Motivating employees isn’t about perks like snacks, ping pong tables, or company events. When employees are uninspired, it’s because they’ve lost the vision that allows them to grow. And, when it comes down to it, no amount of perks can fix that.
The key to leadership is helping the people under you achieve their dreams, while also creating the conditions where they’re able to do exactly that.
Ultimately, it’s on you as a leader to guide your staff and make sure they’re on board with your vision. Keep reading for some suggestions for helping your employees become the best versions of themselves, so that the whole organization can benefit.
Understand their “why.”
Where do most organizations fail their employees? Simply put, it’s because they don’t understand the individual’s goals or greater purpose. In short, they’re concerned only with the goals of the company.
In order to create a successful team, the “why” of the company and the individual need to be aligned. One way to learn more about an employee’s why is through one-on-one meetings.
At ReminderMedia, one-on-one meetings are an essential part of our recipe for success. Through these conversations, we get a better understanding of our employees’ goals so that we can figure out how to help them grow.
Follow through on your promises.
Not keeping promises to your staff is one of the quickest ways to make them lose their sense of drive and determination. Your employees can be completely on board with your vision—and fully committed to making it a reality—only to feel betrayed when you don’t hold up your end of the bargain.
It’s all about getting back what you give. When you make a promise, be sure that it’s something you can deliver. If you don’t come through, your team members will find it difficult to trust you. On the other hand, when you’re consistently good to your word, your team will be loyal, driven, and inspired.
Of course, no one’s perfect. As a leader, you’re not immune from making mistakes. The important thing to do is to own up to your failures. Be honest about mistakes you have made, in the same way you would expect your employee to be.
At ReminderMedia, one of our core values is extreme ownership. That means recognizing when a mistake has been made, identifying the root cause, and taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen next time. This is a key practice for everyone in our company, from the executive level to our newest employees.
As a leader, you need to lead by example and be willing to walk the walk. How can you expect your employees to buy in to your company’s philosophy when you aren’t willing to do the same?
Know when someone isn’t a good fit.
While everyone has bad days, employees should continually be exhibiting growth in body, mind, and spirit. A great leader understands this, and is able to tell whether or not the employee and the company are a good fit.
I truly believe that it’s unethical for a company to hold an employee back. A former ReminderMedia employee realized, while working in our customer service department, that his dream was to be a baker. When this person let us know he needed to leave so he could chase that dream, we were thrilled for him.
But even when someone is a good fit for a company, it’s entirely possible that their current role isn’t the one they’re meant to occupy. In his 2001 book, Good to Great, Jim Collins writes about the importance of getting the right people on the bus and making sure they’re in the right seats. When an employee is in the right position with the right company, everyone will benefit.
At the end of the day, company culture doesn’t come from perks, promotions, or even paychecks. People only get inspired by those things for a moment. Lasting inspiration comes when the employee and the company are aligned in belief. Help people live their purpose, and you’ll have an amazing company.