When I conduct leadership training in corporations or associations, there are two questions that I hear often. #1: How do you deal with difficult employees? and #2 How do you motivate employees and teams? While these questions seem to address different issues, isn’t it true that an unmotivated team or employee might at times demonstrate “difficult” behavior?

So, let’s look at motivation. How is the motivation of those you lead and actually… do you know how to keep them motivated? There IS a formula for this, but also a caveat. The formula for motivating others is simple really, but not often easy to implement, as are many things in leadership. The caveat is that motivation must start from the inside. That means that the employees working with you must be motivated to do the job and to be at that place of business. That means WHO you hire and who you place in what role is a critical piece to long term motivation. Make sure their skills and aptitude and motivation fit the job they’re doing. Once you’ve addressed that, you can influence continued motivation by using the formula for motivation.

Oh, did you want to know the formula that I have now eluded to twice? Something tells me you do, so here it is…

#1: Learn the personality of the individual you lead or the make up of personalities on the team you lead. You can learn the personality with a profile tool, such as the CORE® Multi-Dimensional Awareness Profile, which we use and is found at contagiouscoaching.com, or any number of other helpful tools.

#2: Consider the environment of this individual or team. Is there constant stress on the team? Is there an environment in which things change frequently? Both elements will change how you motivate and must be considered when looking at personality and behaviors.

#3: Learn what is important to this individual or the collective team. If they value relationships, incorporate that piece into your motivation as perhaps a reward when the work is done or outings that involve social time to celebrate achievement. If they value efficiency, give them tools that enhance their ability to work faster and accomplish more.

There may be some trial and error in motivation, particularly if you are a new leader and are not very familiar with those you lead. There is also a good bit of work involved as you must consistently pay attention. But in the practice of finding what works and the work in implementing successful strategies, you will find that your efforts will significantly increase morale, productivity, and team work. Oh, and by the way, “do it because I said so” unless you lead toddlers, is not usually a motivation tactic, but Contagious Leaders already know this.

I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Lead well and of course, Stay Contagious!

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