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How exceptional managers motivate their employees at Work

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

motivated team

It's a Monday. Everyone just got back from a nice long weekend with friends and family. There was excitement, relaxation, peace, and romance. But Monday came back and it's business as usual. You as a manager are shocked and annoyed at the lack of work ethic from your employees. You have clients to please, quotas to meet, and problems to resolve, what are you going to do? Today we are going to talk about the 10 ways an exceptional manager can motivate their employees to get the company rolling smoothly every week.

1. Be Energetic

The first step to creating an environment of motivated employees is to bring an energetic attitude. Everyone knows there is always that one person who comes into the room and it's like life has been brought into the room. All of a sudden there is more interaction and excitement. This energetic attitude can be very contagious if you bring it to the office with you.

If we're being real, everyone knows how they can motivate themselves. Motivation takes discipline, and discipline is something we often slack on as humans. An excellent office manager needs to live a disciplined life in order to be the channel of motivation for their employees.

But how do office managers, maintain this energetic attitude? There are a couple of very key things you can do to give yourself more energy.

  1. Eat a good/big breakfast. After a long fasting period (sleep), your body's glycogen levels are really low. Increasing glycogen levels gives your body more glucose which increases your blood sugar levels and thus gives you more energy. Some good foods to eat in the morning are eggs, oatmeal, greek yogurt, berries, or green tea.

  2. Drink Coffee. No explanation needed here...

  3. Have a Cold Shower. Having a cold shower has been proven to give you a nice shock in the morning which can help a lot with increasing energy levels early in the morning. This method is the least enjoyable for most people. At least wash your face in the morning with really cold water.

  4. Plan your day. Planning your day can be a great way to reduce stress early in the morning. It will give you something to expect and will save you a lot of brain energy which is very useful especially in the morning.

2. Recap last week's accomplishments

Before you do this, have a set of goals set out for the week if you can. Mark down all the goals that you hit at the end of the week.

You need to give your team a sense of accomplishment, and the best way to do this is to point them out. You should've made a list of goals for the prior week, and Monday morning is the time to remind your team what they have done. They need to feel that they are winning; ahead of schedule. This will become a big morale booster that will motivate them. It will also show you where you are and where you need to go.

Make these accomplishments all about them, this is a team effort. Let them know that they should be proud of what they have done, and give them a sense of the impact that they have had in other people's lives. Everyone wants to change the world or at least help someone out. If you are reminding your team of the impact they are having in their community, in the lives of individuals, clients, schools, kids, etc. they will start wanting to work harder each day in order to continue to impact those around them in positive ways.

3. Treat them with respect

Respect can be a big motivator. You never know what your employees are going through. I'm assuming that for the most part, your employees are more like acquaintances rather than close friends, so you're not always going to know what is going on in their lives. If you are disrespectful to one of your employees it could set out a chain reaction of negativity in the office that kills morale and motivation. An exceptional manager will realize that they are working with humans who have emotions and who happen to impact work at the office. Even if you don't feel like being respectful, you still need to be.

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Forgive those who have wronged you. There is no better medicine than forgiveness. The only one that loses after a big argument or dramatic life event is the one who lets the emotions of anger and hate overtake them. These emotions become a vacuum that sucks up all your joy and leaves you in an empty pit of hate. Sounds gnarly, but it's true. Note: If there is something that is truly bothering you to the point where you cannot set it aside, maybe consult with a therapist before going to work.

  2. Have some tea. If you feel flustered or agitated, try drinking some chamomile tea either before going to bed or before going to work. Its properties have proven to be good for calming down the nerves.

  3. Breathe easy. Although you've probably heard everyone and their mother say this to you, I'm still going to say it again because it works. Before you go start your day at work before you turn on the computer or bring out the stack of papers take 3 minutes to just relax and breathe.

4. Provide recognition and praise

It is obvious that people need to have a sense of purpose or else they could get into a downward spiral that leads to sadness and feelings of unfulfillment in life which in turn could lead to a lack of motivation. In the workplace, it is essential that employees know that they are a valuable asset to your company and that they have an important purpose for being there. An employee that sees purpose in their job, is an employee that will work hard because they will like their job.

You must remember, when you are at the office you are not dealing with teenagers, these are skilled professionals, most of which (most likely) have spent thousands of dollars to get an education in order to do what they do. Obviously, as a manager, you have millions of other things to do, but you must also be the one (if there is nobody else), who is motivating your workers enough so that they are able to give the best that they have with all the skills and education that they have acquired.

The methods we use to give our employees a sense of purpose are praise and recognition. There are thousands of ways we can give praise and recognition to our employees and in this section, you can be creative with how you do it. That said, I want to give you 5 things you can try in your office.

  1. Employee of the month - hang their portrait on the wall.

  2. Give mini gifts.

  3. Award them with special assignments, or assignments that really challenge them. Make sure you express to them that you see their potential and you know they are up for the task.

  4. Give them a shout-out in the office and on social media.

  5. Give a genuine "Thank You".

5. Give your employees opportunities to develop their skills

When you are given the opportunity to display your skills, and a chance to do something that could potentially move you up in the corporate food chain your attitude towards your job can suddenly change from I hate this place to I can't wait for Monday. This could be very exciting and could help an employee who you know has been struggling and not really giving their all at work because they have lost their sense of purpose.

Obviously, if you work at a fairly large company with 100 employees at the office every day not everyone can be given these special opportunities. But these things don't have to be big. Try involving the newer guys in more important meetings. let them get a sense of the planning and decision-making that goes on when the higher-ups go into the meeting room. Rotate who gets to be part of these meetings from time to time. You are the manager, get your employees involved in this. Even though they might not have a say in anything that goes on, simply allowing them to be a part of it can let them know that you are on their team and want them to succeed. This is just one example, you can be creative with these.

6. Provide a sense of freedom and autonomy

I hope you are seeing a trend in these sections. You don't want your employees to feel like they are trapped in a rat race like most people feel today. The more freedom you can give your employees, the harder they will work, and the happier they will be.

Don't be uptight and nitpicky about everything, as many managers like to be. They have a mind of their own that is capable of making good decisions. Try to give them some liberty in whatever areas you can. And yes, there are always areas where you can let go and give them liberty. Remember "Nobody can do it better than you can, manager", but you can't do everything. So unless you want to do everything, alleviate your grip on the whole process and let your workers figure things out as well. You might find out that the statement above is wrong, they are actually better than you at it. Maybe this can be a chance for them to develop their skills in that area, which will help them in the future.

7. Address employee concerns and complaints

Your employees also want to be heard. They could be at the very bottom of the corporate food chain; a delivery guy you just hired for your pizza shop. If they have a complaint, you need to make it easy for them to talk to you. If they are not happy with something, it's better for them, for you, and maybe even the company overall, that the problem is addressed.