© blr ® —business & legal resources 1408 motivating employees tips and tactics for supervisors

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© BLR ® —Business & Legal Resources 1408 Motivating Employees Tips and Tactics for Supervisors

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Motivating Employees - Tips and Tactics for SupervisorsMotivating Employees
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Motivating employees to perform at their best is one of the most important parts of your job. Productive, well-trained employees who work hard to achieve goals make a company strong and successful.
But there’s a lot more to motivating employees than just the occasional pat on the back. Successful motivation is a daily activity that requires the use of a combination of techniques and a variety of motivators.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Session Objectives
Recognize that motivators vary from person to person
Find out what motivates your employees
Use an effective arsenal of motivational techniques to help workers achieve peak performance
Encourage employees to reach their highest potential
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The main objective of this session is to provide you with tips and tactics to motivate your employees to perform at their best. By the time this session is over, you should be able to:
Recognize that motivators vary from person to person;
Find out what motivates your employees;
Use an effective arsenal of motivational techniques to help workers achieve peak performance; and
Encourage employees to reach their highest potential.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
What You Need to Know
Benefits of motivating employees
Potential motivators
Motivational techniques
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The benefits of motivating employees;
Potential motivators;
Motivational techniques; and
How to use training, coaching, and performance reviews to motivate workers.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
What Motivation
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Effectively motivating your employees has many benefits. It helps you:
Develop skilled, productive workers who can take initiative and get the job done;
Encourage high-quality performance, with all employees working up to their potential;
Create an effective team, with each employee pulling his or her weight; and
Help employees find greater job satisfaction, increasing enthusiasm and involvement and reducing turnover.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
What Motivation
Prepare employees for advancement
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Motivating employees also helps you:
Assist workers with personal growth and development by helping them improve their skills and gain new and challenging work experiences;
Prepare employees for advancement within your work group or into other departments, thus strengthening the organization; and
Prepare your department to meet future needs by creating a more competent, experienced workforce.
Can you think of some other benefits of motivating employees that you’ve discovered through your experience as a supervisor or as an employee?
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Facts About Employee Motivation
All employees need motivation
Money isn’t the only motivator
Motivators vary from person to person
Motivators must be tailored to meet each employee’s needs and goals
A combination of motivational techniques usually works best
Be prepared to change motivators
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In order to achieve those benefits, you need to recognize some important facts about employee motivation.
Key among these is the fact that all employees need motivation to perform at their best. The tendency is to focus motivational efforts on problem performers. But even your best performers need to be motivated to continue to work up to their potential.
Another important fact is that money isn’t the only motivator. Sure, it’s important. No one would deny that. But it may be a motivator over which you have little control. The amount of raises you can give your employees may be determined by people higher up. So the motivators we’re going to focus on in this session are the ones you have complete control over and can use effectively on a daily basis.
It’s also important to note that motivators vary from person to person. What motivates one employee might not work for another.
Get to know your employees and find out what actually motivates each one of them. That way you can tailor your motivation to meet each employee’s needs and goals.
For best results, you should use a combination of motivational techniques
And finally, be prepared to change motivators when an employee’s circumstances or goals change.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
What Motivates
Your Employees?
Good supervision
Clear goals
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Now let’s talk about what really motivates your employees. If you were to ask them, they’d probably mention many of the following:
Good supervision from a leader who can guide and direct their activities;
Clear goals and expectations that are mutually understood and agreed upon;
Accurate and timely feedback that fairly reflects their performance and helps them improve it; and
Interesting work, or at least the opportunity for interesting assignments from time to time.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
What Motivates
Employees are also motivated by:
Challenges that help them learn, grow, and test their talents and stretch their abilities;
The chance to take on important responsibilities and show what they can do;
Recognition for their efforts in the form of praise, rewards, and advancement; and
Respect for them as professionals and individuals.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
What Motivates
Being treated fairly
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Your workers are also motivated by:
Being kept informed about what’s going on in the department and the company;
Having their ideas, suggestions, and concerns listened to by their supervisor and co-workers;
Being treated fairly in terms of evaluations, recognition, and responsibilities; and
Having opportunities for growth and advancement within the group and department and throughout the company as a whole.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
What Motivates
Participating in decision making
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And they may also be motivated by:
Having some control over their work and the authority to take initiative within established boundaries;
Participating in decision making that affects their work and their work group; and
Being a member of an efficient team that offers support and cooperation to each of its members.
