How To Motivate Your Co-Workers

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Managers don’t always have it easy!

This is especially true when they want to motivate their teams. In a team with different personalities, a manager can have a hard time. Not everyone is equally motivated. Still, they have to keep the whole group on its toes. All co-workers must move at a similar pace and in the same direction. The leader must be able to maintain this state through motivation. 

Good leaders don’t leave motivation to chance.

Mistakes can turn momentum into gridlock. Good leaders lead their teams positively and purposefully.

Of course, there are many extremely motivated co-workers. These co-workers are passionate about their work. They enjoy coming to work. Finally, they have great confidence in their leader. 

Co-workers should feel like they belong to the company. Consequently, these co-workers pull together. In such times, most companies achieve great growth.

What happens when this is not the case?

Co-workers are not always motivated enough. Often, they don’t feel valued enough. Especially if they believe that management could stab them in the back at any time. Trust in management is at a low point when it gets this far. 

At this point, most co-workers have already lost their focus. At such times, turnover is usually high . Production is faltering. There is a general dissatisfaction with the company. You certainly know the pressure such a situation puts on a manager.

How should one deal with this situation? Many wish for the good days to come back: the days when everything went smoothly. Some executives try to ignore the problems. Others want to nip them in the bud by using their authority. However, waiting too long to look for a solution can be devastating.

Two of the most critical assets in the workplace are leadership and motivation.

Using both assets wisely is the key to success. When you do, your co-workers are more productive.

A leader must recognize unhappy co-workers. Then, they must seek a solution as quickly as possible. Co-workers must come back to work motivated. Managers never give their co-workers’ concerns the cold shoulder.

The big question, however, is how exactly to put this into practice.

How can you use your leadership skills to motivate your co-workers in the workplace? The following points will help you address the issues proactively:

1. Lead by example.

In other words, act as a role model yourself. Every time you demonstrate your commitment to the company’s vision, mission and goals, chances are your co-workers will be reminded of what they are really working on and what the company expects of them.

2. Ask lots of questions.

Most things are hard to understand, so you should ask questions. Good leaders want to find out the truth, and questions are the best way to do that. A curious leader motivates the team. They can trust that the leader is well-informed.

3. Motivate yourself before reaching out to your co-workers.

It’s actually quite simple: a leader who is not motivated will not be able to encourage others, no matter how hard they try. Hiding your own dissatisfaction at work won’t work. Your co-workers will notice your attitude and will notice if you are not motivated. 

This lack of motivation is pronounced through the quality of your work and your management style. Be motivated because that’s how you can establish yourself as a respected leader in the workplace.

4. Leaders hold co-workers accountable.

Sort out the “bad apples.” A few co-workers can demotivate an entire team. Good leaders know there must be consequences for underperformance. Otherwise, the bottom line is in jeopardy.

5. Leaders encourage personal and professional growth.

Your co-workers need to feel that you are interested in more than output. Good leaders want the team to do its best. Thus, they are willing to help each individual achieve that goal. Subsequently, co-workers will work harder because you show a real interest in their personal development.

6. Leaders reward integrity.

Few things are more frustrating and demotivating than seeing belittlers and manipulators get promoted. Leaders develop an atmosphere of fairness by promoting those who truly deserve it.

7. They inspire hope, not fear.

People who are afraid will do as little as possible to avoid the whip. Rather, they will wake up each day stressed and unhappy. Leaders use the carrot more than the stick. In this way, they encourage people to step out of their comfort zones.

8. Leaders communicate efficiently and effectively.

Co-workers want clarity. Above all, they don’t want to waste time demanding it. That’s why good leaders are first and foremost competent communicators: they know how to say what they mean clearly.

9. Leaders share information.

Co-workers are often dissatisfied with their leadership because information doesn’t get through to them in a timely manner. Therefore, make sure all info is available. Take every opportunity to share—a conversation, a meeting, a one-on-one, or over coffee.

10. Leaders motivate through positive reinforcement.

Rewarding, positive contact can be a very effective tool. It spurs others to perform at their best. After all, who doesn’t wish to stand out positively? Give someone praise and reward them for their excellent performance. This is the first step in showing them that you appreciate their effort. Convey appreciation. This way, co-workers will stay motivated – and consequently, continue to perform well.

From time to time, employee motivation can be a major challenge for a company. This especially holds true when working under a lot of pressure. As a manager, you need to motivate all co-workers sufficiently. You want them to work as well as possible. You certainly know your co-workers inside and out.

Always help them have enough incentive. Then they will perform their duties better. You should also pay attention to clear communication. Stay in constant contact with your co-workers. This way, you will quickly notice their concerns, ensuring you react in time and before the situation develops into a more complex problem. 

There is a close connection between motivation and turnover.

A highly profitable company can gradually become unprofitable. Unmotivated co-workers are the reason.

As a manager, you ensure satisfaction. Otherwise, this can be reflected in the results of your company. Only you can gradually inspire them to work harder. A foosball table in the break room and a one-time company outing are not enough.

Keep an eye on co-workers’ behavior and use that knowledge to motivate them. Then they will react accordingly. Ultimately, you will be rewarded for your efforts.

Sustainable results are guaranteed by good motivation in the workplace.

Photo Istock

About the coach​

Kai Boyd has been a leader, trainer and facilitator since 1989. He supports leaders and their teams to work together effectively, trustfully and with ease. This involves each and everyone – in their respective roles and as people. Tailor-made formats and genuine attention enable potential to unfold and synergies to emerge.

The graduate industrial engineer, managing director and former management consultant knows the requirements of his clients from many perspectives. He works systemically, strength- and solution-oriented. Leading international teams as well as work and academic programs in the USA and the UK enable him to always contribute the international perspective.

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