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How to motivate your employees

Have you ever been amazed why your employees seem so unmotivated? Here are seven tips to help you get them going again.

Motivation is the key ingredient for success in any organization and as a manager a big part of your job is to motivate others to succeed.
The tricky thing with motivation is that it's so different for different individuals, and not only that - it may be different at different times and for different things.

Here are some tips that will help you raise employee's motivation:

1. All people are motivated at heart
Firstly - your employees are driven by something and it's your job to find out what exactly it is that makes them show up at work every morning.

2. Listen to WDIG
Stop listening to background music on the radio on the way to work. Instead you should tune into WDIG because that's the only channel your employees are listening to all day. Channel WDIG is the acronym for What Do I Get. If you can give good enough answers to your employees' question of what they get out of working for your company, then you have also found what motivates them.

3. It's really about pain or pleasure
Motivating employees is about steering them towards pleasure or away from pain. You motivate them to pleasure by praising and rewarding them for doing a good job. You motivate them away from the pain of being yelled at, lose something or doing a bad job. The formula to remove pain or induce pleasure, is something that marketers have worked for hundreds of years to make customers buy things. It works.

4. Give me one reason
“You should do it because I say so” doesn't work anymore. Employees want to know why they should do the job so that they feel that there is a logical reason for it. Let your employees know why what they're doing is so important to you, to the company and to themselves.

5. Keep track
Your employees' agendas are different from what you think. Your most devoted and best employee may file his notice any day now. Take care of your talents. Find out what you can do to maintain their motivation in the future. Listen to them, surprise them by giving them what they deserve and don't let your competitor steal your best employees because you didn't understand that your best talent wants a cooler phone or a fancier office than his/her neighbor (you don't know what motivates him/her). People have changed jobs for less than that. Yes, it sounds petty, but we are all humans and we are driven by our egos, not just to improve the world.

6. Expect top performance
We have the ability to always achieve exactly what is expected of us (yes, it's weird, but true). If you show that you expect great results, you will also get it - if you do it right! You do it by using words with positive expectations (not vice versa).Stop using words like “perhaps”, “we'll try” and other vague expressions. Stop being a boss and allow people to achieve results in their own ways. Let those who want and have the capacity to take responsibility.

7. Be a role model
You already know that your employees do what you do. If you show confidence heading into a big change, your employees will also find it easier to accept it. If you come in late and leave early - guess what happens then? Even when you think no one is watching you, you can be sure that someone is keeping an eye on your every move. Why? Because you're the boss, that's why!

Well, what do you think – are you ready to try these simple rules as a manager to get fewer problems and more fun?

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
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