Stop thinking money and better benefits – both are important but to your employees, some other things are even more important. Higher wages won’t cause your employees to become automatically motivated, perform at a higher level and be highly productive. Motivation, loyalty, commitment and good work ethic are not based on a high salary.
We all have our different reasons for working. Some of these reasons are personal and individualistic. However, we all work to get the things that we need from work. The things we need to obtain from work impacts how we do our work, how we are at work, our morale, motivation and our quality of life in general. To truly care about your business, as a leader, your employees need these 5 gifts from you:
Gift 1 – Connection
First and arguably the most important gift is the need to belong, the need to love and be loved at work. Ok, for some people, this may sound a bit too touchy-feely but people crave these things everywhere they go. Employees don’t want to work for just a paycheck; they want to work with people and for people. To create positive employee motivation, as a leader, you have to treat your employees well to show them that they matter – they are your greatest shareholders.
Watch it on Academic Earth
A kind word anytime, a short discussion about their family (if they are willing to share), a brief compliment, including them in things, checking-in to see if they need anything and those individual moments are much more important than scheduled one-to-one meetings or formal end of the year evaluations. Including them in important issues around the office is always good. To feel fulfilled and empowered, your employees must feel they are contributing to the whole team. Ask your employees what they think, both individually and in team meetings. Everyone has something to offer, don’t deny your employees the opportunity to make suggestions and don’t shoot their ideas down without genuine consideration. When an idea doesn’t have merit, take the time to explain why.
Gift 2 – Future
It’s a known fact that an employee will care about you, your leadership and your business when you care about them first. By creating a culture that allows your people to grow, you are expanding your capacities as a leader. Understanding what people want is essential to being a successful manager, but you must also know how to give it to them, and that takes both will and skill. Giving the gift of career growth is the best gift you can give to your employee.
As a leader, it is your duty to develop your employee in order to be the best that they can be. Invest the time and energy to get them trained or developed. You have to make it your business to know what their career aspirations are. Every job should have the potential to lead to something more, either within or outside your company. Even though they may not need a skill now, be willing to let them develop the skill if they wish because some day, somewhere, they’ll need the skill. You might as well lead them to the path. The more development opportunities you give to your employees, the more likely they are to stay with you as an employer. So, it is imperative that you mentor, coach and support your employees.
Gift 3 – Autonomy
Trust is an important component of leadership and the workplace environment. Autonomy is a good gift to give your employees. It shows that you trust them to do what they are being paid to do without you having to micro manage them. Autonomy allows your staff to develop themselves and grow in confidence. It does not mean that you don’t care about what your employees are doing.
Autonomy and latitude breed engagement and satisfaction. Practiced well, latitude breeds creativity and innovation. Whenever possible, give your employees the freedom to work the way they work best. Given the opportunity, most employees will do extraordinary work. Trust people with “skills stretching” projects even when the outcome is uncertain. It’ll give them a chance to shine or to fall short and grow. Be sure you maintain an open-door policy – do your best to be there for your employees, even if it means setting aside a regular time when all you do is connecting with them.
Gift 4 – Fairness
As a leader you can be tough but caring. Above all, you have to give a gift of fairness to your employees. Be fair to all your employees, treating all of them equally, even those you like or do not care for. Knowing how to do this is one of the most important traits to have as a leader in any business. In life, it is natural to favour those we like or those who we feel are compatible with our personalities. However as a manger it is necessary to remove any personal feelings from the equation and treat employees equally in every situation. This is possibly the hardest part of being a fair boss. You can easily lose respect if your employees realize that you play favorites in the office.
Gift 5 – Reward
This is a gift that demonstrates appreciation. All employees want to know when they have done a good job. Don’t let the only time you have a serious conversation with them be when they have done something wrong. Let them know when they have done something right. If your employees don’t feel appreciated, they might become disillusioned and feel no incentive to work hard. The last thing you want is to have a group of employees working for you who feel that they are trapped without the opportunity of any rewards. It is very important to set aside the necessary reward for deserving employees with a raise or a bonus.
Employees, team members and group members want their needs met, they find it difficult if not impossible to focus on anything else if these needs are not met. The transformational leader understands that satisfying all five of these needs may not be easy, but when they are being met, something magnificent begins to emerge – employees instinctively play a bigger game, and show up in a more engaged and effective way.