John Lennon asked us to “Imagine”, Martin Luther King Jr. asked us to share his dream, Rabindranath Tagore asked us to awaken ourselves. Every famous personality that has every inspired us has asked something of us. Pushed us to think more, do more, be more. At the heart of inspiration is this call, the directive that pushes employees to be more. This is what employers need to tap into in order to inspire employees to work better.
Here are 4 simple ideas that will help you understand exactly how to inspire, motivate and drive your employees to be the best they can be.
Paint a Vision
Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, list the two characteristics of an effective vision as core ideology and an envisioned future. The core ideology is the character of your firm, it is in essence the binding agent that brings employees together and guides all business decisions. An envisioned future includes those large and long term goals that you have devised for the company. These large and maybe even seemingly impossible goals are what get employees excited and make them feel that they are a part of something larger than themselves.
Creating this vision and then making sure that it is disseminated and followed from the ground up is by far one of the most effective ways to keep employees motivated, especially at an SMB or Start-Up.
Cultivate the Right Culture
We keep throwing the word culture around when talking about motivation. But what does this really mean? For the most part it means fostering an ideology and creating an environment that echoes and reinforces the vision of your firm. In order to facilitate this, you need to begin first by ensuring that you hire the right people. Those who resonate with the value of your company. Once you have the right people on board, it is automatically easier to foster the right kind of culture.
While you create the right culture for your firm it is important to ensure that courage is a trait you encourage. Employees more often than not live in a state of fear. Fear of not meeting goals, of taking the wrong decision, of making mistakes. A little bit of fear is healthy but when there is too much it can lead to a state of complete paralysis or inaction. This is something you want to avoid at all costs. So make sure your management knows that it is okay for employees to take risks and make mistakes, as long as they are acting in the best interests of your company and within the overarching vision. This will go a long way to making sure that employees are motivated and bring their A game to work, every single day.
Ditch the Carrot and the Stick
Traditional methods to push and motivate employees are centred around the if-then principle. If you do this then you will receive this… However, in Drive, a book by Daniel H. Pink, he passionately argues against using this principle to motivate employees. Using this technique can kill intrinsic motivation, diminish performance and crush creativity while encouraging certain undesirable traits like unethical behaviour and short term thinking. So in order to truly motivate employees, you need to give them a cause or a vision to believe in, something that pushes them to work their best that goes beyond a short term reward. When employees are motivated internally, they are far more likely to do their best at work.
Enable them to be their best
No matter how great a culture you create, if your employees are unable to do their very best due to inadequate tools, they will never be inspired. Creating the right environment for growth also means giving your team the best tools possible so that their output is always a step beyond exceptional. From access to the relevant technology, to the right work environment, taking care of these material aspects makes employees feel valued. Nothing inspires employees to do their very best like knowing that you have their best interests at heart.
This article is brought to you by Dell India to help you inspire your employees!