Think about the motivators that you have used successfully with your employees. Which work best? Why do you think they were the most motivational for your employees?
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Motivation and Your Employees
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Now it’s time to ask yourself if you understand the information that has been presented so far. Do you understand what we’ve discussed about the benefits of motivating employees? About what motivates employees?
It’s important to your success as a supervisor that you understand this information so that you can use it to motivate your employees.
Now let’s continue to the next slide and begin talking about motivational techniques you can use with your employees.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Motivation Begins
With Leadership
Motivation begins with leadership—your leadership.
To motivate your employees to work harder and smarter, you have to help them see how they fit into the big picture, to see their part in the company’s mission. When people share a vision for the future, they are inspired to achieve.
As a leader you also need to provide direction. Your employees need to know what the parameters of successful performance are. And they need a leader who will guide their activities to successful completion.
People are also bonded by commitment to goals. You can encourage commitment by being committed to department and company goals yourself, and expecting commitment from each employee.
In order to successfully motivate your employees, you also have to make sure they know you care about them. They need to know you’ll be there for them when they need your support and assistance. You need to be accessible to them when they have problems or suggestions. Accessibility is a cornerstone of motivation.
And finally, you can only motivate workers if they trust you. They need to know you stand behind your promises and can be relied on under all circumstances.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Expectations, Goals,
And Standards
Successfully motivating employees also depends on setting clear expectations, goals, and standards.
The best motivators hold high expectations for their employees. Studies have shown that high expectations are usually met with high achievement. Expect the best from each employee, and that’s what you’re likely to get. Expect little, and that’s what you’ll probably get.
Setting goals is also essential to the motivation process. When you give employees a direction in which to head and a measurable result to accomplish, you also hand them a road map for achievement. The most motivational goals are those that are set high enough to be challenging, but reasonable enough to be achievable.
Standards are also important to motivation. They must be consistent so that everybody knows exactly what is required in every situation. Set high standards and your employees will rise to meet them.
Think about the expectations you have of employees, the goals you set with them, and the standards to which you hold them. Are they high enough to be motivational, but reasonable enough to be achievable?
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Employee Involvement
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The more involved your employees are in their work and their work group, the more motivated they will be to work hard and perform well.
Participation is a powerful motivator. Whenever possible, involve employees in planning, decision making, and problem solving. Encourage them to be active members of a team in which everyone has an important contribution to make.
Delegation is another highly effective motivator. Put somebody in charge of achieving a result, make them accountable for accomplishing a goal, and you give them a strong incentive to perform at their very best.
Creating an atmosphere in which employees feel ownership for their work is also an extremely effective motivational technique. People want to feel proud of their work. They want to be trusted to make the right decisions and take appropriate action to achieve positive results.
Maintaining two-way communication is also an important part of keeping employees motivated. Your workers want to be kept well informed about what’s going on and how they fit into it. They also want to share their ideas with you and their co-workers. That constant flow of information keeps everyone in the know and
on the go.
Challenge
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Challenge is another powerful motivator. And one way to challenge employees is to try to make their work more interesting—even routine tasks. You can do that by:
Challenging employees to find better, more efficient ways to perform routine jobs;
Cross-training and rotating less interesting jobs when possible;
Broadening responsibilities to include planning, problem solving, quality control, and other more challenging aspects of the job sequence; and
Teaming up workers and making the team responsible for an entire operation or project.
Another way to use challenge as a motivator is to expose employees to new experiences. When people are exposed to work they haven’t done before, they are forced to think and act in new ways, which is stimulating, satisfying, and growth inducing.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Challenge (cont.)
