Motivation comes in many shapes and various sizes. We know that there are various leadership styles that can be defined and categorised by certain elements. One of the common denominators shared by each of these styles, is various motivation techniques.
A fundamental aspect of motivation is linked directly to how the leaders interact with their employees. The old saying is that you can manage resources however you must lead people. That is, you can manage elements of the business, such as maintenance, financials, inventory, etc however when it comes to people, they must be lead.
A corporate officer fresh from his college graduation, a family member who inherits his position in a company, or a freshly minted officer in the defence forces all have one thing in common. They may have a position over others however they must earn respect.
The quickest path to leadership success, earning respect, and being effective is through using motivation techniques with those you lead. Here are some surefire strategies that will work in virtually any setting. Some are free and others will cost a business some funding however each is designed to payoff for your enterprise.
Get to know your people. I once accompanied a supervisor on a tour of his business. He passed by a desk and asked someone by their first name how their garden was growing, he asked another if his daughter had heard back on her college application, and yet a third how his grandson was doing in soccer.
Everywhere we went from the offices to the plant floor he knew each person by name. He also knew something about them that was personal. He took time to notice their personal area and asked about the people in the pictures. He noted the person who collected images of owls or horses.
Employees in the plant complained about the time it takes to get to their cars in the parking lot, travel to a lunch spot, and return within the lunch hour. This leader asked a couple of long time workers to offer solutions. The result was the creation of two outside and one inside lunch areas and for mobile vendors to park outside the doors during all three shifts.
He cited other examples of asking employees to step outside of their job descriptions. The workers were excited to be asked for solutions. They took pride in the accomplishments and the benefits to the workplace.
There is a daycare for all three shifts on location. The executive break room was converted to a company-wide exercise facility with showers and changing room. There is a mentoring program run by employees with over 10 years experience for new company officers.
There is a voluntary skill sharing education program. The company offers free IT software training to employees and family members on site. They learn skills to perform jobs that can be done online. Last year the company added a program where graduates can perform data entry jobs and earn a desktop computer system of their own.
Employees were asked to organise inter-department competitions. It includes softball, basketball, and even board game rivalries. Leadership instituted a recognition and reward system throughout the company. A fantastic use of motivation techniques.
Workers who participate in improving company production, company safety record, or employee development are recognised at a monthly awards ceremony. At the end of the year there is a free employee and family banquet. Music, food, and annual awards are part of the event.
Recognition is the number one tool in the motivation toolbox. Surveys tend to show that recognition is more desirable than money. People want to know that their knowledge, their service, and contributions are appreciated.
Get to know the people you strive to lead. Find out what is important in their day to day, and how you can help improve it. Relationships and recognition will always be the foundation of motivation.
Invest your time and effort to learn more about and learn more from your people. This is where you will find your best return.
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