Do’s and Don’ts – Motivating Your Employees

As a manager, you are responsible for your employees. You must ensure that they are motivated, proactive and positive. However, according to Gallup research, about 70% of employees think that they are disengaged at work. This is very concerning, because people do not just quit their jobs, they are just running away from bad managers.

Don’ts. There are plenty of good managers, but at the same time there is a quite big handful of bad ones too. Here are some of the things that bad managers are capable of:

Loads of rules. Of course, rules are there for a reason, people should follow them and respect them. However, coming up with rules that you think will bring more order and control over your employees is a big no-no. There is just no need to have some crazy meeting attendance policy or a “only two coffee breaks a day” type of rule. People do not like to feel that they are still 12 years old, living with their parents and being told what to do and when to do it. Keeping the rules simple and reasonable is the key here.

Wrong people on the wrong bus. There is a saying that you need the right people in the right bus seats. It is true, but hiring and promoting people that do not deserve it is something that should be avoided. Not only will it bring you poor results, but it will also have a negative effect on other employees. No one wants to work with a person that just does not fit in and causes more of a headache than is helping. However, it can get worse, especially if that person is promoted. Nothing is more demotivating than working extremely hard on something and seeing someone else being promoted for no reason. Just do not be surprised when your most loyal employees start to leave.

One man show. A good manager is the one that knows how to communicate with employees, he or she is a team player. If you are focused on running the show on your own, then it simply means that you are being apathetic to your co-workers. It is only a matter of time when others will start quitting on you. As a manager, you should always be concerned with what your employees have to say, because their opinion matters. You need them as much as they need you, so do not try to be the hero, make them feel like they are working with you and not for you.

Lack of recognition. Being able to recognize and compliment one’s accomplishments is important, not as much for you as for the person who did all of the work, especially the top performers. If a person is working extremely hard on something, giving all he has and then after everything is done does not even get a pat on the shoulder, then there is a problem. Recognizing means paying attention, whether it is a financial compensation, public recognition or some encouraging words, it makes a big difference. Do not be the one who ignores everything that others are doing for you and the company.

Do’s. Nothing lasts forever, especially awful managers. Try and change your bad habits into the good ones. Here are some of the things to consider:

Actions speak louder than words. Leading by example, being able to roll-up your sleeves and show them how it’s done is what separates a good leader from others. Think of yourself as a coach and not a preacher. You know what you are capable of and you know how to show it. Even if you want to install a rule or a trend in the office, be the first one to do it. For example, casual Friday or a Pizza Tuesday, engage others and increase positivity in the office. People look up to you, so make sure you perform when it is your time.

Keep it clear. There is no need to hide anything from your employees, whether it is company’s goals, plans or expectations. You are working with adults and they will notice if you are trying to sugarcoat something. Be transparent, honest and clear with everything that concerns others.

Be available. Find time to talk to your employees, whether it is just a quick chat in the elevator or a longer conversation during lunch, it does make a difference. For most managers, talking is more important than listening, but try to balance that out. You might get some of the greatest ideas from you employees if you just listen to what they have to say.

Stay humble. Everyone in the office knows that you are the manager, but don’t let your status get in the way of others. A good manager will never show that he or she is better than others in any way. Give credit where credit is due, appreciate the input of others, try not to focus on personal achievements too much. In the long-run employees will see that you are honest and humble, now that is something to be proud of.

A good leader is always appreciated, not only by the top-level management, but by regular employees as well. Being a good role model to your peers will help you to build and maintain relationships, achieve better results and earn the reputation of a true leader. So, if you can avoid the don’ts and focus on do’s, then you are heading in the right direction.

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