Managing Employee Motivation and Performance | How to Motivate Employees to Work Harder
Supervising people involves more than telling them what to do. Effective supervision involves motivation from within the individual, not by externals.
1. Treat them as individuals, not merely as necessary cogs in a wheel. Remember their personal problems, find appropriate times to ask how they or their families are, how the big event went, whether the plumbing problem got fixed.
2. Acknowledge their contributions. Let them be confident that when you pass their suggestions and contributions up the chain of command you will acknowledge the members of your team as the source.
3. Back them up. When things go wrong, the buck stops at your desk. Do not deal with problems by telling your superiors how awful your supervisees are. Tell how you will go about preventing a re-occurrence.
4. Take time for them. When a supervisee comes to you, stop what you are doing, make eye contact. If you can't be interrupted, immediately set up a later time when you will be able to pay full attention to them. Otherwise people may feel that they are bothersome to you, and you may someday find yourself wondering why no one tells you what is happening in your own department.
5. Let them know that you see their potential and encourage their growth. Encourage learning. Help them to take on extra responsibility, but be available to offer support when they are in unfamiliar territory.
6. Explain why. Provide the information that will give both purpose to their activities and understanding of your requirements. Providing information only on a need-to-know basis may work for the CIA, but it does not build teams.
7. Don't micro-manage. Let them know the plans and the goals, that you trust them to do their best, and then let them have the freedom to make at least some of the decisions as to how to do what is needed. Morale and creativity nosedive when the flow of work is interrupted by a supervisor checking on progress every two minutes.
8. Let them work to their strengths. We all like to feel good about our work. If we can do something that we do well, we will feel proud. If you believe supervisees need to strengthen areas of weakness, have them work on these, too, but not exclusively.
9. Praise in public, correct in private. NOTHING undermines morale as effectively as public humiliation.
10. Set reasonable boundaries, and empower your supervisees to set theirs. Once set, respect them. This is not a challenge to your power, it is their right as human beings.
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