This can make withdrawn employees feel even more withdrawn. It is important to remember that many times when employees are not performing as normal, there is a reason behind it, and typically it is because the employee feels unappreciated.

In order to keep employees engaged in what they are doing or your company and keep them motivated, start approaching on the ‘we’ mindset while working with team members. Issues should be approached as “What can we do to help?” and "How can we remedy this problem?” Doing this avoids the issue of placing blame on an employee, and it also gives team members an opportunity to reconnect with their company.

Struggling team members that are approached with the ‘we’ mindset instead of the ‘I’ mindset are also likely to jump in and fix any issues with their performance right away. This is because they often feel as though their actions more severely impact the team instead of just their individual standing within the company.

3. Spend More Time Inspiring and Less Time Micro-Managing

Many times, busy managers spend so much time attempting to micro-manage and control the efforts of their employees that they forget to inspire their team members. Research has revealed that individuals who work for leaders they find to be inspiring are often more committed, productive and satisfied. They are also more likely to stay in their jobs.

While it can be difficult to take the time to try to inspire others instead of managing the work they do, leaders who take this approach often form closer relationships with their employees and have more focused, more motivated and committed team members working under them. Inspire those around you and pay close attention to the message you deliver. The results may surprise you.

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