What smart leaders say to motivate their employees

“My boss totally motivates me through fear and control,” said no employee ever. Motivation can come in many different forms,. If you’re a leader, then you hold the key to unlock the power of motivation to get the effort you require from your employees.

Motivating your team towards a common goal just won’t happen using negative talk and fear tactics. It all starts with what you say and how you say it.

Here are 11 examples of how smart leaders motivate their teams:

1. “I’ll follow up on that and get back to you by Tuesday.”

As a leader, it’s up to you to set a clear plan of action, within an agreed timeframe. You set the direction and the proper expectations, and follow through on your promises. Your team success relies on it. Make sure you say what you mean, because if you don’t, your staff will start to question you and distrust will creep in.

2. “I have good news and bad news.”

Smart leaders tell the truth. Being an open communicator can go a long way toward motivating employees. It means you can be trusted to tell your team the truth. We all know honesty goes a long way!

3. “Here’s what we’re dealing with, and what this means for you.”

Your team just want to know where they stand. When something happens that disrupts things, communicate what’s really going on with your team, reset expectations, and keep your team focused. You will keep motivation high in your team by being positive, but realistic.

4. “I want you to know how the work you’re doing aligns with our company’s objectives.”

Smart leaders let their people know regularly how they’re hitting their goals and how their work is hitting company goals as well. This gives their work meaning and higher purpose – a great motivator.

5. “I’m really not sure where to go with this. What would you do in my situation?”

Everyone needs help or input from other people sometimes. It’s not a sign of weakness, in fact, it’s the opposite. It’s honest, and will give you more of a connection with your team. It will also encourage your employees to speak up when they need help.

6. “Come and see me anytime.”

Don’t just say it, follow through with it. If you offer an open door policy to your staff, then let them come and see you, talk to you, whenever they feel it necessary.

7. “I want you to know how much I appreciate you.”

The most important performance motivator – is praise and recognition. It should be given at least once a week. Praise in front of their peers, their team members, is gold, it gives that team member value to everyone. Your employees wont just be more motivated, but more committed and loyal.

8. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

This is quite possibly the highest form of saying thank you. Acknowledging someone else’s effort for going above and beyond, especially if it makes a leader or manager look good, reinforces a strong team culture. This simple act of encouragement is a real mental booster.

9. “Here’s what’s working well.”

Start with the positive when you need to discuss an area that needs improvement with your team. Don’t jump right into the hard part, it will just put your team straight into defence mode. Acknowledge what is already working, and what you appreciate about your team member’s strengths. Then ease into how you’d like to see performance specifically improve in the areas of concern

10. “I trust your judgment.”

Smart leaders find ways to rely on others for their input. Trust is a two-way street. By extending it as a gift to employees, they’ll be more inclined to return the favour and trust you back. It also brings your team closer together to produce excellent, cohesive work.

11. “You are right.”

The smartest leaders are also humble by nature. Don’t let your ego get in the way of finding a different, and better solution to a problem.

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.