As I was preparing for a January presentation, I searched for inspiration from leadership tips I wrote a few years ago. I came across this question that got me going: “As a leader, how do I motivate someone who doesn’t care?”
Well, the answer is simple: Leaders can’t motivate people.
That’s because motivation must be generated from within. When it comes to performing at work, you, they, me, we, all of us have a personal level of motivation. Some people are motivated by money and others by a challenge. Some are motivated by pride in doing a great job while others want to do well to get promoted.
Yet, although leaders can’t motivate their people, they can create an environment in which they can be self-motivated.
So, if those on your team don’t appear to be motivated—they don’t seem to care—it likely means the environment for them to excel in isn’t quite right.
Question yourself about the environment you’re creating. Is it one in which your team members can be self-motivated?
If your answer is no, then start implementing these 9 actions for creating an environment that promotes self-motivation.
- Hire the right people – Nobody wants to work with someone who doesn’t fit.
- Develop a harmonious team – We all need to work toward the same goals.
- Provide required support – Be there when you’re needed.
- Express genuine appreciation – Sincerity and praise go a long way.
- Give positive reinforcement – Saying words of encouragement is healthy.
- Lead by example – When you do the right thing, everyone follows your lead.
- Provide consistent leadership – Don’t deliver mixed messages.
- Empower others – Teach, develop, and trust your team members.
- Have fun – Why not? That’s much better than the alternative.
Always keep in mind what the late Zig Ziglar said: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”