Overview: Workforce motivation is key to reducing employee turnover and building a talent pool capable of establishing leaders for the future. To motivate employees on all organizational levels, leaders should empower them, give them room to grow, communicate clearly, and create healthy company cultures.
You can have the most talented workforce in the world, but if you fail to motivate employees, you won’t retain them for long. With the Great Resignation upon us, reducing employee turnover has become a do-or-die challenge for many organizations. The key is motivation, but how do you motivate a modern workforce? How can intelligent leadership help you determine the best course for retaining talent?
One’s gut reaction to losing employees is usually to sweeten financial incentives, but this approach is wrong.
Empowerment is the Source of Motivation
This axiom of intelligent leadership is truer today than ever before. People like money and material possessions, but when it comes to inspiring them to do their best, such incentives fall short of the mark. Even praise from the boss or a slice of pizza may have stronger effects on work morale than financial rewards.
The true source of employee happiness is empowerment. Leadership coaching values the role of empowerment in leadership for a reason. Leaders who allow their employees to take chances and experiment in their searches for solutions drastically increase employee engagement.
The factors rounding out employee empowerment are room for growth and rewards that translate into career growth opportunities.
Employees value the freedom to do their best, and they appreciate the due recognition of their accomplishments.
Transparency is the Source of Trust
Transparent, honest, and vulnerable leadership builds trust. Transparency is an additional pillar of empowerment.
Motivated employees understand how their organizations work, what they value, what they’re goals are, and how the work of their organizations fit into the whole.
Intelligent leaders know that they don’t have all the answers, and they treat their employees as partners in a common venture rather than tools to accomplish abstract deeds. They communicate a company’s vision and purpose clearly. They share essential data about the performance of the organization, and they involve employees.
To Thrive, Employees Need Room for Growth
To grow and fulfill its potential, a plant needs nourishment, a warm environment, sunlight, and room for growth. The same is true of people in a metaphorical sense.
Employees need to know and understand that they have a future with an organization that values their work. A culture of coaching and mentoring conveys such a message consistently. With opportunities to advance through the ranks and become the leaders of the future, employees work for more than an extra buck. They put their time and efforts into the most worthwhile investments: their futures.
When they have room to grow, employees understand their success matters, and when success matters, it makes sense to work for it.
Team and Organizational Cultures Matter
No one likes to work for a team with a toxic culture. Employees need psychological safety to engage with their jobs in a meaningful way. Toxic cultures keep team members in constant survival mode. When employees find their existence conditioned by fight or flight reflexes, they will seek a way out.
Leadership coaching pushes for coaching-focused organizational cultures. When employees genuinely work on uplifting their peers, opportunities appear and engagement flourishes.
Clear Communication Makes a Difference
Clear communication is a core concept of executive coaching. The ability to communicate is one of the basic outer-core leadership competencies.
Intelligent leaders communicate a company’s vision, purpose, and values as often as possible.
To optimize employee motivation, they have to find ways to give employees discretionary access to a wide range of material about the company and its inner workings. Such material can include:
- Exhaustive information about the products of the company, including technical data
- Internal news
- Best practices
- Handbooks for employees
- Project details
Whether it takes peer motivation, encouragement, belief in the company, or room for long-term growth, employee motivation is not an easy riddle to crack. Finding the variable that creates lasting employee engagement is the key.
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