7 Golden rules for employee motivation
The fact is: In the age of digital transformation, employees today are the most important asset of a company. Learn how to keep your team members' motivation high in the long term and what you, as a leader, can do for you Company to make an attractive employer.
If the HR department did everything right when it came to selecting employees, everything should theoretically be fine in your company: You are surrounded by prudent, entrepreneurial employees and can take care of the design of the framework conditions. Unfortunately, the reality is often different ...
Rule no. 1: Expect little from others and much from yourself, then you are spared some trouble.
Honestly, haven't you ever wondered who actually motivates you? Who gives you the strength and energy every day to face the challenges? Not every day is successful. Sometimes it is "only" the slow progress that you can enjoy.
Main thing, you do it and let your employees participate in it. Because you know: bosses motivate too little. At least, if one can believe the ever-recurring conclusions of numerous studies and employee surveys.
Rule no. 2: The only thing that ultimately motivates is the task as such.
When asked about the motivational factors that are important to them, terms such as “own learning and development opportunities”, “pleasant working atmosphere”, “appropriate salary” and “good leadership” are common. Of course, these points are good and important - but no long-term motivation can be derived from them.
The working environment can still be so good and you could get a salary increase every month - with a monotonous and repetitive activity, you will quickly lose your appetite. True motivation can always arise only from the inside of an activity, from the task as such! Therefore, it is your job as a leader to ensure a change by means of meaningful tasks and, if necessary, by the enrichment of tasks.
Rule no. 3: Employees want to work for winners.
Nothing is as appealing as success. The pride of one's own company, to whose good development with its own achievement is contributed is not only strong motivator, but also essential binding element. This means, however, that you also have to make it clear to your employees regularly that their work is valuable and meaningful to the company.
An employee sees his work as insignificant and unimportant for the big picture? Show him how the individual building blocks intertwine and how valuable his contribution is to it. Or figuratively speaking: Only if a lot of stonemasons work together and knock stones, a cathedral can be built in the end. Motivation is based on information and recognition!
Rule No. 4: More important than motivation is avoiding demotivation.
In particular, if you work with young, interested and ready-to-use talents, you don't have to promote or awaken energy. Rather, it is their job to channel the existing energy and guide it in the right ways. Because the motivation "save the world" is present in many young employees, it is only often not used in many organizations or, for reasons of convenience, is reduced to the tolerable "normal size".
What many managers miss out on is how you send your employees the message that their own ideas and approaches are neither desired nor asked. The result: Demotivation. Instead, motivate by your own model, by keeping your own conviction that the world is changeable and by showing the high potentials how it goes.
Rule no. 5: You can do everything, but not everything.
"Give me that, I'll do it myself quickly!" Or, to put it in Herbert von Karajan's words: if you want to lead an orchestra, you have to let others play. For many managers, the real challenge is to understand that leading means letting go. If you have built up the team, the area or even the whole company yourself, it is of course difficult to hand over tasks.
But for the benefit of your employees, you should only do some selected things yourself. And then never on your own: Use activities that your employees have not yet mastered, always and unquestionably as a training opportunity by working together the employee together with the employee.
Rule no. 6: Employees expect expertise, but they are motivated by management skills.
First of all, you must say goodbye to the belief that you are (still) the best in your profession. Especially if you are moving in a fast-moving environment, your knowledge has at best a half-life of two to three years. And already during this time your professional know-how will be halved.
It is therefore much more important that you train yourself in the sense of leadership skills. Your professional knowledge does not have to refer to specific work processes, but to working with individuals, groups and departments. You need to be skilled in how to involve and align your employees in your organization.
Rule no. 7: Your leadership is not efficient if you do not win the voluntary work of others.
In many companies, performance is viewed primarily as an expense-related activity. There is a small amount of time and minutes, every activity is recorded using time recording tools. The catch on the thing: The time spent in the company does not necessarily mean anything about the performance or the success. You should therefore use other standards and systems to consider the performance of your employees in a result-oriented manner.
“Management by objectives” is one such perspective. Instead of calculating how many hours a month you have to spend on a specific project, agree on clear goals. Goals are motivating if they are agreed, challenging - and above all realistic. Your employees will be more happy with your work - and surely no one will complain to you if a few more hours have been spent on it.
Bonus: Everyone has the employees he deserves
“And it is a pleasure how he awakens and strengthens and revitalizes everything around him, how every power is expressed, every gift becomes equally clear in his vicinity! He draws his strength from everyone, the peculiar one, and pulls it up. Let everyone stay what they are. Just watch that he is always in the right place; so he knows how to make everyone's wealth his ”.
If you have reached this described stage from Wallenstein's camp of Friedrich Schiller, you do not need to fear the additional eighth rule:
Every management has the employees who deserve it!
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German edition: ISBN 9783965961968
English version: ISBN 9783965961975 (Translation notice)
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