Illustration by Joe Magee

How to Successfully Motivate the People You Work With

With an ongoing pandemic, lockdown and SAD on the loose, it might be hard to find the motivation to do your work — or anything for that matter. You might be someone who figured out how to get and stay motivated during these trying times. If you are, that’s amazing, well done! It couldn’t have been easy, but there might be people you work with (colleagues or employees) that may not have figured out what you have. The question now becomes, how do I motivate the people around me?

How do we motivate others without making them feel as though we are looking down on them? Well, in this article we are going to explore this predicament by looking at some ways in which we can be an inspiration.

Building good relationships with the people you work with is extremely important for a number of reasons. The first step in motivating others is making them like you. If people see you as a kind and approachable person, they are more likely to listen to you, respect your opinions and advice.

Seeing as many of us aren’t going to our communal workspaces at the moment, being social may be more difficult than usual. Thanks to modern technology, however, it is no longer impossible. Thanks to apps like Zoom and Google Meet we are now able to bring a bit of our work into our homes.

Hosting regular meetings can be a great way to stay connected to your colleagues during this pandemic. But we want people to want to attend these meetings. Although meetings are usually a more formal affair, it doesn’t hurt to take a more casual approach from time to time. Give everyone the freedom to talk and be social, as this may be something that some people are missing at the moment. If workers look forward to these meetings, it will also motivate them to do their work to a higher standard as they won’t want to let down the people they work with.

And when they do good work, they deserve to be acknowledged for it too. The simple fact is that positive feedback motivates us. We all like a pat on the back and a “well done!” Knowing that our work is valuable has a very positive influence on the way we approach and think about the work that we do.

In today’s society, it is all too common to feel isolated from the work that our company produces. Far too many employees are expected to come to work, do what they need to do and go home, just to repeat the process over and over again. A lot of the time individuals performing specialised tasks are far removed from the final product and do therefore never get to witness the fruits of their labour.

Positive feedback and feeling appreciated can rectify this disconnection between producer and product. It’s also a great tool to motivate others. Knowing that the work they produce is appreciated will motivate them and be consistent in their work performance.

We all like to be acknowledged, but not for everything. Getting negative feedback or criticism is not pleasant for anyone, as necessary as it might be. If you think someone could be working harder, you have to try and relay it to them in a positive non-confrontational way. It is important to be considerate of the people you are addressing and give them the benefit of the doubt, because we can never know what is going on in someone’s life or head.

If you have to give someone negative feedback, it is best to first ask them if everything is okay. This is also where your relationship with colleagues and employees comes into play. If they trust and like you, they will be more willing to tell you why their performance has suffered recently.

Before you call someone out for doing a bad job, give them the opportunity to explain themselves and rectify their own mistakes. People will be happier if they feel like they have more control, which in turn will make them more motivated. If someone is given the opportunity to acknowledge their mistakes by themselves, they are also more likely to improve themselves.

Motivating others is never an easy task. You don’t want to come off as superior or like you know everything (even though you might!) as this could make others hold you in contempt. Let’s face it, no one likes a know-it-all.

On top of that, if you apply too much force, you might achieve the complete opposite and demotivate your colleagues or employees even further. A lack of motivation will inevitably lead to a decline in productivity or quality, so it’s essential that you and everyone around you stay motivated.

Written by Matt Wilkinson
WellBe is spearheading the way to a brighter future for corporate wellness. Our innovative portal is scientifically designed and tailored to each individual employee to improve their wellbeing. We specialise in a range of services from coaching and therapists, to meditation and reading materials. Our aim is to reduce workplace stress that costs UK businesses £42 billion per year. Get in touch with us by visiting our site wellbe.global for more information.

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