How to Motivate Today’s Worker


Managers could greatly reduce their stress by practicing a critical management skill — delegation. The inability to delegate frequently has led to the downfall of many leaders — from presidents to first-line supervisors. This guide helps managers recognize the benefits of delegating, what and to whom one should delegate, and a systematic approach to the delegation process.

What to Expect

Motivation is one of the primary concerns and challenges facing today’s manager. This Business Builder will help you learn techniques for creating a proper motivational climate. You will learn how to apply proven techniques for motivating employees, prepare individual action plans to solve on-the-job problems, and identify causes of low morale and techniques for improving overall employee behaviors.

Why Do You Need to Know About Motivation?

  • Your employees are the key to your successful business.
  • Motivation affects employee performance, which affects organizational objectives.
  • Satisfied employees lead to satisfied customers.
  • Motivated employees make your job easier.

Criteria for Success

To be a successful manager/motivator you must first understand that you cannot motivate anyone. You can only create an environment that encourages and promotes the employee’s self motivation. Someone once said that motivation is getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. The challenge is to give them a reason to want to do it; doing it will satisfy a need they have. You have to tune in to their need, not yours.

Secondly, you must also know what kind of behavior you want the employee to demonstrate. In other words, what do you want the employee to do differently?

For example, do you want the employee to come to work on time? Greet the customers in a friendly manner? Complete forms correctly? Assume more responsibility? You must be clear about your expectations before you can communicate them to your employees.

The third important thing to keep in mind is that you are the critical component in the motivation process. Your actions set the tone. Many managers embrace the “carrot-on-the-stick” approach to motivating employees. These practices take the form of incentive programs, promises of rewards and bonuses. Others employ the symbolic “whip” or “club” by emphasizing the negative results of their behavior.

For example, a manager might say, “If you don’t start getting to work on time, you’ll be fired” or “You’ll never get ahead if you continue to make these kinds of mistakes.” The problem is that these short-term “quick fixes” create no permanent behavior change.

Do you really encourage people and bring out the best in them, or do you manage them through intimidation and threats? What motivation methods have you tried? Did they work? If so, for how long?

Watch Out For… There is no quick fix. Changing employee behavior takes time and patience. You will find that what works well for one person may not work for another. You may have to use “trial and error” until you identify and match the right method to the appropriate people.

You also may have to face the unpleasant truth that no matter what you do, you might have some employees who refuse to change their behavior. If that is the case, you will have to “bite the bullet” and ask them to leave. It’s very demotivating to employees some do not cooperate perform according to agreed upon expectations.

Dr. Karen Lawson

Dr. Lawson is an international consultant, executive coach, speaker, and author. In her work with Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses, she works with leaders at all levels. Clients include a variety of prominent organizations from financial services, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, manufacturing, health care, government, and education. Drawing on her own leadership experiences and knowledge of human interaction, she helps leaders fine-tune their leadership and influencing skills to make a difference in their organizations and reach a higher level of success.

Dr. Lawson and HRDQ-U are hosting a free webinar on September 9th at 2pm. Sign up for it now!

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