Match the challenge to the worker
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Problem solving is also a great motivator. People like to fix things, solve puzzles, and make things work. Problem solving is really a self-reinforcing motivator. Solving the puzzle is its own reward and often makes people eager to tackle another problem.
When using challenge as a motivator, be sure to match the challenge to the worker. Although most employees welcome challenges, some may be intimidated at first and be unwilling to try. They may express a desire to stick with the safe and familiar. For some of these employees, you may need to rely on other motivators. But others may just be cautious or afraid of failure. You can bring these people along slowly, giving them challenges they feel comfortable handling, gradually increasing the difficulty and importance of the challenge.
How do you use challenge to motivate your employees? How good a motivator do you think it is?
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Belonging
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Almost everyone likes the idea of belonging in some degree to a group. It’s human nature. And that means you can use belonging as a motivator on the job.
You can create a team spirit among your employees. You can make everyone feel that he or she is an important member of the team, with a significant role to play and a unique contribution to make.
Once you’ve molded your group into a team, you have access to a built-in motivator—peer pressure. Everyone wants the team to look good. And everyone knows a team is only as strong as its weakest members. So the members of the group, themselves, apply pressure on each other to do their best. After you’ve coached your team, you can stand back and watch them go.
The mutual reinforcement people get from group interaction is also highly motivational. They both give and receive support and cooperation, enjoying the security and reliability of belonging.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Respect
Get to know employees as individuals
Show respect and appreciation for their work
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Showing respect for employees is another way to motivate them.
One of the most basic needs of all people is to feel important. To the extent that you can make your workers feel important, you will be providing considerable motivation for them to work hard and succeed. And the best way to make people feel important is to show that you value and respect them.
That means treating your employees as the professionals they are. Respect their efforts, expertise, and talents. To be a good supervisor it’s not necessary for you to like every one of your employees. But it is essential for you to respect each one.
Showing respect also involves getting to know employees as individuals. This tells them that they are more than just one of the crowd. It shows that you care about them and their work.
And along with showing respect, show appreciation for their work. When employees do a good job, they want you to notice. So be sure to let them know how important their effort is to you.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Recognition
Recognition for hard work is also a key motivator.
Always provide positive feedback about performance. Feedback motivates employees to perform better.
Public praise is another way to motivate employees. People like others to know about their successes. Employee of the month programs, newsletter notices, and bulletin board announcements are all effective ways of using public praise to enhance performance. And when you praise one employee publicly, you also motivate all the others who want the same kind of attention.
Money, of course, is always a welcome form of recognition. Use it to the extent you can to motivate employees.
Other forms of recognition include special privileges, more responsibility, coveted assignments, more authority, appointment to committees and task forces, and special training.
How do you recognize superior performance? How well do your recognition strategies motivate your employees?
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Personal Growth Opportunities
Encourage workers to broaden their experiences
Create opportunities
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Most of your employees are looking to get ahead. They want to be promoted to better jobs. Helping them grow and prepare for available opportunities can motivate them to work hard for you and perform up to their potential.
Encouraging employees to learn new skills on the job helps keep the work interesting and challenging as well as prepares employees for better job opportunities—in your department or elsewhere in the organization.
Along with more skills, employees need to have as many different work experiences as possible to develop their judgment and expertise.
Whenever possible, create these growth opportunities within your group. This way you can keep your top performers without losing them to another department through promotion. And besides, some employees don’t want to move up the ladder or away from your group. What they want is for you to enhance the job they already have so that they can continue to find satisfaction and challenge in doing what they love to do.
Those who do want to move up, on the other hand, will be motivated if you work with them to prepare them for advancement.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
How to Motivate
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Do you understand the information that has been presented in the previous slides. These motivational techniques can help you improve the performance of all your employees.
Now let’s go on the the next slide and talk about how to use training to motivate employees.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Training
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One of the best ways to help employees grow and prepare for advancement, while keeping them motivated to do a good job with the work they have now, is through training. Well-trained employees are motivated employees.
Employees should always have sufficient training to learn the skills required to perform their jobs well. Nothing will discourage a worker faster than wanting to do a good job but not having the skills to perform up to expectation. Skill training is a fundamental motivator.
