8 Top Tips for Motivating Staff

Ask any manager or leader about some of their key challenges and chances are that motivating staff will be on the list.  We all know that better motivated staff produce better results and are more productive.  So what are my 8 top tips?

Tip 1: Give effective feedback

We all like to know how we are doing.  What we are doing well and what we need to work on.  Without feedback we are in the dark.  Effective feedback will not only praise the results but also highlight the traits or behaviours that are making them happen.  On the flip side, it will let people know what attributes or behaviours are not getting results.

Tip 2: Supportive leadership

Teams follow leaders that they know they can rely on.  Supportive leadership is about being there for people when things are tough and helping them to move forward.  It is about standing up for the team when they are coming under attack.  Like any form of leadership, you need to “walk the talk” or put more simply make sure your actions and words tie up.

Tip 3: Delegate

Yes it is great to hold on to things that we like doing but should not be doing.  It gives a message to staff that you don’t trust them.  Delegating is probably one area that leaders at all levels struggle with.  Yet if you are going to exploit your full potential you need to be ready to delegate both task and responsibility.

Tip 4: Allow risk taking

Let’s be clear, I am not talking about recklessness, but allowing staff to take some risk.  The benefits you get include:

• Staff feel more creative

• They find new ways of overcoming barriers

• It spurs them on when things go well

• They learn a lot when things do not go as expected

Tip 5: Train and develop

Yes there will always be people who are quite happy doing what they are doing and have no aspirations.  The vast majority of staff however, want to learn new skills, gain new experience, build their personal attributes and take on new challenges.  Make sure this opportunity is not lost.

Tip 6: Generate high expectations

When you set high expectations you inspire people to reach out and meet them.  The challenge is to ensure that your expectations require effort and some discomfort but are not completely out of reach.  Generating high expectations will mean that you will achieve a better result even if it is not the ideal.

Tip 7: Set goals

Goals are outcomes that you and your team want.  Setting goals gives you a clear destination to aim for.  It allows you to plan and set strategies in place to get there.  Think about goals a bit like a car journey.  Where you want to get to is the destination.  The mode of transport, the route and stop off points are the strategies you employ to get there.

Tip 8: Acknowledge achievements

Do you ever find yourself dismissing progress because you have not quite achieved the outcome you wanted?  This is easy to do and a simple technique to use is to remind the team of where you started, the progress that has been made and to celebrate achievements.

Motivating staff is challenging, but by adopting these 8 simple steps, you can start to move forward to greater success.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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