Motivating leaders are dynamic people who can flex their leadership style to match each person’s needs. These leaders are often relationship builders. They are more interested in finding what motivates each employee to reach high levels of performance. Motivating leaders care about the whole person and not only the employee’s role. In short, highly motivating leaders are social leaders who care about people and results.
Today’s leaders rely on a vast array of habits to help their team accomplish great things.
1. Promote Purpose
Purpose is an intrinsic motivator. Motivating leaders focus not only on organizational purpose, but on helping employees learn what their purpose is and how they contribute to business outcomes. New research from Imperative finds that purpose-oriented workers stay with organizations 20% longer, are 50% more likely to be in leadership positions, 47% more likely to promote other people’s work, and have high levels of fulfillment in their work by 64%.
Promoting purpose helps employees find lasting motivation in their work and outside of it, too.
2. Reinforce Relatedness
Our brains are wired to think about relationships. It is what neuroscientists call the “default network.” The default network automatically activates and drives us to think about the relationships in our lives. Even the history of humanity reveals that we are driven to develop relationships with others. They were, after all, a way of survival for our ancestors.
Relatedness is finding meaningful relationships with a group of people. Relatedness helps us feel like we belong. Relatedness at work helps shape a positive attitude toward work. Frequent, satisfying interactions with colleagues motivates us to step up our game and do our best work.
3. Tailor Motivators
An important aspect of being a motivating leader is knowing what motivates each person. You need to purposefully learn what motivates each individual on your team. Then, spend time tailoring your leadership style to help get the best performance from each person.
Some people are motivated by a promotion while others find meaningful work more important.
4. Cultivate an Optimistic Climate
Your leadership style has the greatest impact on how employees feel about work. Highly-motivating leaders work intentionally to craft a climate that feels optimistic. Such an environment gives people hope that good things will come from their hard work.
You can cultivate an optimistic climate by doing any of the items included in this list.
5. Promote Positive Identity
Work shapes how you feel about yourself. If work is going well, you’ll likely see how you positively contribute to the good. The opposite is true, too. Help promote a positive identity in your employees by helping them understand the effects of their work on business results.
Encourage employees. Share your appreciation for their accomplishments and contributions. When your leadership helps others feel good about themselves their motivation increases.
6. Create Clarity
Perhaps the simplest action in this list is to create clarity. Help employees clearly understand the team’s goals. Constantly communicate work priorities. Help employees prioritize their work if needed. And like the above item, give feedback to employees. Let them know what they’re doing that works and what needs to change. Have regular conversations about the team’s purpose.
7. Support Work-Life Mix
Startup company, BambooHR has an anti-workaholic policy. It’s designed to promote employees making time to do things they enjoy outside of work. The reason behind this policy, or belief, is that employees who are satisfied with their personal world perform better in their professional one.
Show you care about a positive mix between your employees’ personal and professional worlds. This signals you are mindful of their life outside work. This is highly motivating.
As a motivating leader, you work tirelessly to inspire people. You’re selfless. You are results-driven. While leadership focuses on the “soft” side of business, it’s done so to create hard results. At the same time, it’s done to create a meaningful work experience.
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