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Train to Succeed Blog

08/02/2013 10:16:00

Top tips for Motivating People

Top tips for Motivating People with Andrea Stephenson, FAQ’S

Top Tips - for Motivating People

1: Develop your knowledge - to understand what motivates people.

Don’t assume everyone is motivated by the same things that you are. Develop your understanding of people and of what needs to be in place to actively motivate them. There are some well tried and tested models, theories and ideas on motivation that have been around but stand the test of time. Understanding these models etc will help you address factors that motivate, and the ones that just need to be there and would de-motivate if they are not there. You will then be ready to start motivating people

2: Get some quick wins
 
When you’ve identified the things that demotivate then do something that will give you a quick win. They’re usually easy to put right, and people will notice and appreciate it. Think about whether you say “good morning” to people every day,  the photocopier that can’t cope with the workload, procedures that could be stream-lined to save duplication of effort, the lack of milk, tea, coffee in the staff coffee room, the computers that keep crashing … You must know examples in your organisation.
 
Quick wins aren’t the big motivational factors, but they are demotivating. They simply must be fixed, but the benefits won’t last forever.

3: Talk to your people
 
Put in place a method for your employees to tell you what they like, what they need, what they aspire to, what challenges they would like to rise to.  There are a number of ways to do this. If the mechanism is good, you’ll get good stuff back. People might use it as an opportunity to moan or to be flippant, but they need to get stuff off their chest  But you’ll get good ideas too. Ideas on how to treat customers better, how to be more efficient, ideas on better ways of working. Useful things.

4: Listen to your people – act on the feedback

It is important to show that you are listening by taking action. Firstly, act on the information you get – particularly for those quick wins. Secondly, keep at it. Do it constantly. Keep asking, and keep fixing things. Finding things out is only the beginning. All too often an organisation will launch a ‘new initiative’ only to forget about it a short while afterwards in favour of the next ‘new initiative’. People then won’t believe in what they think is just.

5: Manage your managers
 
“Management’s the only job you get because you’re good at something else.”
(David Hall)
 
Happy people work harder.  Motivated teams perform better.  Managers really influence the motivation levels of the people they manage. They can make the difference between success and failure, between happiness and unhappiness at work. But they need skills, knowledge, time and they need to be managed.  Give them the tools they need.

6: Have a performance management system that is respected and used by all
 
Key motivational factors are: achievement, recognition, the work itself, challenge & responsibility, advancement and personal growth.
A good and well run performance management system offers all of these. Work objectives which challenge and are fully understood, interesting work and recognition help people grow; to realise their own and your organisation’s potential.  Don’t regard it as a chore or give “lip service” to the process.  Organisations with good systems generally find that they get better results and happier people. People who contribute, are engaged in the work they do, and are enthusiastic.

7: Develop your people

Developing people doesn’t necessarily have to be about implementing big training programmes; on the job training and coaching may be enough. It’s just that if you want people to meet challenging objectives, then you need to give them the right level of support.
 
 A survey published in The Times interviewed 1000 employees from companies employing 500 + people. Many were bored and looking for another job. Lack of stimulation and no advancement were high on the list of reasons.

8: Be consistent.

Show consistency in managing people. A recurring complaint about management is inconsistency in management approach. Rewards and recognition encourage people and give them incentives to perform well. Equally people need to know what will happen, if they don’t meet objectives; follow policies or principles.

9: Look at your culture
 
Striving for excellence motivates people.  They enjoy succeeding and like to work in a culture that encourages success. Create a culture of striving for excellence in all you do.  Consult your people about how to do this; don’t accept “OK”.

10: Celebrate success
 
Learning from success is as important as learning from our mistakes.  We need to take the time to do so. Celebrate every success, and learn from it. People and teams striving for excellence pat themselves (and each other) on the back broadcast it when they achieve good things.
 

Do you have any comments regarding this article? If yes, please send to sarah@strategytosucceed.co.uk