What Leaders Can Do To Motivate Their Followers
It could be argued that the ability to motivate is one of the most important qualities a great leader should have. Indeed, if the members of a group are not motivated by their leader, the success of the group will be unlikely.
The challenge of the leader is to create an environment where their followers can be motivated to succeed. Motivation is a simple concept that many organizations fail to use. They don’t reward or recognize the success of their members, or they fail to properly communicate. If you want to motivate those that follow you, you will first want to avoid any behaviors that will demotivate them.
A number of polls taken by employees have shown that a large percentage of them aren’t happy with their work environment because they either don’t have the tools they need, or they have a hard time communicating with their supervisors. These polls also demonstrated that many employees don’t even know what their superiors want from them. Is it any wander that most businesses fail within the first five years? Even though money is one reason, a failure to motive employees is likely another. The costs involved with not motivating your employees is heavy.
Statistics show that employees that described themselves as "disengaged from their jobs" cost their employers nearly $300 billion dollars in a single year. While these statistics were taken from a number of companies, it shows the high price that is paid when employees aren’t motivated. This is money that could be spent in areas such as marketing, research and development, and company equipment and tools. Employees who are disengaged from their jobs will likely miss more days from work than employees who are motivated. As you can see, motivating your employees is crucial.
The first thing you will want to do is limit the number of rules you have. In fact, a leader should only set rules that are absolutely necessary for the function of their organizations. Once these rules are established, everyone who is under you should be familiar with them. The rules should be published, and should be located in a place where they are easy to see. Make sure the rules are equally applied to managers. They should follow the same guidelines as those beneath them, and should never be exempt. When someone fails to follow the rules, you will want to make sure you take the correct action.
Once you have made a list of rules, you will want to sit down with everyone to make sure they are clearly understood. You should also get the thoughts of those beneath you. Do not make rules that are set in stone at this stage. You will want to get feedback to make sure the rules are reasonable. If you decide to make changes to any rule, talk to your employees about it before you set the rule in stone. Everyone should know "why" the guidelines are being changed. Many leaders decide to change rules without letting their members know why the rules are being changed, and this can be a source of frustration.
If you set up rules in the right way, many of your followers will be happy to follow them. But the rules must be reasonable. Setting up rules that are unreasonable will send a bad message to those that follow you, and they will be difficult to motivate. It is also important for your followers to understand "exactly" what is expected of them. Doing this requires the leader to practice good communication skills. You should be able to explain to anyone exactly what needs to be done without making them feel unintelligent. In addition to this, you will want to make sure your group behaves like a group.
Many departments in large companies are created in a way that disconnects employees from each other. While it is important for them to be able to concentrate, employees must all feel like they are part of a group. Supervisors will want to have frequent meetings and gatherings away from the cubicles were employees can communicate with each other and have group discussions. In a situation like this, the group will work together to form a well oiled machine, a machine that will perform quite well.