Timely Management Tip: So how does a manager motivate employees?

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Dora Summers-Ewing

Dan Pink has summarized decades of research into 4 simple questions that every manager should ask himself or herself:

  1. Are you paying people fairly?

If employees believe they are NOT being compensated fairly then they will either vote with their feet or perform at a minimal level just enough to not draw attention to their behavior.

My Takeaway: Pay people fairly then you can take the issue of money off the table.

  1. Am I providing sufficient autonomy or room for self-direction?

If you mandate processes that take away individual decision-making then you have minimized employee creativity and increased the level of oversight that you must now provide.

My Takeaway: Mandate deliverables but let people manage how they accomplish needed outcomes whenever possible.

  1. Am I allowing people to make progress?

If there are few opportunities for employees to learn new and different things then they will eventually stagnate and boredom will set in.

My Takeaway: It is almost impossible to motivate an employee who has become bored with their job.

  1. Do my employees understand why we do what we do?

Employees need to know how their work achieves the Mission, Vision or Goals of a company if you want them to be invested in driving results.

My Takeaway: Employees want to feel good about their work and take pride in their accomplishments. They also need to know that what they do for the organization makes a difference.


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Dora Summers-Ewing, a business psychologist and executive coach with EXIDEO Consulting writes Management Tip. She can be reached at info@exideoconsulting.com and welcomes your thoughts and comments.

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