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Unleash employees’ internal motivation
To harness your employees’ enthusiasm and energy, put these ideas into action
External motivation has a role in every worker’s performance, but internal motivation can be much more powerful. To harness your employees’ enthusiasm and energy, put these ideas into action:
• Explain the rationale behind their assignments. When employees know not just what to do and how to do it, but why it’s important, they’ll put more effort into doing it right. Show how tasks support your organization’s goals and contribute to everyone’s success.
• Let employees solve problems. You don’t have to answer every question or solve every problem for your employees. Ask them how they think they should handle situations, and encourage them to think for themselves instead of depending on you for advice.
• Give constructive feedback. Tell employees what they’re doing right so they can do more of it. Let them know where they should improve, and coach them on tactics for doing their job better. Don’t step in and take over, though—let them “own” their own development.
• Provide a choice of assignments. Give employees some leeway in deciding which tasks to work on. Let them know your priorities so they can make wise choices. Sometimes, of course, you’ll have to tell them what to do and when to do it, but a degree of autonomy will help them stay highly motivated.
• Communicate often. Talk to employees, listen to them, and let them know what’s going on in your organization and industry. They’ll feel more prepared to do their jobs if they know what challenges your organization is facing and what opportunities it’s working toward.
—Adapted from the Association for Talent Development website