Having the opportunity to learn advanced skills that will prepare them to take on more responsibility and move up into more desirable positions can also be highly motivating for your employees.
Cross-training can help motivate employees, too, by providing them with new skills and different experiences. It also allows employees to enjoy some variety in their routine and gain a better understanding of their co-workers’ needs and problems.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Training (cont.)
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Sending employees out of the department for company-sponsored training sessions or outside seminars and conferences can also be motivational. These events give employees exposure to new ideas and techniques as well as to people in other parts of your organization or people from other companies in your industry. Bringing ideas back to share with you and your other employees can make these specially trained employees feel useful and important.
You can also use training as a motivator by encouraging employees to seek training and educational opportunities outside the organization on their own. You might suggest, for example, that an employee take a course or work toward a certification or degree that will improve the chances of a promotion or allow the employee to do a different kind of job. Even if continuing education isn’t directly related to the employee’s work, the knowledge and confidence gained will likely be reflected in the employee’s job performance.
Think about your training programs. Are they motivational? Can you think of ways to use training so that it is more motivational?
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Coaching
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Along with formal training, you can use informal coaching as a motivator.
Coaching employees gives you the opportunity to work with them individually, to get to know them better, and to find out what they really want from their jobs. It gives employees a chance to get personal attention and meet regularly with you to discuss performance, problems, opportunities, and so on.
Coaching also gives you the chance to get together with employees between performance appraisals to review progress, adjust performance goals, and troubleshoot obstacles to achieving objectives.
In addition, this time spent with employees gives you the opportunity to provide additional feedback about performance. You can praise workers for good results and correct inadequate performance more easily in this informal setting.
Do you use coaching to motivate your employees? How effective is coaching as a motivational tool in your experience?
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Performance Reviews
Mutual feedback
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You may not think of performance appraisals as motivational opportunities—and probably employees don’t either—but they definitely can be.
Properly conducted, performance appraisals provide an opportunity for mutual feedback. They give you the chance to show employees how to achieve their goals and get the recognition and rewards they desire. And they give employees the chance to tell you how they feel about their jobs and what they want from their work. This kind of interaction can be highly motivational.
Through setting of performance goals and discussion of expectations during the appraisal meeting, you give employees essential guidance and direction. Knowing exactly where they stand with you and the company gives employees a sense of security, builds trust, and lays the foundation for future growth.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Performance Reviews (cont.)
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Performance appraisal meetings also give you the chance to discuss problems and work with employees to find mutually satisfactory solutions. And as we said before, solving problems is a motivational activity.
In addition, you have an opportunity to offer advice and assistance during an appraisal, both of which can help employees improve performance and motivate them to work harder and smarter toward their goals.
And finally, the fact that both you and the employee leave the meeting with a document that spells out expectations and an action plan for improvement helps avoid misunderstandings about what needs to be done and provides employees with a motivational reminder of the meeting.
Think about the performance appraisals you conduct with employees. Do you use these meetings as an opportunity to motivate employees?
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Discipline
Combine discipline with positive motivators
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No discussion of motivation would be complete without a few words about negative motivators. When the carrot doesn’t work, sometimes the stick does.
Some employees might be motivated to improve their performance as a result of being threatened by some type of discipline. But discipline should only be used as a last resort for problem employees who fail to respond to other, positive forms of motivation.
When you do use discipline, make it clear that by resorting to discipline you are not trying to punish the employee but rather that the need for discipline is a consequence of the employee’s own performance and behavior. Put the responsibility squarely on the employee, where it belongs.
Once you have warned an employee or applied necessary discipline, be sure to use other positive motivators as well to encourage improved performance. Discipline alone is rarely enough to turn a problem employee around.
© BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 1408
Key Points to Remember
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Here are the main points to remember from this session on motivating employees:
All employees need motivation to perform up to their potential;
Motivated employees are more productive, more cooperative, and more satisfied with their jobs;
A well-motivated workforce is better prepared to meet future needs; and
Successful motivation depends on strong leadership and a combination of motivational techniques.
This concludes the motivating employees training session.