How To Motivate Employees
Are You Having Trouble With Unmotivated Employees?
The Problem - Unmotivated Employees
"The younger generation just don't want to work"
"I can't seem to get my employees interested in the business"
"I talk to them and tell them what to do, but they just don't do it"
Do you ever find yourself using any of the above lines when you are talking with your friends, colleagues or associates?
So many of the business owners and managers that I meet repeat comments like this to me. They continually struggle with unmotivated and disengaged employees.
The results of having a workforce that lacks motivation are generally a high level of staff turnover (which tends to be costly), poor employee moral and very critically; poor customer service.
So now we have identified the problem we can work to kick their butts and get some improvement, Right?
Wrong!! We need to start at the source of the problem, which unfortunately is more than likely YOU, the business owner or manager. Sorry to break this to you, but the way that the staff behave is actually a reflection of you as a leader and how you conduct yourself.
Be Critical about the Problem
It takes a big person to admit that they are at fault, but I want you to think critically about the two following issues that dramatically effect the motivation of your staff:
- What vision and direction do you provide for the business on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis?
- What kind of example are you setting for your staff and how your behaviour may be influencing them.
Firstly - One of the key issues we nearly always find when working within a business owner or manager is the lack of vision and direction within the organisation. A strong vision is what provides a general sense of direction and purpose for people, if this is lacking then where are they going? Have you ever watched a group of people that are lost? They stand around looking for someone to give them directions. In a business situation that person MUST BE YOU. You are the leader and must step up to the plate and take responsibility for the vision and direction that you want the organisation to take.
Secondly - How you behave will be copied, mimicked or reflected by your employees. If you are disorganised, untidy, aggressive, impatient, lazy, ineffective, verbose, absent, rude etc etc..... your actions will be picked up on by your employees and there will be repercussion (normally negative ones for your business).
The two issues identified above are integral to how your employees behave and perform within your organisation. It is therefore necessary for you to take action and do something about it before the problem gets out of control and your business starts to suffer.
So, What Steps Can You Take?
- Sit down in a quiet place with no interruptions for 1 hour and think about the vision and direction for your company. Write down what you come up with and at your next weekly meeting communicate it to your employees, discuss it with them and listen to their comments and thoughts on what you have created. Once everyone is fully aware of what you are aiming to achieve, hang it up on the wall where everyone can see it.
- Take a moment to contemplate your behaviours and actions. The process of changing how you behave will take time, so start by writing down 3-5 behaviours that you want to stop doing e.g. late for meetings, untidy, no time for staff etc. Then write down 3-5 behaviours that you are happy with and want to continue doing e.g. Only look at emails two times daily, follow my ideal diary etc. Keep the list with you and reflect on it at the start of every day to keep you heading in the right direction!
Next time I will be discussing how to set goals for your staff and make sure they understand your expectations.