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Good Managers Empower Employees

Best tips to motivate people

A good manager understands the significance of motivating the team. Motivation can be a greater challenge when workers are working remotely. Research shows that employees who are intrinsically motivated, rather than extrinsically motivated, tend to perform better.

Intrinsic motivations come from within – such as the desire to help others. External factors like monetary rewards do not influence intrinsic motivations. On the other hand, extrinsic motivations come from outside forces – such as a promise of performance bonuses at the end of the financial year. While extrinsic motivations can work, they’re less effective in the long term. For knowledge workers, in particular, intrinsic motivations tend to be more productive.

Best selling author Daniel Pink developed a useful framework to help us understand motivation, especially intrinsic motivation. His motivation framework consists of autonomy, mastery and purpose. In today’s blog, we discuss our top tips for empowering your team using Daniel Pink’s framework.

1. Autonomy

Autonomy is the desire to direct and control one’s own life. Having the ability to control what, when, and how we work is highly motivating. This is especially true for workers who perform cognitive duties that require creativity.

Many tech companies, such as Atlassian, give their employees time to work on whatever project they like. This practice has led to many innovations for these companies.

So how can you give your employees more autonomy? One way is to give employees flexibility about where and when to work. Since a large number of workers are already working remotely, this should be relatively easy.

Another way to increase autonomy is to agree with employees what outcome you want, rather than how to get to that outcome. This way, you encourage the team to focus on results, rather than inputs.

These are just a few ideas – you may have others that will work well for your team. You can always ask your team to brainstorm other ideas for increasing their autonomy.

The more autonomy you can give your team, the more productive and happy they’ll be.

So how can you give your employees more autonomy? One way is to give employees flexibility about where and when to work.

2. Mastery

Mastery is the desire to get better at doing something. Most of us have the desire to get better at the things that we do. We enjoy learning and then mastering a skill. A sense of progress contributes to our inner drive. This is as applicable to our personal lives as it is to our work lives.

As a manager, we need to make sure that the tasks that we delegate to our employees are hard enough to be challenging, but not beyond their current capabilities. If we give employees tasks that are too hard, they will feel frustrated and overwhelmed. If we give them tasks that are too easy, they will get bored. Therefore, the best assignments are those that can stretch an employee and provide them with a chance to master a skill.

Of course, it’s not possible to always give employees stretch tasks. Everyone needs to do less-challenging admin tasks sometimes! But bearing mastery in mind means that you can put your employees in the best possible position to succeed while supporting them with the right tools and training.

Mentoring and coaching can be especially useful to support your team to build their skills. Schedule some time with your employees to discuss recent successes and challenges, and ask them what they’ve learnt. Give employees a chance to solve problems, rather than always being available to hand them the answers.

As a manager, we need to make sure that the tasks that we delegate to our employees are hard enough to be challenging, but not beyond their current capabilities.

3. Purpose

Purpose is the desire to do work in the service of something bigger than oneself, something that matters. This is the highest form of intrinsic motivation. When your team believes in the vision and purpose of your organisation, they will be more engaged and more productive.

As a manager, your job is to make sure that each employee understands the vision. If they are unclear about what the organisation is working towards and why, they will not be as motivated. Ask your team about their “why”, to make sure that it aligns with the organisation’s vision.

As part of our PEP Program, we help employees to get clarity on the end result that they want to achieve. We ask employees this important question: “Why is this particular task/project meaningful to you personally?” Allowing employees to define a clear “why” helps to boost their motivation.

When your team believes in the vision and purpose of your organisation, they will be more engaged and more productive.

Managers who can build and maintain employee motivation will get effective management and better results. For more than 30 years, PEPworldwide has been helping teams increase their effectiveness.

Learn how PEP can help you empower your team and increase business productivity.

By Simon Nicholls



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