Inspiring employees is a powerful energy that drives and excites them to contribute to the organization to the best of their ability. Setting and achieving goals, clear expectations, recognition, feedback, as well as encouraging management all result into a great motivation at workplace. It creates a positive work environment, which is why so many leaders want to learn new ways to motivate their workforce.
A leader is responsible for influencing, inspiring, motivating and encouraging. Therefore, it’s important to recognize the difference between a being a manager and being a leader. A manager only plans, organizes, assigns, follow ups and reviews. It is also important to note that to inspire employees, one must to begin with an inspiring workplace culture. A great workplace culture is one where every team member comes to work encouraged and inspired to perform their best. Feeling inspired at work also accounts for higher engagement and maximum contribution.
Here are various means for inspiring your employees that you can implement today. Implementing all of this can change the culture you live and work in and create a huge difference.
1. Authenticity– One needs to get out of the image management business of themselves and their company. Companies should share with the people in their organization where they are weak and need to express just how much you need them. Let them know that you know your limitations and invite them to help to get you through the tough times.
2. Connect with Other’s Dreams– Managers need to use the difficult times to uncover the concealed dreams and ambitions of their key talent. They need to comfort and show more commitment than ever to help them get to where they want to go. Be very creative in aligning their tasks for today with their dreams for tomorrow.
3. See in Others the Abilities They Don’t See in Themselves– Managers need to take time to be observant and notice the talent in those around you. This even works if you are trying to manage up and break it down into three steps, notice, name, and nurture. Once you have noticed a talent or strength in a person, let them know you noticed it and be specific about it. Look for enough ways to bring that talent out by providing opportunities, guidance and training to support that particular talent.
4. Inspire with Great Stories–This is not to be confused with the art of storytelling but it’s the principle of overhearing. The emphasis here is looking and telling stories that have a meaningful lesson. What can you learn from the story of various people who started with nothing and made it big? What can you gather from the story of one who has gone from rags to riches or better yet, from riches to rags? Pull your team together today and use story to inspire them.
5. Purpose, not just Profits– Managers need to keep reminding their employees that what happens at work is only a portion of their life and not their entire life. As important as that portion is, it is not all that there is to being. Help employees write down a vision of their life first and then for their job. If work can be a channel towards that vision for life, great! No matter what the job is, whether it’s packing orders at a distribution warehouse, or managing a Fortune 500 company at the executive level, they all want to know that their contribution matter and show them why they matter. and what the results of their work are. They should feel rewarded and motivated all the time. Emphasize the importance of employee contributions (and giving people credit for good work) reinforces a sense of confidence and achievement, which can motivate people to keep good work. Employees are inspired knowing the fact that their hard work makes a difference beyond profitability.
6. Create a Culture of Inspiration– John Wooden who is UCLA’s iconic coach set examples saying “All leaders should become teachers committed to excellence and character development ‘’. Chasing numbers and making decisions by looking only at the “bottom line” causes us to be volatile and impulsive. Focus should be on raising the inspiration factor through developing people yields incredible value for stakeholders, customers, and employees alike. Raise the inspiration factor one principle at a time will change the culture of your business. A company with a high inspiration factor attracts and keeps good talent and its employees form long -term profitable relationships with customers.
7. Allow Autonomy– When employees are given the liberty to set goals, as well as the freedom to use their own ideas and experience to guide their work, they have more motivation to successfully achieve goals. In fact, research into Office culture has found that employees with higher levels of autonomy in their work space reported positive effects on their overall well-being and higher levels of job satisfaction. Dan Pink, the author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, mentions, “Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.
8. Open Communication- Clear and open communication within a workplace has a tremendous effect on employees. When employees are given open communication channels to business leaders, it helps employees to feel appreciated. It also fosters alignment around organizational goals, and it leads to increased productivity. Building a culture of transparent communication will allow employees, teams, and the organization to run more resourcefully.
9. Provide Training-Training in the workplace is essential for successful results. John Wooden once said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” As a result of workplace learning, employees become happier with their work, they become more excited about the outlook of success, and develop higher self-worth. By developing employees’ self-worth can promote attachment, loyalty, and long-term interest.
10. Recognition- Most Companies have a special day dedicated to employees and recognizing their efforts. This is certainly a good motivator, but successful leaders know that employee recognition needs to happen more than once a year as opposed to once a year. Unfortunately, many leaders lack the same. Employee recognition should be done frequently as it will inspire employees and, ultimately, boost the company culture forward.
11. Transparency-A lack of transparency in the workplace can lead to a break in trust. Employees flourish when leaders demonstrate transparency and straightforward communication. When leaders provide clear expectations, employees are empowered and more likely to contribute and help the organization grow.
12. Intrinsic Rewards-There are many benefits to nurturing intrinsic rewards in the workplace. Employees with high reward levels often experience more positive feelings. Intrinsic rewards programs foster greater employee productivity, higher profits, better cash flow, stronger stock market performance, and a greater stock value than companies without them. They also have higher job satisfaction, less stress, and are more likely to feel that they are developing professionally. There are lot of approaches that leaders can take to motivate and inspire employees. But as long as a consistent and concentrated effort is being made, the positive results will be seen.
Reward people for a job well done, and they’ll be more likely to repeat the performance and do what it takes to earn the reward. Positive reinforcement, after all, is one of the oldest, tried and tested psychological principals. You can incentivize your employees with prizes like a free lunch, an afternoon off, event tickets, or gift cards, trips for people that reach certain targets
13. Show your trust- The first sure way to motivate and inspire your employees is to demonstrate that you have faith in them. It can be done by assigning them more responsibilities and giving them the chance to rise to the challenge. In doing so, you show that you trust them, which has a way of motivating people to keep doing their best. Micromanaging your employees and hovering over their shoulders at every step is a waste of time because it makes them nervous. If the employees are too afraid to try new things, they won’t be giving their best. Give them greater responsibility and they will rise to the occasion.
14. Invest in your employees- Another way to inspire and motivate your employees is by investing in them. Offering things like tuition reimbursement, skill enhancement, a mentoring program, one-on-one coaching, and job shadowing with people in higher positions sends a clear message: you care about their career and their future. Some companies, in fact, have periodic meetings with their employees to discuss their career growth and make sure they stay on track. Aside from improving skills and increasing staff knowledge, this kind of investment in employee career growth gives them a reason to stay with the company for the long haul rather than be on the lookout for a better offer. Invest in your employees, and they will have a reason to stick around. When employees grow and improve, company grows too.
15. Include them in the big decisions– It is discouraging to the employees when they see big company decisions being made without anything mentioned to them. It makes them feel isolated and not so important. Asking for their input and opinion creates a sense of belonging in the company, making them feel like they matter. Doing so builds a solid foundation for employee management and growth, ensuring your staff is always inspired.