Ice and Fire
How long would people be able to stand barefoot in a bucket of ice water? Sounds like a script for a silly new TV game show. It was actually a psychological experiment done some years ago to measure people’s capacity to endure pain. They found that one factor made it possible for people to stand in the ice water twice as long as others. Guess why… They were encouraged to do so. When another person was present, giving support and encouragement, the sufferers were able to endure the pain much longer than their counterparts.
We tend to focus a lot on our customers but motivating our employees is as important. If our employees are happy they will put in extra effort to do their job and please our customers.
The capacity to motivate others is one of the most important characteristics of a great leader. How do you bring out the best in your people? A pep talk alone is not enough.
To sustain motivation you have to build mutual trust. How? Instil confidence and responsibility in your employees. Encourage them constantly. Ignite passion in them. Do not micro-manage them. Deal with problems immediately and in private. Don’t highlight mistakes – a committed employee feels awful anyway. If you and/or the business are challenged in anyway, let your team know and emphasise that you believe in them and their ability to succeed.
And most importantly: recognise and celebrate achievements, both big and small. As often as possible.
How do you encourage your staff to excel?