A common Google search asks the question – what are ways to motivate employees.  We also hear that same question from our clients.  So, we thought we would add our own 20 Ways to Motivate Employees to the dialogue.  The first 10 are in this blog and the second 10 will follow next week.

You will see that number 3 on our list is that you quit motivating and start inspiring people.  When you substitute the work inspire for motivate, you will ask different questions.

We also believe that if you want peak performances from your employees, you first need to create peak experiences for each and every employee.  Everyone does their job better if they are lights-on and enjoying their work.  Our 20 Ways to Inspire Employees will help you create that experience.

  1. Be the leader they want to follow.  Never lose sight of the fact that good employees follow good leaders.
  2. Lead with a passionate vision of what you want for your business.  If your vision is not clear and not connected to your heart, then do whatever is necessary to discover that vision.  If you do not have a clear, heart-connected vision, it is impossible to connect with the passion and spirit of your employees.
  3. Quit trying to motivate them.  Put all your time and effort into inspiring them.  Tap into their spirit and they will be inspired to do their best work.
  4. Create and inspire a shared vision with every single employee.  The employees you want need to know that their work has a purpose and makes a difference in the world.  Let them be part of creating a shared vision that incorporates your vision as leader.  It’s basic human emotion to want to belong to a community that they believe in and connect with.
  5. Talk about the shared vision often – everyday.  Connect the actions taken by everyone to the vision by telling stories about how individuals, project teams and the company are delivering products and services that support the common vision.
  6. Be relentless in hiring the right people and placing them in jobs where their skills and talents can have the most impact.  Extensive research has proven that every person, including you, wants to do work they are best at; work that is the highest and best use of their time, talent and energy.
  7. Be ruthless about protecting the culture and shared vision.  Be quick to fire the employee who doesn’t fit or whose skills cannot deliver what’s needed.  It is very de-motivating to your best people to work with someone who isn’t productive.   It’s even more de-motivating if the leader doesn’t lead and do what’s necessary to move that person out of the company.
  8. Be authentic, self-confident (and modest) in everything that you do every day.   Lead by example.  Do the personal growth work required to become more self aware.   In many ways you are the lead product or service in your business.  As a leader you are always looking for ways to improve your company’s services.  It is just as important to seek out ways to improve you.  Find training, books, coaches, mentors who can help you grow as a person. Then bring that more evolved person to work every day.
  9. Stay present – stay conscious.  You can’t lead at your full capacity if you go through your day on automatic and being unconscious.  Take many moments throughout the day to stop and become fully present.  Staying present will enable you be more observant of your impact on others.
  10. Create an environment of trust and open communication.  Trust primarily comes from living and working from a set of core values.  Develop and instill company core values and a set of guidelines on how each employee will work within those values.   Continue doing all that is necessary to teach and practice honest, open and direct communication.