3 Ways to Manage for Motivation

by: Dean Fulford

There’s nothing quite like being motivated at work.

With the wind beneath their wings, motivated employees produce better results, willingly take on more responsibility, are innovative in their thinking, help others… the list goes on.  And they do it all with a smile.

Where does this sort of motivation come from?  Some people are self-motivated. They do their best work because it’s fun, interesting, and they truly want to help the organization succeed.

However even self-motivated employees need to feel valued and receive some encouragement now and then. Here are some straightforward things that managers can do to help keep their employees motivated:

  1. Delegate – assigning work to someone for the purpose of their development, or as recognition of their expertise, is motivating.  A well developed “delegation muscle” also ensures that decisions are faster and more work gets done, avoiding the frustration of the dreaded managerial bottleneck to progress.
  2. Ask for help – employees want to have an impact on how things are done. They want the ability and responsibility to affect change. So seek their ideas, feedback and advice.  When employees contribute in the areas they are passionate about they draw on their personal experience so their recommendations are likely to be good.
  3. Encourage initiative – high-performing organizations empower their employees to be creative and take calculated risks.  If someone comes up with an innovative idea for improving performance, they get the opportunity to try it out without negative consequences.  In the best cases, organizations trust their employees enough to live the credo that it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.

Even the most self-motivated employees will appreciate a little thoughtful management to keep them productive (taking on extra challenges), active (empowered to be innovative), and connected (contributing to organization success).  Best of all, that motivation and enthusiasm is infectious and will be shared with the rest of the organization.

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