Your managers are responsible for keeping employees productive, for building team morale and even goal-setting. Yet, we often neglect that the fact that managers themselves can reach a place of disengagement. Wondering how to motivate your motivators? Here are seven great ideas you can use to create better leaders right away!
1. Communicate Consistently
Policies that are vague, guidelines that often change and overall spotty communication can dampen even the most enthusiastic manager. It’s up to you to set the tone and provide clear and consistent communication. Hold regular meetings and make sure you have daily communication with each of your managers. This could be digital, by phone or even a brief face-to-face for a few minutes each day.
2. Promote Independence
Managers that are constantly being micromanaged can quickly become demoralized. Entrepreneur magazine states that if you’ve made good hiring choices, you shouldn’t need to micromanage. But if mistakes were made in the hiring process, you need to find out as quickly as possible and correct the mistake. Providing independence doesn’t necessarily mean giving a manager a project and then completely backing away. Using a measured approach and loosening the leash little by little is often the best way to know just how much independence your managers need.
3. Allow Work-Life Balance
The best leaders don’t just want to succeed in their career, they also want healthy personal relationships and time spent with friends and family. Managers who know they won’t be penalized for working from home or working unconventional hours will be more motivated and focused on their work. Make sure your culture emphasizes an understanding of things such as childcare issues, medical appointments, and a good work-life balance. The old adage is true: if you take care of your people, they will take care of you!
4. Provide Adequate Education and Resources
Managers who are stuck in the same position doing the same things for several years are less likely to stay motivated. Most managers want to learn and advance their skills. According to The Balance, providing training for your leaders not only increases motivation but retention. Your training programs can be tailored to suit your company needs, and can include everything from online leadership training to tuition reimbursement programs. It’s important to take the time to cater education and training to individual needs and company goals. Sending everyone to the same training is a one-size-fits-all approach that may hinder instead of increase motivation.
5. Get Down in the Trenches With Them
When your leader see upper management invested in a project a goal, they’ll be inspired to put forth the extra effort as well. Working with your teams on tough assignments and stretch goals, however, is just part of the equation. Being available on a day-to-day basis and responding to their emails and texts in a timely manner also shows that you have their backs and are there to remove roadblocks and provide the support they need when necessary.
6. Set Realistic Goals
Stretch goals are one thing, but few things will discourage an individual faster than realizing they can’t possibly meet the standards set for them. Unfortunately, setting unrealistic goals is not uncommon in the business world. Not only will this ultimately discourage employees and create a toxic work environment, but it could indirectly encourage employees to behave unethically. CNN Money reported how Wells Fargo employees endured years of pressure and unrealistic sales goals. Make sure the goals you set are achievable and celebrate the wins when you reach them!
7. Reward Results
Finally, it’s imperative to reward a job well done. Whether it’s financial incentives, extra vacation days or ultimately a promotion, your leaders need to know that someone is paying attention and their hard work will be worth it. The Association for Talent Development states that it’s also important to reward by providing internal motivation as well. This could include giving managers a choice of assignments to increase their sense of self-direction or simply giving them more freedom to problem solve and develop solutions.
Keeping your managers motivated usually isn’t difficult – but it does take planning and effort. Making and following a plan to motivate your managers will create a positive corporate culture, increase retention and build your future leaders from within.