As leaders you influence your employees’ motivation more than any other organizational person, incentive or reward. Motivation and engagement trickles down from the top.  As a leader you set the stage for motivation and everyone is watching.

So, what does that mean?  People management is what that means. It’s essential that leaders have people management skills and without it, motivation and engagement will be low. When engagement is low great employees leave, or even worst stay and become disengaged low performers.

Here are five key skills that managers need to develop to
ensure that their employees are motivated and engaged.

1. Connection

You must connect with your employees. If you are sitting in an office with a closed door, handing out assignments and snapping a whip then you are not motivating your employees. You need to connect, show empathy and be visible to your employees. You need to be present on the work floor, speak with your employees and empathize with their challenges and issues.  Motivation will be much higher when there is a genuine connection between team members.   

2. Empowerment

You need to allow employee to perform their job, make decisions and control their work. Depending on the position this can vary but try and find some room to provide empowerment. Motivation and engagement will be much higher when employees are not micromanaged. Micromanagement kills engagement so be sure to let employees perform on their own.

3. Recognition

Motivated employees work hard, and they should be recognized for that. This goes beyond the employees’ regular pay. Rewards and recognition come in many different forms and it’s important you create a strategic plan. For now, know that employee motivation will increase when recognized for a job well done.

4. Flexibility

Collaboration is the buzz word here. You need to be flexible in your approach and allow your employees to provide insight and suggestions. Employees are performing their job and they see things in a different light.  There needs to be an opportunity to share those ideas and make changes. You don’t need to be a pushover but there needs to be wiggle room.

5. Listen

This is essential to motivation. You always listen to someone who you value. The more important a person is the more likely you practice active listening. As a manager you probably talk more than you listen because you’re “the boss”. If you fail to listen to your employees, they feel valueless and start to lose motivation. Start engaging in conversations and don’t over talk, dominate and interrupt when your employees are sharing ideas.

In summary, motivation leads to engagement and engagement leads to loyalty. When you have an employee with those three factors you have a business that will prosper. Loyalty works both ways and if you want to keep employees engaged practice the five steps above. Your employees’ motivation will allow your customers and business to succeed.