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January 15, 2008

5 Ways To Motivate Your Employees

By Amanda Rice

You’ve finally made it to the apex of your career. You have a great job, an even greater office, and a handful of employees who answer directly to you. But do you know how to motivate your employees?

Too often, bosses tend to push their staff really hard without showing a modicum of appreciation for fear of being thought of as a pushover. But if you learn how to motivate your employees the right way, you never have to fear any backlash.

As well, there are ways to make sure your employees don’t confuse kindness with weakness; all you need to do is draw the line at where your amicable behavior ends and your authority begins.

Here now are ways that you can motivate your employees.

Motivate your employees tip #1
Recognize their hard work

In an effort to avoid anyone asking for a raise, too many bosses don’t celebrate the hard work their employees put into the company on a daily basis. Unfortunately, this is not the way to go. Eventually, your employees will eventually lose their motivation and accomplish just enough to gt the job done, rather than go that extra mile for you.

Whether you start a company newsletter in which you recognize the hardest workers or you take your team out for a social dinner every once in awhile to show them your appreciation, the best way to motivate your employees is by giving back and patting them on the back.

Motivate your employees tip #2
Create creative policies

Many of my employees tend to work late on most weekdays, and it’s not because they’re forced to (although I have sneaking suspicion that some of them are just avoiding their personal lives), but rather because they enjoy what they do and want to get more done.

So I created a new policy that allows employees to come in before noon, save for the days when we have our powwow meetings. This way, they get the flex time they need, which allows for time with family or doctor’s appointment and whatnot.

So long as the work is being done, what time they come into work is not crucial, and if it is, everyone has a cell phone and can easily be reached in dire situations.

Motivate your employees tip #3
Make it a point to meet with them
Every once in awhile, whether it be with one employee at a time or all of them, a great way to motivate your employees is by holding meetings with them every now and then to pick their brains about what’s going with them, their professional projects and their future plans.

This demonstrates that you not only care about what direction the company is headed in; you care about your employees and what they want to accomplish.

Motivate your employees tip #4
Trust them
I used to have a jackass of a boss who micromanaged every little move anyone in the company made; this led to the stagnation of the company and crushed everyone’s morale. His lack of faith in his employees caused them to resent him and stop working at full capacity for fear of being stopped in their tracks and having to start all over again.

Even if your employees don’t do everything exactly the way you would have done it, so long as the bottom line is being met and the numbers are going up, you should congratulate them on a job well done and encourage their independence and executive decision making capabilities. If you don’t, you will have a bunch of disgruntled employees in your midst.

Motivate your employees tip #5
Let them set deadlines
You are the one who calls the shots at the end of the day, but if you aren’t realistic in your expectations, you will get nowhere fast with your employees. If you want to motivate your employees, let them set their own deadlines. That way, you can ensure that they’ll meet them.

After all, they know how long their work will take, so doesn’t it make sense to allow them to set their own deadlines (within reason, of course)? That way, if they don’t meet their target date, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Motivate your employees every day

It’s not difficult to motivate your employees, so long as you recognize the difference between being an understanding boss and a pushover. You can be a great boss and a great motivator with the right attitude.

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