How do I motivate my employees?

The success of any business is largely determined by how motivated its employees are to effectively and efficiently carry out the primary responsibilities of their role. Motivated employees are engaged, committed and productive. Motivation is the key to creating an environment wherein achieving maximum performance is possible.

A common mistake managers and leaders make is assuming that motivation is something you “give” to an employee. The reality is that motivation is something you “get out” of an employee. Motivation is a predisposition to act, with the key letters being p-r-e. In other words, employees are already motivated and they simply choose whether or not to “spend” some of this finite resource on us. As a leader, it is your responsibility to draw that motivation out by creating an environment in which they feel inspired to share some of their motivation with you. These motivations are personal and unique to every member of your team. What might motivate one person can have the opposite impact on another.

So it’s not a question of “How do I motivate my employees?” The real question is “How do I get them to spend that critical resource with me?” Now that’s an easy question: Ask them!

One thought on “How do I motivate my employees?

  1. Desmond,
    You make a great point in that every human being is motivated for something and has motivational capital to expend in the areas in which they are motivated to spend it.

    One thing I’ve found in working with business leaders is that often how they personally communicate with employees and the type of communication enabled in many work environments creates de-motivating work environments and de-motivated individuals.

    This occurs, often, not in a malicious manner but simply due to poor communication habits developed over many years since childhood from our earliest days of learning how to communicate from parents, siblings, teachers and others around us who were unaware of certain communication styles and mistakes.

    To get a sense of what I’m referring to you and other readers of this blog may be interested to learn more about what I call “The 7 Deadliest Sins of Leadership & Workplace Communication.” I’ve written a white paper with that title which is available as a free download at this website

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