7 Ways Managers Can Motivate their Employees

Managers are in an extremely powerful position because they can either lift employees to heights never before thought possible or drag them down into a pit of misery. A manager can make or break a company. Motivating employees is one of the greatest talents they have.

If you are a manager, or you wish to be, your motivational skills are critical. These seven strategies will help you light up a room when the going gets tough. They apply whether you’re selling cheap shoes or high-end holiday retreats, running a local taxi firm or a Fortune 500 empire.

1. Make the Office Your Home

The office should be your home away from home. This doesn’t mean that you should live there. It means you should be willing to work long hours and you should be willing to get your hands dirty. The best managers work hard, and that motivates everyone else to work harder.

Be the first to arrive and be the last to leave. Lead by example.

2. Encourage Criticism

An invincible manager is the worst sort of manager. Understand that you are fallible and can make mistakes. You should allow your employees to provide you with feedback, as you provide them with feedback. Admit when you go wrong and do your best to improve going forward.

Nobody likes a manager who can do no wrong.

3. Give Credit

The chances are the CEO will tell you about a major success long before the people at the lowest levels of the pyramid find out about it. It’s up to you what you do with these success stories. Bad managers will take all the credit because they are the person leading the team.

I learnt this from a friend who does elite interior design in Scottsdale. The best managers allocate this success out to everyone who was involved. And they don’t do it quietly or begrudgingly. They make a big deal out of it. They tell people, and everyone else, how much of a good job they’ve done.

4. Autonomous Managers

Some managers are control freaks. They enjoy the power they have over other people. Few people are motivated to work any harder for someone who believes that they should have complete control over everything.

Allow a certain degree of autonomy within your team. Employees work best when they believe they are in control of their destinies.

Naturally, you still have to step in and manage the overall direction. But refrain from becoming a micromanager.

5. Ensure a Healthy Work Balance

There are times where employees will have to work harder than ever before. It’s fine to do this for a while, but this steadily starts to grind people down. If they are never allowed to rest or let up, they are going to resist and their performance is going to fall.

It’s like riding a horse. You can whip it to go faster, but if you keep whipping it you are going to draw blood. Don’t demand that your employees commit to overtime every week. Allow them time off when they need it. Be more flexible.

6. Be Fair

It goes without saying that you can be firm but you have to temper this with fairness. Your workers should never feel as if they are working for someone with their own agenda. Do things by the book and show people that you are working for their best interests.

7. Pay Them More

You may be passionate about marketing and sales, but the reality is that for most people it’s a job and nothing more. If they won the lottery, you wouldn’t see them in the office ever again. The main motivator for a lot of people is cold, hard cash.

Underpaid workers have little motivation to perform. Campaign for paying them what they’re worth. You may not be in direct control of this, but you can certainly lend your influence.

Becoming a Good Manager

Becoming a good manager takes time and effort to achieve. Think about a manager you were inspired by and aim to replicate their behaviors and mannerisms. It doesn’t matter what industry you happen to work in because the principles are always the same.

Good managers lead by example and they are always fair to the people under them. Take credit when you deserve it, but also give out credit when others deserve it.

How do you think a good manager should behave?


Jimmy Rohampton is a freelance writer, blogger and business consultant from Southwest London. He travels the world and helps people master blogging and online marketing at HowToCreateABlog.org. Think you're interesting and he should know you? Say "Hi" to him at Jimmy@HowToCreateABlog.org

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