Employee Motivation Skills

Employee Motivation Skills

As a line manager, how do you motivate the individuals in your team?

Motivation and Feedback

For staff to become motivated, they require ongoing and consistent recognition and feedback. As a line manager, you are the representation of the working culture in your team. The environment in which team members work should be appreciative, welcoming and supportive. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

In this short blog on motivation through feedback, you’ll learn simple and effective quick wins that will help motivate your team. You’ll explore a actions you can take to deliver feedback to your team whilst avoiding the pitfalls of getting it wrong.

Effective line management understands that each and every touch point with their direct reports is a moment of engagement. An opportunity to build the motivation and development of each individual. However, too many times opportunities are missed, the interaction is indifferent or, at worse, damaging.

The effect of consistent feedback is often compared to an emotional bank account. We want to guarantee that our team has a positive balance by ensuring the amount of positive recognition outweighs the negative.

How To Give Positive Feedback

How to reinforce desired behaviours with positive feedback

  • Just say “thanks”. A brief thank you word or sticky note may be small but has a big impact.
  • Affirmations. Praise your team members for good work. The more specific the praise the more powerful and long-lasting the effect. Vague feedback can be received with scepticism but your feedback will resonate more positively when you praise a specific point For instance, saying “good meeting” is helpful but “Great meeting. The way you handled their objections right at the open was really clever. They knew we meant business and it set the tone for the meeting” is better.
  • Smile and praise: “What I like about you Andy is that you’re always positive. It makes working in this team really rewarding”.
  • Protect your team members. Organisations and offices can often be places of division and disharmony. Worse still, left unchecked, unsupportive cultures bring bullying and unwarranted criticism upon your team. As an effective team leader, it is your responsibility to protect your team from such behaviours. You’ll build goodwill and respect with your team members too by doing so.

Becoming a Line Manager

So here are some key things to avoid when line managing employees:

Your people skills are noted and appreciated when you are asked to become a line manager.  So you should have a sense of when your words and actions are inappropriate or demotivating. However, too often this isn’t the case.

  • Don’t unfairly exclude team members from meetings, important conversations or pertinent issues within the workplace. The key point here is when the exclusion can be seen as unwarranted, targeted or spiteful. Ask yourself, “would this person understand their exclusion to be unfair?” If your reasons are sound, it may be worth a quiet word to explain your perspective, offer your employee reassurance, and affirm that their skills are valued and will be appreciated on another occasion.
  • General indifference to a team member or their actions is likely to demotivate an individual and impact on the productivity of your team.
  • Worse than indifference is blame. Passive aggressive slights and comments or public negative feedback is unhelpful. If you have a development issue which is causing you resentment, it is your responsibility as the line manager to manage this appropriately using constructive feedback in an appropriate setting.

In short, the culture in which your team works should be appreciative, welcoming and supportive. Then your team will thrive.

Employee Well-being

Why employee well-being should be the focus of all companies

The importance of employee wellbeing has been greatly understated in the past. That being said, companies are now starting to recognise the importance and the benefits of investing in employee wellbeing. It used to be a case where employee wellbeing programmes were confined to bigger organisations with a big budget and the luxury of a big HR department.

The fact is that companies are not just investing in employee wellbeing to be nice, there are tangible benefits of having access to wellbeing professionals and should be a consideration for all companies. This post is going to dive into some of the benefits of investing in an employee wellbeing scheme.

Balancing life and work

It is important for employees to have a healthy work and life balance. In reality, people get ill or have babies or get married or have mental health problems or move house. It is important for them to know that their work will not hinder what they have planned for their lives outside of work.

Wellbeing programmes encourage healthy living and reduce risk factors while at the same time increases health behaviours.

Improve productivity  

The main aim of employee wellbeing programmes is to improve productivity across an organisation. Wellbeing programmes contribute to improving job satisfaction which in turn increases the quality of work, productivity rates and financial performances.

As an employer, if your employees feel that you care about their wellbeing they would be willing to go the extra mile to make sure that tasks are carried out to the best of their ability.

Recruitment and retention

In terms of recruitment, having an employee wellbeing programme in place can help to attract a wide variety of applicants. Companies that have a reputation for prioritising their employees’ wellbeing will appear more attractive to potential applicants than companies that do not.

In terms of retention, employees are more likely to come into work every day and engage with their employers when they know that you care about their wellbeing. Not only does this improve retention, it also reduces recruitment costs as you are hiring fewer new employees.

Reduced absences

If your organisation is well invested in their employee wellbeing, then you should notice a reduction in the number of sick leave and lateness. Employees are likely to feel more engaged with their employer and enjoy coming to work where they know that their employer is focused on wellbeing.

Employee engagement

You are also able to build a community within your organisation. Promoting health related group activities will connect the employees not only to your company but also to each other. This provides them with an opportunity to form new relationships and engage with other members of the company the they wouldn’t normally engage with.

Work-related stress

One of the contributing factors to employee wellbeing is learning to reduce or manage stress. For those working in high demand jobs, it is important to know how to manage stress at work to avoid reduced productivity or work-related illnesses.

By David Price

David Price is group director for Health Assured: a provider of innovative health & wellbeing solutions. He advises employers daily on how to encourage and develop a healthy workplace, whilst outlining best practice guidance on how to combat and control workplace stress.

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