Think about your earlier roles, when you worked for other people. As you remember, there are managers … and then there are managers who somehow had the ability to elicit good performances, great ideas and undying loyalty. How did they do it—and more importantly, how can you do it now, with your own employees?
Whether leaders are born or made is immaterial. Some are born with the natural instincts to lead. But there’s also much to learn in terms of knowing how to get the best from your employees, while helping them be their best. One interesting source of inspiration: Contributor Glenn Llopis’s 10 ways to inspire your team at forbes.com.
The stakes are higher than ever, so leaders need to think differently and be more intuitive, Llopis says, and not rely on the same old shtick. But too many “leaders” are sadly out of touch with their employees, too focused on their own personal agendas.
Hopefully this is no one you know! Even so, we can all be clueless, falling back into one-size-fits-all your approaches. Building trust and loyalty, while encouraging excellent performances, requires enlightenment and insight. It’s the difference between a manager (or business owner) doing the same old tired stuff and putting forth the thought and effort to really connect his or her employees to the business and bring them in, to motivate them to give their best by giving them your best.
And it’s far less complicated as it might seem. For example:
- Focus on purpose, not just profit. Everyone wants to know that his or her hard work makes a real difference in the world!
- Stress learning over lecturing. Lose the urge to tell employees what to do and how to do it. Your employees are eager to learn new things and be relevant.
- Respect, not just recognition. Respect must be earned, but is far more valuable and meaningful for employees.
Click here for the other insights for inspiring and leading.
Employee performance depends on engagement—a popular workplace term that unfortunately can sound like jargon. But it isn’t; rather, it’s the holy grail in motivational circles. Here’s why: Engagement is “a heightened emotional connection that an employee feels for his or her organization that influences him or her to exert greater discretionary effort to his or her work,” according to allthingsworkplace.com.
The site also describes eight key drivers of engagement, which should help guide your actions as you aspire to inspire your employees:
- Trust and integrity in that managers ‘walk the talk’
- The nature of the job, i.e. mentally stimulating
- A real connection between employee and company performance
- Career growth opportunities
- Pride in the company
- Co-workers and team members who are enthused and engaged
- Obvious efforts by the company to develop employees’ skills
- Solid (and valued) relationships between employees and managers
In a bizjournals.com article, USC occupational science and therapy professor (and occupational therapist) Samia Rafeedie says that engaged employees are motivated ones. And, Rafeedie says, to motivate employees, you empower them. But genuine empowerment is hard for a lot of managers. Why is it such a cornerstone of leading and inspiring other people?
Employees who are empowered want to come to work every day because they’re involved in making decisions that count. Rafeedie suggests things like implementing shared governance where employees are part of major workplace processes and decisions. And by all means, ask questions and listen to the answers!
Transparency, trust, rewards and recognition, having fun, career development, and even nurturing personal passions among employees need to be part of every business owner’s playbook. This is all good stuff that will inspire you to lead and inspire those around you. Click here to find out more.
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