Motivating Employees: It Takes Leadership!

Motivating employees is good for production, engagement and ultimately for your bottom line. So why do so many “leaders” fail to make the grade?

Motivating Employees: It Takes Leadership!

Everyone is talking about Engagement!

Like it’s the latest thing in human resources. The ultimate in increasing workplace productivity and profits. The core even before your core values.

But more basically, simply motivating employees – even before they go and get engaged, is also a key component to your management task.

But what’s the even more bizarre and hot-potato buzzword?


That one has been around for decades.

It’s no better understood than it was during the Eisenhower administration despite countless workshops, forums, even entire Master’s Degree programs. “Leadership” still baffles many of the people tasked with actually providing it.

Here’s a clue. It doesn’t require understanding leadership. It’s just something good people do, and other good people start following them, in part, because they are good people.

Leaders understand that loyalty is a two way street. If a leader is loyal to his or her workers, or followers, then the leader will get loyalty in return.

Demonstrate Commitment

1) Every week we seem to link back, again, to that Define Your Corporate Values article.

Be very clear about what you’re about, about what the organization is about and the service you provide. This is why some of those values need to come from you and they need to be demonstrable – in your day to day work.

Live Your Company Culture

Be passionate. Be the embodiment of what the company stands for, and hopefully it stands for something. If it doesn’t, then make it stand for something. Trust? Loyalty? Are those just buzzwords from your marketing department?

Company culture may very well be the single most important factor for retaining talent and encouraging engagement. Have you thought about it lately?

Celebrate Even Failure

Maybe celebrate failure more. Every step is a learning experience. Every point closer to success needs to be highlighted and celebrated.

But the important thing is to be engaged. With learning. Doing things like you’ve always done them IS PARALYSIS – not success. A leader is nothing if not engaged.

Be a Resource

Be the always open, always ready and enthusiastic source of inspiration and encouragement, not the compliance department.

That doesn’t mean you have to say YES to everything. But it does mean you need to be clear about why you’re saying no, and what the alternatives are.

Be the Work/Life Role Model

Nothing pisses off a team of people working like the heir-boss who shows up to work in his golf outfit. Don’t be that guy unless you really are inviting the work team to a round of golf.

Otherwise, be even more understanding that they have golf games, or kids to shuttle to work or take to the doctor. There is nothing like a work-leader who gets that his or her employees are people.

These are just a few of the most important aspects of being a leader. Whether you’re the company president or a lowly and restricted manager, they will turn things around – and quickly.

Anyone in a leadership position needs to consider all of these things carefully, but more importantly, you also need to be, at heart, a good person. And we assume you wouldn’t have read this far if you weren’t already a good person. So pat yourself on the back.

Image: Creative Commons: The Column of Victory, Blenheim Palace

Dan Ilic

About the author

Dan Ilic

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