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Take a look around at the people who work with you. Are they listless or full of energy? Are they somewhat disinterested in their work or are they passionately striving to achieve company goals and working to their full potential?
If you are like most employers, your workers could probably use a little added jolt of energy and enthusiasm on the job, something that will make them love coming to work every day.
How is this accomplished? Quite simply, you need to inspire your employees.
An inspired employee gives his or her all to their employer, and is constantly striving to be and do their best; to use their skills and talents to their full potential.
How to Inspire
Once an individual’s paycheck is able to pay for their basic needs, money usually becomes one of the least important factors in job fulfillment. Meaningful work, the ability to make a difference and a contribution – these are some of the other things people need to be truly motivated and inspired at a job. Use the following guidelines so that you too can inspire your employees to perform at their peak and to play a vital role in the success of your business:
Start with Yourself
Are you yourself passionate about the mission and goals of your organization? If not, there’s very little chance you will be able to inspire anyone else. You may need to first work on re-energizing your own commitment and enthusiasm about your business; to once again feel like you’re out to change the world.
Share Your Mission Statement with Every Employee
Articulate and share the mission, purpose, and goals of your business with the people who work for you. This will give them a sense of belonging and a connection to the big picture. It is much more exciting to be sharing in a mission as opposed to just accomplishing an unrelated work task. A sense of contribution to the purpose and success of a business makes any job feel more important.
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Give Employees Opportunity to Maximize their Talents, Learning and Development
Focus on the strengths and talents of each employee; on developing who they truly are. When someone gets to do what they do best every day, work satisfaction will surely follow. And as the employee grows in the organization, look to continually encourage the development of their strengths with meaningful goals, challenges and advancements.
Training and career development opportunities should always be encouraged when possible. This contributes to an employee’s sense of self-actualization and is extremely rewarding.
Give Recognition and Praise
A managing style of instilling fear and negativity stifles productivity. If there is no feedback at all, employees become complacent. In contrast, countless studies have proven that people are far better motivated by the use of positive feedback. Rather than focusing on employees’ weaknesses, focus on their strengths, and praise them whenever praise is deserved.
Recognition of work well done in the form of rewards also goes a long way to keeping employees motivated and giving their all. It can be a non-monetary reward like applauding an employee at a staff meeting for a noteworthy accomplishment or simply writing a thank-you note for an admirable effort. Rewards don’t have to break the bank; a personalized cake or gift certificate can be appreciated just as much as a big bonus.
When mistakes do happen, harsh criticism will only result in an inhibition of motivation and growth. Instead, be subtle with constructive criticism, with the intent of helping your employee to improve job performance. State your confidence in the person’s ability to correct the situation and let them know they are valued.
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Encourage Employees’ Opinions and Ideas
Seek out the opinions and ideas of your workers with the goal of implementation; employees will feel truly valued as an integral part of shaping the success and future of your organization. Suggestion boxes, meetings and group discussions are a few ways in which employees can contribute their ideas, but they should be made to feel that their feedback is welcome at any time.
Be a Business to be Proud of
Is the world made better by your service, product or company? People have a strong sense of pride working for a company that has integrity and a good reputation, and is producing something worthwhile or important.
Allow for a Work Environment of Autonomy and Trust
Although employees need to know when and how tasks need to be performed, they cannot work to their full potential when they are being overly micromanaged. This type of management creates an atmosphere of distrust, and eventually leads to workers giving less of themselves, becoming less effective; as a result, creativity and motivation are soon snuffed out.
Giving employees autonomy and trust, with accountability, is far more effective, and allows them to improve in efficiency, quality of work as well as enjoy a real sense of personal accomplishment on-the-job.
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Eighteen hundred years ago, Patanjali – the author of Yoga Sutra – had this to say about inspiration: “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
Inspire yourself. Inspire your employees. Together your accomplishments can be far greater than you ever envisioned.
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