How Great Leaders Motivate: Develop Employees 4 Ways

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The people you want to hire, the kind of employees I hope you have hired, are people who want to grow. They are employees who want to become great at what they do. Better yet, they want to drive your organization to higher and higher levels of success.

leadershipIf your employees are not of a continuous-learning mindset, then you may be lacking in your approach to motivation.

We know from experience and from the research we continuously follow that employees are happiest and more highly motivated when they are growing in knowledge and skill. In the Gallup organization’s Q12 questionnaire on employee engagement, one question relates directly to this topic: “In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow?”

This is a very important question, because employees become discouraged and do not give their discretionary effort in driving their organizations forward when their own growth and forward progress feels blocked.

Likewise employees become discouraged and lose interest in driving their organizations forward when their own forward progress feels blocked.

People don’t need monumental accomplishments in order to feel like they are growing. Small steps toward success, if they happen regularly, and if you as a leader properly acknowledge them, go a long way in building motivation in your employees.

Leadership Intimacy calls you to take genuine interest in the growth and success of your employees. When your employees feel your sincere interest, they will go the proverbial extra mile.

Four Steps that Develop Employees

The list below can be summarized this way: Embrace, foster, and promote a deep commitment to personal development in your employees. Make opportunities for them to learn and grow simple and easy to reach. Offer formal developmental programs, workshops, and the like. Coach frequently, providing on-the-job support, encouragement and redirection. When you delegate tasks and projects, do so in order to grow people rather than merely to get the job done.

1. Be the role model. Publicly commit yourself to your own personal development. Demonstrate how your own learning is important to you, the team, and organization.
2. Know them. In collaboration with each team member, design a robust development plan knowing each team members strengths, weaknesses, passions and longer-term goals. Do you know each team members change readiness?
3. Care. Develop a genuine and obvious desire to see people improve. Ask about progress, support experimentation with new skills, offer help and resources where applicable.
4. Coach. Coach and give feedback with regard to each employee’s development efforts. Delegate assignments that help develop the identified skills. Foster collaboration with mentors and role models.

Turn these steps into leadership habits and watch employee motivation grow. When you attend our Motivating Employee workshop we provide you a host of tools to make motivation sustainable. One such tool is the Change Readiness Conversation. Can you imagine the benefit of knowing if someone will deliberately practice new behaviors and excitedly take new actions? Well our Change Readiness Conversation tool will give you that answer.

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Helanie Scott
Helanie Scott
Helanie (pronounced yeh-LAH-nee) Scott, CEO and founder of Align4Profit in Dallas, Texas, has driven stunning leadership and cultural transformations for an impressive list of organizations. She has mastered the ability to connect with her audiences in the boardroom, classroom, on stage, or in one-on-one coaching sessions. Helanie’s Align4Profit clients rave at the way her engaging programs freshen outdated mindsets and deliver results-oriented, aligned action.