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The first few months of the year are full of excitement and a sense of optimism to achieve great things. Resolutions to cut out bad habits and achieve various goals fill our minds. Why is it that some people accomplish these resolutions yet so many others fail? The most successful people write these goals down, share them with friends and family, and do their best to sustain their effort well past the start of a new year.
But one key ingredient for any sustained change is motivation. It keeps our will strong and allows us to continue moving toward our goals.
What motivates each one of us can vary. It may be inspirational quotes, an encouraging word from someone we respect or articles we read.
Motivation is important for us personally, but also especially as supervisors, managers and business leaders.
In these roles we must find ways to motivate and encourage our employees to not only accomplish their own goals but also those of the business.
So how do we motivate our employees to realize success? How do we move from a series of short bursts of motivation that eventually fizzle out to sustained, consistent motivation that will drive success for you and your employees?
Here are five specific things you can do this year to help motivate your team to long-term success.
1. set a vision and goals.
Motivating employees is much easier when they understand the why and how behind what you are doing. Make it a priority to spend time with your employees and help them understand the goals you need them to reach.
Help select and set smart goals. (Smart here stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely). The idea is to help your team go from setting a goal of “increasing profits” to “increase gross profit by 2 percent in the first quarter.”
2. plan to reach goals.
Don’t simply tell employees where they’re going. Work with them to create a clear road map to success. Identify milestones that will allow you and your employees to know that they are on track.
Knowing the goals and the plan to get there will help you identify and celebrate the smaller achievements allowing you to motivate your team along the way.
3. Work the plan.
Make a point to take time throughout your day, week or month to check in on how everyone is progressing toward their own goals.
Consider putting systems in place that allow you to track, reward and recognize success.
Don’t underestimate the importance of providing feedback, coaching and encouraging your team along their journey.
4. Participate in team goals.
The more invested you are in your employees, the more likely it is that they will accomplish their own goals and the goals you have set out for them.
If they want to read two books this year, show them you are invested in their success by helping them find these books or – better yet -- reading one with them. This will make you much more likely to be able to align your goals with your teams’ and create energy and accountability to one another.
5. Be genuine.
Each of us is busy. We have many responsibilities at work and at home, but don’t allow yourself to be so busy that you can’t truly check in with your employees.
Unless you can genuinely connect with your team to see where they are in the journey to reach their goals, you will undermine all of the other work. Remember to stop long enough to have uninterrupted, focused conversations with your employees.
By taking time to understand where your employees want to go, making a plan to get there, encouraging them along the way and removing potential road blocks when possible, they will achieve great things and will be happier.
Then, so will you. Don’t simply hang a poster in the office with a motivational quote on it. This year, use these five tips to find out what drives your team and help motivate them to achieve greatness.
Angela Talocco is the employee training and development specialist at Swingle Lawn, Tree and Landscape Care in Denver.
Explore the March 2016 Issue
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