"Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can't be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people." -Lee Iacocca
All of us want to be the best managers we can be. After all, our employees are our company. The more we can motivate our staff to feel good about what they do, the better our organizations will operate. Managing employees takes work and a commitment to help them succeed!
One great thing you can do is to find out what each employee’s goals are and then help them achieve those goals. Finding out what each person really wants out of life does two things. First, it tells the employee that you really care enough about them to ask. Sometimes staff just will not know their goals, which is okay, but just asking translates to caring. Second, once you know what their goals are, you can help them achieve them. It is so surprising to me how many managers just have no idea of what the career goals are of their staff. It is so important to think of yourself as a coach. Like an athletic coach, your job is guide the team members to be the best they can be.
Another thing, you really want to become a full time mentor with each of your employees because this really keeps your staff humming. That doesn't mean you are mentoring employees 12-hours a day, but that you have their success on your mind at all times. Evaluating your employees once a year is a one of those ideas that you really, really have to question. Normally an annual evaluation turns out to be the evaluation of only the last two weeks of an employee's work history. All employees, if they are human beings, need feedback to make sure they are living up their boss’s expectations. With only a yearly evaluation, frustration sets in quickly. I take each staff member out for a meal once a month. During that time, I try to find out how they are doing and to identify their needs. I also communicate how I feel they are doing in a clear and concise manner. Taking them out of the office really tells them that I want to be there to mentor them to be more and more successful. If you find the time to spend a few moments with each employee, you will be surprised what you might find out about your employees and how this individual time with them motivates them to succeed and promotes loyalty within the workplace.
Positive reinforcement is critical to being a great manager. So many times you hear staff members say that the manager only notices when I screw up and never notices when they do great things! Pay attention to great behavior and always recognize it whenever you see it. On a recent tour of a business I observed the owner who spotted one employee doing some great things. The entrepreneur stopped the tour to tell the employee what a great job he was doing. Recognizing great employee behaviors is a sure way to communicate to your staff how pleased you are with their performance.
Managing employees takes so much work and effort. However, it is so worthwhile because it makes your staff feel so much better about their work. Now go out and improve the ways you manage your staff.
You can do this!