A lot of managers feel the need to motivate their employees. It’s true, it is something that managers need to do but it isn’t the manager's sole responsibility to motivate someone. Motivation comes from within. Managers can motivate through coaching. Coaching is a two-step process. The first step is getting someone to look in the mirror and want to be motivated and step two is to take the first step and put it into action. Most people do not take this first step and therefore are not going to be active in making any improvements in their performance. The job of a manager who is coaching an employee is to ask questions, provide perspectives and observations, as well as to give feedback so the employee can take initiative in changing or making improvements. At this point, the manager now has the opportunity to help motivate his or her employee. Many employees are not motivated for various reasons. For example, they may be fearful of change, or they simply don’t know what to do.
The manager who asks questions will find out if said employee is afraid of making changes or lacks the skills necessary to improve their performance. This enables the manager to make headway in finding out what the employee sees when they look in the mirror, and what action they need to take. Once you have reached this step in the coaching process, you now have buy-in from your employee and can proceed with helping to motivate him or her. As a manager, you know that not everyone is motivated by the same things making your job even more challenging. It is imperative that you take the time to understand the specific motivational factors for each individual employee.
Coaching happens through conversations and face to face interactions. As a coach, it is important to know how to have a good coaching conversation with your employees. That way, when a coachable moment arrives, you are ready to make the most of it.