How Do You Motivate Employees?

As a CEO, one of the things I get asked a lot is: "How do you motivate employees?"

Of course, there are countless motivational techniques that managers use, and everyone has their favorites. But when I think about how to motivate employees, I always think you have to start with inclusion.

See, as I've said before, I think commitment leads to passion.

Passionate employees are obviously motivated employees. So if commitment leads to passion, then what leads to commitment?

I'll tell you right now: it's inclusion.

Inclusion breeds commitment.

But I think a lot of managers forget that.

As managers, we like making decisions on our own. It's that decisiveness that was why we wanted to be managers in the first place. But if you want to motivate your employees, you have to give them a voice in your important decisions - even the ones you have pretty much made your mind up on.

People need to know that what they think and feel is going to matter. Just because you're the boss doesn't mean you can't get people's opinions.

Even if I know what decision I'm going to make four out of five times at Steiner Sports, I bring up every big decision for discussion among my top managers. That way they know I'm willing to listen, and that their voices and opinions are important, too.

They need to know that they they have a little skin in the game. That's the only way they're going to want to commit to the team. That's the only way they're going to do their best work.

Show me a company where everyone is involved in decision-making, and I'll show you a tight-knit group.

Show me a tight-knit group, and I'll show you a group that's passionate and committed to their work.

And it all starts with bringing people into the fold, by giving them a real voice in that work.

How do you motivate employees? There are many different ways, but you have to start by making them feel included.

Inclusion breeds commitment.


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