Last week we discussed the plethora of benefits in having highly motivated employees, including company loyalty, higher levels of productivity, and strong morale within your team. What can you as a manager do to ensure that your employees are highly motivated, possessing the drive to not only meet the standard expectations of their job, but the determination to truly excel in the workplace?

The most critical of managerial skills pertaining to motivation is the need to provide your employees with regular feedback rather than waiting for periodic employee reviews and evaluations. Employees need to hear from their manager frequently. A high percentage of morale problems, disciplinary actions, and employee turnovers could be eliminated just by providing a continual, informal feedback process.  If you don’t talk to your employees, they will begin to believe that you don’t like them or you are unhappy with their performance.

Never ask your employees to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself. Successful managers should be willing to do the same work as their subordinates, leading by example and proving to them that no task is beneath them. This builds a sense of camaraderie amongst your employees that is vital in establishing relationships built on mutual respect. Proving through actions that you’re willing to work in the trenches when it is crunch time will motivate them to do the same.

Finally, encourage your employees to talk with you about the good and bad aspects of their job. If they complain on occasion, don’t label them as malcontents and dismiss their comments. Listen and understand what bothers them before you judge. Your chance to shine as a manager will usually be preceded by a conversation that reveals problems that you are empowered to take positive action upon.  Be glad these employees are willing to share this with you and use these conversations as opportunities to encourage your employees to grow and excel.

What if your employees don’t want to excel and come to work unmotivated and only willing to do the bare minimum to skate by? Read along next week as we discuss how to pinpoint what motivates your “stuck” employees to determine what you can do to inspire them to do a good job.