What are some of the qualities of strong leaders? Confidence, intelligence and toughness come readily to mind, but the ability to motivate others is also vitally important. A leader can have the best ideas in the world, but those initiatives are unlikely to succeed if employees lack the interest or the will to carry them out.
Motivating Employees: An Important Facet of Leadership
Committed employees are one of the main elements of a business’s success. Unmotivated employees are neither working at their full potential nor producing their best work. When employees do not put forth their best efforts, a company cannot perform optimally.
Employee satisfaction generally correlates with motivation. Satisfied employees are more motivated to work hard. It follows that highly engaged staff will also be more productive and efficient. Improved productivity translates to greater profitability, which can mean job stability for employees and better earnings for the company. A satisfied and driven workforce will also mean less turnover and greater overall stability. When an organization’s executives and employees work together, everyone wins.
Ways to Motivate Employees
The need for appreciation is universal, and rewarding good employees can go a long way toward motivating them. Incentives need not be expensive and can include anything from a gift certificate to an employee-of-the-month plaque.
Managers cannot rely solely on email and newsletters to communicate with staff. They must prioritize face-to-face time, too, in order to hear employees’ complaints, concerns and questions. This kind of engagement is especially critical in large companies where employees may not have much contact with their bosses. Simply speaking with staff members can indicate appreciation.
People work harder and produce better work as active — rather than passive — members of a team. Giving staff a sense of control over their tasks and, therefore, some influence on the company’s success is an effective way to motivate them.
Flexible schedules, paid time off for community service and tuition reimbursement are examples of extra perks that can appeal to diverse groups. These perks foster employee appreciation, which can improve motivation.
In light of the role that company culture and atmosphere play in motivating employees, some organizations are choosing more casual environments over traditional setups. Game rooms, fitness classes and massages help staff reduce stress and recharge. Free lunches and birthday treats add cheer and boost morale.
The Right Education
As you evaluate universities that offer MBA degrees, look for a program that develops the full spectrum of leadership skills. Expanding your business acumen is important, but developing interpersonal skills will help you motivate employees and manage different types of workers.
The online MBA program at Boise State University, for example, features a course on People and Organizations. This course gives MBA candidates the chance to analyze manager-employee relations. Students study HR planning, employee recruitment, selection, performance appraisal, discipline, coaching, compensation and termination issues. The course examines the specifics of managing different types of workers by providing an overview of issues like collaboration, group dynamics, motivation, leadership, problem-solving, negotiation and self-management.
Getting the most from your MBA degree means graduating with a well-rounded, comprehensive knowledge base that includes both hard and soft skills. Corporate leaders who can motivate employees hold the key to maximizing organizations’ potential.
Learn more about the Boise State online MBA program.
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