Written by: Lorna Kibbey

Tips for Motivating Employees

All behavior is motivated by needs. Motivation comes from forces that are acting either on – or within a person to initiate behavior. Whatever we believe our needs to be at any point in time determines our behavior. When the need is great, so is our motivation for fulfilling the need.

Here’s what we know to be true for most employees in the U.S.:

  • People want to be challenged – they want their work to be exciting – and meaningful.
  • Having an opportunity to contribute to the success of the organization and at the same time experience personal growth, is essential for keeping employees engaged.
  • Great working relationships with coworkers – and with the boss – play a key role in employee retention.
  • Expressing appreciation makes people feel they are valued and when we feel valued we are motivated to contribute at a higher level.

Ask yourself this question, “What makes me work hard?” If you take time to really think about this you will most likely conclude that you work hard because you get personal satisfaction when the job is done the way you know it needs to be done. It’s the same for everyone.

So how can leaders motivate employees? The truth is, leaders cannot force anyone to do anything – real motivation has to come from within the person. With that said, here are tips for “motivating” employees.

  • Create an environment where every employee can perform at their highest personal level using their unique strengths.
  • Do all that you can to allow your employees to achieve internal satisfaction without creating barriers that take away their ability – and basic need – to be self-motivated.
  • Ask for input from your employees – they want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Do not ignore problems.
  • Set clear expectations for what must be accomplished, set benchmarks to track progress – then give your employees the freedom to exceed expectations!

The most powerful motivator of all is to simply care about the people you supervise. If you genuinely care and can let people see that you do, the rest is easy.

Lorna Kibbey is a Leadership Speaker, Trainer, and Consultant. To contact Lorna, email her at LKibbey@LKibbey.com.