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Motivating Employees and Keeping them Motivated With Coaching

March 12, 2014 Posted by : Tim Hagen
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Today I took the time to read the article, How to Motivate Unmotivated People by John P. Strelecky. The article gave five steps to help motivate employees, I found that four of those steps really connected well with coaching. Managers should use these four steps while coaching to help employees become more motivated and engaged.

 Step 1: Clearly Articulate What Needs to be Accomplished and Why

Usually employees are not unmotivated, but simply uninformed of what is happening with the rest of the company. Every company should have goals: short-term goals, long-term goals, all types of goals, and all of the employees should be informed of these goals. When employees know what they're working towards and what they are trying to achieve, it helps keep them interested and engaged. It is also important to explain the "why" behind the goals that are set. For example, it is not as effective for the manager to say, "The goal is to have each employee sell X amount of product by August,"  but rather to say, "The goal is to have each employee sell X amount of product by August because a new company that sells a similar product has recently emerged." This gives the employees a reason to be more motivated to achieve the current goal.

Step 2: Involve Employees in Finding the Solutions

Now that employees are informed of what the goals are, involve them in creating new goals. Getting your employees involved in creating these goals helps motivate them to reach the goals. One thing to try is having teams of employees create monthly or bi-monthly goals, this will motivate those employees to work together and achieve those goals. This is much more effective than having a manager tell them what they should try to achieve. When employees aren't involved, they feel like they are just pawns in a game, being moved around to do what needs to be done.  If they are given the opportunity to help develop the goals, they feel more like part of the team and are more motivated to achieve the goal thus winning the game. 

Step 3: Explain the Rules of the Game

I recently learned how to play the game Rummikub®, fantastic game by the way; however, during one of my turns, I laid down my tiles and then it moved on to the next player. He then proceeded to lay down the remainder of his tiles, switching them out, moving them around and doing all sorts of things with them that I didn't even know were allowed in the game. He then won the game, and I sat looking at the rest of my tiles thinking if I had known those rules, I would have won before he did.  Employees can sometimes feel the same way when all of the "rules" are not explained to them. Sometimes managers will assign a project or job to an employee, and then not explain exactly what needs to be done. This becomes a problem when the employee starts to work on the project and is then told they have to change what they had started because it wasn't within the guidelines of the project, even though the employee didn't know what the guideleines were. At this point, the employee's motivation has significantly decreased. 

Step 4: Link Personal Goals with the Company's Goals

Every employee has personal goals, things they want to achieve, avoid, or work towards. These goals can be work related or even life goals, but connecting those goals to the goals of the company can be a big motivator. This allows an employee to have a personal connection to what they are doing, knowing that not only is it benefitting the company but themselves as well.

When coaching your employees, think about these four steps to not only help motivate them in the short term but to help keep them motivated long term and stay with the company. 

Here is a link to John P. Strelecky's article How to Motivate Unmotivated People:

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About Author

Tim Hagen
Tim Hagen

Tim Hagen founded Progress Coaching, a Training Reinforcement Partner Company, in 1997. His entrepreneurial career began in college leading to positions in sales, sales management, and sales training for small and large corporations, and eventually ownership of several training companies. Tim is often a keynote speaker at companies teaching the value of coaching and conversations in the workplace. He possesses a unique combination of hands-on experience, academics, and innovative insight to solve the industry’s most common challenges specific to workplace performance. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and Training from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

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