There are some days when motivating yourself is hard enough, but you have to pull yourself together and carry on regardless. When you are expected to motivate your staff as well, it can seem even more difficult.
But nobody said that leadership was going to be easy – taking responsibility lies at the heart of good management, and on the occasions when it’s cold and rainy outside, and the weekend seems an eternity away, it is up to you as the boss to lead by example and perk your workforce up.
To motivate oneself requires inner strength allied to a firm vision of one’s goals – but staff require a different approach. They are not tied to the success of an enterprise in the same way that a business owner or senior manager is. They are, for the most part, simply trying to put food on their table and provide for their family. Younger staff members may even be constantly looking out for new opportunities elsewhere – and can hardly be blamed for doing so.
But there are still ways of communicating one’s own enthusiasm for the business at hand and motivating a workforce. Your staff may not realise it, but they are looking to you to lead the way. Personal qualities should not be underestimated when it comes to staff motivation.
Whatever their other interests in the job, staff want to feel that they are valued by their employer. Research has found that this is just as important for workers as enjoying their duties, access to promotion and training – and even earning a decent salary. So how to foster this sense of value?
The first opportunity comes at the very start of the working day, with the arrival of the boss. If they appear in the workplace with a face like thunder, snapping at questions from staff members and shutting themselves in their office, then the workforce will take their cue from this – today is a “bad day”; there’s no point in trying hard; best to avoid the boss, just keep your head down and wait for home time.
This is what leadership is all about. Regardless of what problem’s you are going through, it is incumbent on you to appear calm, confident and cheerful; with time to talk to your staff and address their concerns. Let them know what today’s objectives are and make sure they know that their input is vital to achieving them. Let them know that you are all in it together.
It is also vital that your staff know what they are expected to do towards these objectives. Workers with clearly defined tasks are a lot more happy and confident when they have clear parameters – when they know what their tasks involve and when they need to be done by. As with so much in life, communication is the key.