If your company is weathering a period of turnover, layoffs, economic downturn or another challenging situation, managers may find themselves facing individuals and departments who are complacent and who lack the motivation to work at their highest ability. Charging up employees and getting them excited can be difficult, especially if you are relatively new to managing others or if you are replacing a supervisor who was well-respected and valued at the organization.
Regardless of your situation, motivating your employees is not impossible. There are several things that can be done to encourage even the most cynical employees.
1. Top executives should have the same mindset.
All senior- and junior-level management must be on the same page to encourage all employees to think positively, focus on organizational goals and strive to move past negativity. Without uniformity, conveying similar messages to each team or department within the organization is impossible and does not promote an environment of togetherness.
2. Don’t be afraid to replace senior management staff.
If someone at the top is not performing to his or her best ability, then he or she (like others in the company) should be replaced. If you want everyone to exceed their potential, this work ethic must start with your company’s leadership.
See CEO Brent Tilson’s article: Weed Out the Bad Apples Rotting Your Company’s Growth
3. Encourage learning from others.
There are always going to be people within the organization who are motivated, in spite of a general culture of despair or a lack of urgency to succeed. Finding these people to use as role models can encourage others.
4. Remove fear from your organization.
If your company is going through a rough time, work to reassure your employees that the organization is stable and moving forward.
5. Don’t be afraid of change.
Encourage employees to experiment with the ways they are currently doing things. Although the processes or actions may be foreign at first, they will eventually become second nature.
6. Get help and use it wisely.
Asking for assistance, especially when new to a management role, will highly benefit your success. Seek out those who are good at conflict resolution, motivating others and curbing negative attitudes, and ask for advice on how to turn a corner with employees who are resistant to change.
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