Ever wonder how you can convince your colleagues and clients to genuinely want to follow your lead and encourage others to work hard for you as part of your team? When you’re asking for someone to do something for you, or bend their opinion to yours, you have to arouse in them an eager want, or make them realize how this undertaking or way of thinking is beneficial to them—aka why they should “want” it. Here are four simple ways to motivate people to do just that. Try them today and see if your team doesn’t get more done, and become increasingly engaged along the way.
Speak in terms of their interests
In short, what is in it for them? You need to make this clear from the beginning. For example, if you’re a manager and you’d like your team to start doing some additional paperwork that will ensure better customer service with less enrollment mistakes on your website, talk about how this will save them time because they won’t be fixing mistakes (more time with family and friends) and happier customers (makes the whole day a lot more enjoyable, plus leads to job stability for everyone). Of course, to do this effectively you have to know what motivates people (in other words, what their interests are). For instance, new parents who aren’t getting a lot of rest may really value not having to put in overtime at the office.
Let people think the idea was theirs
Whenever possible, you should try encouraging others on your team to come up with their own good solutions to problems. For instance, if you have an individual who made several obvious errors in a press release, praise what was right about their document. Then, ask them if there’s anything they’d change for next time—then, when they state they’d proofread the document one more time, encourage this enthusiastically.
Never threaten people
If you say “that’s just the way it is, or you’re fired,” you’ll discover that fear is not a great motivator. Instead, you want to make people eager to follow your suggestions. One of the ways to motivate people is to let them think the ideas you suggest are theirs (see above). Or, if you see someone is going through a tough time on the job (for instance, learning a new shipping process), explain that you acknowledge this is a learning curve and that if they have any questions you are right there with them to help out in any way they need.
Once your team is doing good work, one of the ways to motivate people further is to praise even the slight improvement immediately. When you do, be as specific as you can. For instance, if one of your copywriters is working on being more creative in his prose, be sure to notice any efforts they make in that area. Encouraging others in this way will help build momentum until all of their efforts are at this level, and above.