Being a boss isn’t always an easy task. As a person managing multiple employees, you are forced to deal with a wide variety of personalities. Furthermore, at the end of the day, you are the one responsible for the productivity of your team. If you are having problems motivating your employees, you may be able to produce better results by following a few simple rules.
Always Put a Positive Spin on Assignments
Believe it or not, your employees’ performances are greatly affected by the manner in which tasks are assigned. If you indicate to them that what you’re asking them to do is difficult or monotonous, they will approach the job with apprehension and will have acquired a predisposition to not perform as well as they otherwise would have. If you are encouraging and use suggestions like, “this is a piece of cake,” or, “I know you will perform this job well,” your employees are more likely to produce better results. Never underestimate the power of suggestion.
Consistently Use Positive Reinforcement
It’s important to praise your employees when their productivity warrants praise. When you feel your employees aren’t performing as well as you’d like them to and you need to offer them instruction or constructive criticism, practice the sandwich approach through which you offer a compliment before and after your criticism.
For example, you could say something like, “Your enthusiasm is great and much appreciated. I would like you to demonstrate a sense of urgency with your work (you may be inclined to offer specific examples to increase productivity, if applicable). Thank you for setting a good example for the other employees.”
Listen and Respond Accordingly Rather Than ‘Knee-Jerk Reacting’
For a boss, the art of listening cannot be underestimated and is a critical quality for an employer who expects to lead a team of productive employees.
Think about the way you interact with your employees. Do you hear things and react immediately without giving it much thought or do you listen, think, and respond in the most effective manner possible? If you are guilty of coming back at your employees with ‘knee-jerk reactions,’ it’s never too late to practice responding after carefully and thoroughly assessing the situation.
Watch Your Tone
A negative and condescending tone generally accompanies knee-jerk reactions. If your employees feel like you have no respect for them, they will not have much motivation to offer respect back. This disinclination to offer respect can manifest itself in a variety of ways, and the guaranteed outcome is that your employees are less likely to perform at optimum levels. When workers feel that they are respected and appreciated by their boss, they are much more likely to give all they’ve got to produce the results and levels of productivity that are expected of them.
Choose Your Verbiage Carefully
Be careful to consider the words you use when communicating with your employees. Even when you’re using a respectful tone, the verbiage you use may be misconstrued and/or indicative of disrespect. For example, instead of saying things like, “That’s not what I said,” when a mistake is made, try saying something like, “I can understand that what I said could have been confusing; what I meant to say was…”
Also, try using positive words – even if you’re confronting a negative behaviour. For example, you may have an employee who is habitually late. Instead of confronting his bad habit using words like ‘late’ or ‘irresponsible,’ suggest a change of behaviour by using words like, ‘responsibility’ and ‘punctuality.’ Keep this principle in mind for all of your constructive criticism so that – instead of identifying the negative behaviour – you suggest positive alternatives.