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Employee Motivation Techniques - The Basic Foundations

Employee Motivation Techniques are an essential knowledge to ensure that your employees are as efficient as they can be. In our society, just like in our organizations, there is constant pressure to consistently outperform our previous outperformed results. Thus, we as leaders, demand from our employees to produce "faster, cheaper and better" but never release the full resources (Human and Financial) required to attain our objectives. Because of this, we need to dig deeper into our knowledge and sharpen our understanding of basic employee motivation techniques.

This article will describe some basic concepts of employee motivation techniques. Without having these foundational concepts, none of the employee motivation techniques will yield long-lasting and effective motivation for your employees.

Understand your Employee Behaviors

Focus on the specific behavior and make certain that your employee understands the benefits for altering his/her behavior. Make it a positive win-win.

Often, we react instinctively to our environment and thus your employees will adopt instinctive behaviors that are self-protective in nature. Understanding the why of their reaction will enable you to propose solutions by providing a new stimulus which will naturally provide a different reaction. If you don't get the response you want, change the stimulus.

Don't be afraid to experiment with different stimuli; what motivates one individual might motivate someone else to a lesser extent or could actually have opposite effect and result in a de-motivated employee. It also possible that a stimulus that works well for a given employee may not be as an effective motivator for the same employee within a different situation. We never experience the same occurrence twice! Our perceptions are constantly evolving, thus the internal motivational value that we attached to a given stimulus also changes, hence our need to constantly change and renew our employee motivation techniques.

As the leader you need to be aware of that fact and realize that you need to alter and adapt your own behaviors in order to gain expertise with different employee motivation techniques.

Meet your employee lower-level needs.

We can't motivate employees; we can however provide an environment conducive for one to motivate his/her self. Each one of your employees has differing basic needs and as a leader, you need to ensure that each of your employee's individual needs are met. Otherwise motivation will never emerge from within your employee.

Often, managers fail to realize this truth and every subsequent attempt to provide the perfect motivational context will fail. So at the end of the day, you're not doing anyone any favors and facing the reality is the only valid option. In other words, if the position or the organizational culture isn't aligned with the individual's basic need then you either change them or transfer the individual to a more appropriate position. If none of these alternatives are successful, I would respectfully recommend guiding the individual toward a different organization where the culture and work practices are more in line with his personal needs.

Neglecting to address your employee's needs will result in a highly de-motivated employee who will be ineffective and will serve as a de-motivating conduit for others within the organization.

Empower your employee

Active listening

Practicing active listening will greatly benefit you and your employees as it will ensure that:

  1. You actually understand what they are saying and why they are saying it. Providing the win-win solution will be a breeze and will require some creativity as well as some leadership skills.
  2. You will get increased exposure to your staff allowing you more face-to-face opportunities for mentoring and coaching.
  3. They will gain personal confidence which will trigger some intrinsic motivational value as well as set the path for providing you with their valuable input in the future.

Develop trust

Developing trust is essential; no one can be motivated to work for you if they don't feel that you trust them nor will they grant you their trust. Without any reciprocal trust can there be a professional stress free productive relationship? Well no, you as well as your employee are always going to be on the defensive ready to assuredly enter into a self-preservation mode.

In fact, you need to make them feel that you will trust that even their mistakes are legitimate and that you will support them when and if it becomes necessary.

Trust booster tip:I tell all my employees with leadership roles that I actually expect them to make mistakes! If they didn't, that would be indicative that they are either hiding it or they are not making any progress with their professional leadership career. Making mistakes is an essential part of learning; just don't make the same mistake twice!

Delegate Tasks and Authority, But Keep Your Responsibilities.

People get motivated when they feel that they have the authority to make their own decisions. As a leader, your role is to bring your direct reports to your level, thus delegating your tasks as well as your authority. However, you should always keep your responsibilities, any mistake is your mistake and no one else's!

By letting your employees with leadership roles make their own decisions and giving them the authority that goes with the assigned task you will provide them with a sense of ownership. Consequently, they will be self-motivated to work to achieve their own goals.

Share your thoughts

Sharing your motivating thoughts or your motivational tips will benefit every leader. Motivation is what give them the energy to constantly seek to improve their self-motivation as well as motivating other. Consequently increase our leadership influence.

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