Are your workers lethargic, apathetic, unmotivated, or disengaged?
Many business owners’ problem is that they are giving employees what they think employees want, but not what they really need. Fat salaries and perks are great, but what they also want is to be inspired, connected, and living a life of purpose. They need to feel valued. As their leader you need to lead from need. Once our basic survival needs have been met, we all aspire to satisfy the four deeper needs: connection, contribution, freedom, and growth.
A new wave of leaders knows that to get the best out of someone you need to coach and empower them to greatness. As a leader in your organization you want to ensure that your employees feel they are:
- Connected: building relationships with others
- Contributing: doing something meaningful
- Free: feeling a sense of choice and autonomy
- Growing: developing personally and professionally
with employees who have strong personal ties to each other have far higher
engagement rates than those that don’t. To connect with your employees, create
greater trust and loyalty by being more authentic. Great leaders don’t fret
over public opinion and neither should you. Let go of who you think you should
be, and just be yourself. You will gain your employees’ trust and respect in
vulnerable. Show them the real you. We all have the same fears of not being
good enough, smart enough, or worthy enough, so why pretend we are the
exception? The best managers connect deeply with their employees by paying
attention to what’s important to them.
Carve out some time each week to grab
lunch or a coffee with your key team members. Find out what they enjoy doing
outside of work and get to know them personally.
Finally, let them know that you and the company
care for them. As their need to belong is met, they will give more of
themselves, which in turn fuels their next need: their need to contribute.
employees are happiest when they know they are making a difference and helping
others. Often their contribution goes unnoticed. Metrics for measuring an
employee’s contribution should shift from measuring individual performance to
measuring team performance. How are your crew members influencing those around
them? A crew member with excellent soft skills who constantly uplifts his
fellow employees is an incredible asset to your team, yet this won’t show up in
any assessment. To help your workers feel they are contributing something
meaningful you can try recognizing and publicly celebrating their
accomplishments as often as possible or sharing a client story that shows your
employee the difference he or she is making in someone’s life.
the key to performance, creativity, and engagement. The real you only
shows up when you feel free. Employees are far more loyal and productive in
workplace environments that respect their freedom and encourage their
self-expression. To ensure your team feels a sense of autonomy, remind the crew
members that everything they do is a choice. Choice is power, and when your
employees believe they have a choice they will become more engaged in the
Align their choices with their
values, not their fears. When we choose from fear, our actions lack power. When
we choose from our values, our actions have more power, more meaning, and more
energy. Give your employees more flexibility to accommodate their schedules.
What long-held beliefs might be blocking new win-win opportunities?
Decentralize whatever authority you can to give your workers more
decision-making power. This will empower them and make your company much more
If your crew members
feel they are not making progress in personal development they will soon become
disconnected and seek opportunities elsewhere. Ensure that each employee is
constantly challenged so that he or she can grow. The greater a person’s belief
in his or her own power to influence an outcome, the more likely he or she is
to succeed with a new challenge. To help your employees grow, try building
confidence. Challenge any belief they might have that is limiting their
performance. For example, if an employee thinks he isn’t experienced enough to
manage a project, you can remind him of his unique strengths and capabilities.
Another way to promote growth is
modeling. Have inexperienced employees watch other colleagues with similar
skills perform more advanced tasks. Seeing others with similar abilities
succeed at a task will help them develop positive, “can-do” beliefs. Recognition
and positive feedback are key to helping your employees feel more competent,
motivated, and open to growth. Negative feedback can devastate those with low
optimize the environment. Create a vibrant, energetic, stress-free workplace
that encourages your employees to get the food, exercise, rest, and water their
bodies need so they can perform safely and at their best.
Reaching Full Potential
successful business owners in the world unleash the energy and creative power
of their employees by honoring those four needs: connection, contribution,
freedom, and growth. They know that what really motivates people — once their
basic financial needs have been met — is their desire to grow and develop as
human beings, connect and collaborate with others, and contribute something to
a worthy cause. You can inspire your employees to reach their full potential by
making your company a place where those four needs will be met.
About the Author
Ascanio Pignatelli is an award winning speaker,
seminar leader, coach, and author of the forthcoming book Lead From Need. He is the founder of ApexCEO, an executive coaching
and leadership development group that helps C-level executives develop the
leadership and communication skills to create more engaging workplaces. For
more information, contact: Ascanio Pignatelli, (310) 913-2313, www.apexceo.com