MOTIVATION AT WORK: How to walk those extra miles as a manager?

Management is nothing more than motivating other people–American automobile executive, Lido Anthony “Lee” Iacocca.

What is makes organizations like Apple, Google, Facebook rule the market? It is not just the innovative ideas and the services they offer but the brains behind those plans.

Human resource is the most valuable asset to any institution, though often undermined. The progress of an organization depends on their proper management. A motivated workforce is a key to the rise of any successful organization. Herein lies the role of the manager.

As a manager, you hold the key to their morale. An employee who feels valued will try to be enthusiastic about the work or role assigned to him. A small tweak in your expression can change their frame of mind for the day. From the moment you walk in till the moment you leave the premises, every gesture sets the mood for the day. Your body language when you interact with an employee or the tone of your conversation, the way you carry yourself while conducting office rounds are all methods to communicate.

To improve the morale of the employees, you need to make them feel appreciated. This might seem like a challenging task but it is oh so simple.

 Here are a few tips –

THE ART OF COMMUNICATION IS THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP. Proper communication can enhance the work capacity of an organization. Always set clear objectives for what the company expects from the employee. His Job Description should be clear as day. An employee who has a transparent idea of goals will always perform better.

LEND THEM YOUR EAR. Another key aspect of communication is to be a good listener. Hear what is not being said. Read between the lines. Employees often respond to leadership which listens to them and their grievance. Always listen to understand.

WHAT IS IT JOE? Always be there for your employees. Interact with them regularly. Try to know them not just as an employee but as a person. This will help you in understanding what motivates them and what irks them. Try to solve their problems. This will enhance their trust in you. Employees often engage with employers and the organization when they are treated more than assets.

BODY SPEAKS A THOUSAND WORDS. The way you carry yourself, your gestures, every tweak of your expression speaks volumes. The expressions on your face can give away your thoughts. Be careful in your interactions. Try to be pleasant to your employees. Keep a check on those formidable glares. Warm gesture towards the employees makes them feel respected and valued.

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAID BUT HOW YOU SAID IT. Remember Joey’s dismissal in Chandler’s tone? It is often the tone that sparks conflict. This is a common occurrence in an office setting where people come from different backgrounds. One’s intention is often lost in the way his words come out. A famous Chinese proverb goes ‘The tongue can paint what the eyes can’t see’.

The sarcasm in the tone, even if used in good humor, can often offend someone. As a manager, ensure that your tone is polite no matter the designation of an employee. A polite demeanor will make the employees feel respected.

DO NOT BE THE OFFICE BULLY. A good manager never threatens the employees about their job or salary. Nor does he insult them in public or private. He/She will also ensure that his employees are safe from any other commotion. Any conflict should be managed politely, probably in the presence of HR.

NEXT TO EXCELLENCE IS THE APPRECIATION OF IT. All humans crave attention and recognition. In the workspace, it is the responsibility of the manager to congratulate the employees even on their smaller achievements. Positive feedback makes an employee feel appreciated. An employee who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected of him.

MAGIC OF CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. Criticism can easily break the morale of an employee. Choose your words wisely. Ensure that the employee feels relaxed in your presence and engage the words in a positive, goal-oriented manner.

TO ERR IS HUMAN. It is a human tendency to make mistakes. A good manager understands that and gives his employee the chance to learn from their mistakes.

GIVE WINGS TO THEIR THOUGHTS. Give your employees freedom to express and freedom to work. Do not breathe down their neck. The most sort after managers are the ones who know that freedom gives them a sense of security and happiness. It allows them to bring out better ideas.

DO NOT PLAY FAVORITISM. Humans are not free from bias. But, as a manager, you need to keep a check on it. Favoritism induces unnecessary rivalries and hate. It will also be a golden ticket for the office gossip mongers. Try to judge ideas and not people. Bias regarding gender etc can also land you in trouble.

DO NOT BE A DULL JANE. Have a work-life balance. Do not be that manager whose idea of life is his workplace. Encourage your employees to have a life outside the office and to pursue hobbies too.

WORK AND LEARN. Most of the learning happens on the job. Nothing can beat practical experience. Create an environment where your employees can constantly learn and evolve.

SUCCESS IS WHAT YOU INSPIRE OTHERS TO DO. Being successful doesn’t mean only building yourself. It also involves motivating, inspiring and pushing others to be their best versions. It is your job to motivate them by engaging their minds and hearts. Humans learn by example, so you need a daily dose of motivation with a pinch of ideas to make your employees feel involved.

Got something to ask? Send your questions to

Jane Harper
Writer. Human resources expert and consultant. Follow @thehrdigest on Twitter

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