Knowing How to Motivate Your Staff

Written by: Amy Allemon

Motivation in the work place is a subject that often goes ignored. A work environment can make or break an employee’s sense of self and their contribution to the company. In college, I worked long hours as an office assistant and willingly covered shifts of my co-workers. We were not all close friends, but we respected one another and made sure that everyone was treated fairly. This positive work environment came out of many staff meetings spent getting to know one another, and our leader. It was clearly understood that we were a team, and a team needs to rely on one another for success.

On the other hand, I have witnessed a work environment full of negative comments and complaining in whispered conversations. Experiencing conflicted employees complain about their work and stress level is never an ideal work environment. CEO’s can aid in creating a positive work environment in many ways.

While some people may thrive in stressful environments, it is never good to have the atmosphere at work be that of a constant level of fast-paced deadlines. If employees are not given time to get to know their co-workers or even the CEO, they will feel less attached to the mission of the company. In time, this will ruin employee stamina, drive, and positivity. How do we fix it, you ask? I have a few suggestions.

Build rapport with your employees, and they will begin to emulate what you’re doing by getting to know their co-workers. Instead of having different departments working on completely separate issues, have them meet each other and understand the others job description. It may sound like a small, insignificant detail, but it makes a huge difference in the happiness of your staff. When you’re staff is happier, you will have a better output.

Expect the same out of your employees that you would give. If you wouldn’t be willing to drop all of your plans at a moment’s notice to work a weekend, or late-night shift, why should they be expected to do so? When employees see that you work hard and are dedicated, they won’t feel remorse or anger when asked to contribute a little more than normal (they need to see you “walk-the-walk” and “talk-the-talk”, if you will). It’s okay to have high expectations of your employees and to hold them accountable, but be very clear what your expectations are. Also, you, yourself must follow these expectations. If you have a policy to keep cell-phones hidden, but your employees can clearly see you using yours at all times, it sends the wrong message. If you’re open with your employees that you have a no tolerance policy for being late, you must always be on time.

I’ll leave you with one final piece of advice: allow your employees to show off their “hidden skills”. Everyone is good at something, but you might not be aware that you have an excellent candidate to expand your company in many ways. Ask questions, and get to know the quirky details of your employees’ interests and hobbies. If you do this, you might be surprised to find the person you’ve been hoping will bring brilliant ideas for your business is already working for you!


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