How to be a Manager Who Motivates

Leadership sets the tone of an office or work environment. In fact, 66% of employees with a ‘bad’ boss, feel a negative energy in the workplace while only 15% of those with a ‘good’ boss report the same. More and more, the paycheck and perks, while both huge factors for retaining and engaging people, aren’t what has turnover through the roof. Bad management and uninspiring supervisors are what can make or break your team. What do motivating managers have to do to get a happy workforce?

Explain Strategy Behind Decisions

HOW TO DO IT: When managers make decisions about how to run a process, office or organization, it will obviously affect those who work under them. Whether it’s company-wide or department specific, the change should be made public so that everyone is aware. After explaining the new policy or approach, open the floor up for questions or make it very clear where questions can be answered. To be sure everyone receives notice, place the information in an email or your company’s performance management system.

Don’t limit company announcements to specific departments, but company-wide. Here’s why:CLICK TO TWEET

WHY THIS WORKS: Remember the “because I said so” days of your youth? Whether it was your parents or another adult, the response was enraging. One difference: kids sometimes ask many questions sans the goal to gain knowledge. That’s probably not the case with the adults you have working under you. A survey found that 97% of employees believe communication impacts tasks daily. Plus, approaching employees creates a checks and balances. A manager might believe his or her idea is the best approach to a problem or situation, but those who are most affected may bring up a point that for which hasn’t been accounted.

Delegate, Delegate and Compromise

HOW TO DO IT: When there is a new project, delegate tasks in a way that takes an employee’s current workload into account. If possible, directly ask what he or she has on their agenda and if there is time for the additional task. If that is a luxury you just don’t have, approach with understanding: “Hey Gina, I know you’re swamped, but you know these reports better than anyone else. Can you add them to your schedule and have them to me by tomorrow? They’re top priority.”

WHY THIS WORKS: First of all, 68% of employees who have worked under a micromanager say the experience lowered their morale and 55% say a micromanager decreased productivity. Delegation both helps your workload and allows employees to feel valued for their skills. Additionally, whether you have worked in the employee’s position or not, compassion for the work of your subordinates is absolutely necessary. Respect begets respect. When you make the situation more equal and less manager-subordinate, employees feel more motivated to be on your side, help the team and show the same respect for their coworkers — all things a manager can get behind, right?

Say Sorry and Right Wrongs Directly

HOW TO DO IT: So your employee made a mistake. It happens because he or she, we can bet, are not robots and humans are full of error. Now what? Use the moment as a teaching and learning opportunity. Begin by explaining the mistake and how it could have been avoided, then explain the steps being taken to solve it and, finally, allow the team members who are affected to approach you or the individual with their feelings on the matter. Airing the dirty laundry will help reduce frustration that can build up. If you, however, are the one who made the mistake, use the same formula of explaining the mistake and solution as well as opening up discussion for those affected.

Your employee made a mistake. Now what?CLICK TO TWEET

WHY THIS WORKS: Treating errors the same, no matter who made them, helps everyone feel comfortable to push limits and fail as well as keeps you, as a supervisor, approachable. Mistakes can lead to amazing innovation, so keeping the floor open to not so great choices, could lead to the very opposite. Additionally, if managers are calm, collected and respectful when things go wrong, employees are less likely to fear directly admitting mistakes, meaning you aren’t the last to know and can be a player in the solution. A survey found that 65% of employees who work under what they consider a “bad” boss, misrepresent the truth at their workplace, while only 19% of those with a “good” boss say the same.

Most managers don’t reach the position and decide to be a mean, uncommunicative micromanager. In fact, it’s probably more true that people take on a position of power in hopes they inspire employees to become greater and positively affect company results. Unfortunately, 49% of employees are not satisfied with their direct supervisor. Leading a team is challenging and, like parenthood, you will have your wins right alongside your faults. Continue respecting your employees and gathering feedback, especially when you or the team messes up. Becoming a leader is accepting the responsibility of continuous growth and dedicating every day to helping your team achieve greater heights. What do you do to improve yourself and the role you hold of being a leader?

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