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Leadership Development: 4 Guaranteed Ways to Influence Your Employees to Work Harder by Courtney Gordner

Posted on the 25 July 2013 by Stacie Walker Stacie @staciewalker

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Contributing Author: Courtney Gordner

The phone won’t stop ringing, there are more emails than you can count, and the last thing you want to be worrying about is if your trusted employees are getting their own jobs done.

Some days, it feels like they aren’t working as hard as they could, and you really need them to give their all.

There are a few things you can do that will influence them to work harder just because they want to. 
It may seem like common sense on how to deal with people, but the way you word things and what you overlook can play a large part in your employee’s efficiency.

1.) Break off more than they can chew.

When first asking for a project or task give them a long list of things that need to be done. Once they sit with the information for a while, scale it back.

They will first feel overwhelmed, but as soon as you shorten the list they will be grateful and the motivation will kick in because they think the job is ‘easier’ now.

Shane Jones | WebpageFX

When interviewing a friend of mine, Shane Jones, who is a manager at WebpageFX, a digital marketing startup, he oversees the schedules of eight team members every week.

Here’s what Shane had to say about breaking off more than they can chew.

“When I schedule my team’s week, I’m always considering each individuals propensity for stress. If I know they are particularly sensitive, I’ll make sure they have a very feasible list of goals for the week, but as they work through, I’ll congratulate them on their success and offer up more. With their triumph comes motivation, and with that motivation comes a renewed sense of vigor in their work. It’s a key strategy in getting things done.”

2.) Make them feel like your life raft.

It’s important to make a person feel needed and important. Try explaining the importance of a job that you trust them with. When people have more responsibility or and the stakes are higher, they tend to put forth more effort.

For more ways to make them feel important or valued, read this article by The Daily Muse.

It's Important to Encourage Happiness

Encourage internal happiness projects.

Google does this with their employees, and as a startup it’s a great way to retain your talent. Provide time for your employees to work on their own project for a couple of hours each month. You’ll find their significantly more happy with their position than before.

For ideas on encouraging happiness, check out The Happiness Theory.

3.) Blow some smoke their way.

Compliment the good work they do and praise it in front of everyone.

They will love the feeling and will work harder next time to impress you once more. Flattering someone makes their self-esteem go up, which makes them feel better about them self.

When their self-esteem is high, people work harder, feel better and are genuinely happier.
Keith Gillen, the Primary Therapist at the 12 Palms Recovery Center, knows the importance of praise, especially when it’s publicized.

Working in a rehab center, clients are looking for support where they’ve had little in the past. Many clients in rehab centers go through recovery feeling very alone, so the praise can go a long way, and encourage them to keep working for progress.

4.) Nothing in life is free.

Provide them with incentives that will push them to do things around the office.

I’ve learned that people get more done when they have more to do. Being busy means they don’t have any time to waste, which would result in them getting side tracked. When they are busy the whole day, they will feel more structured.

Leadership Development: 4 Guaranteed Ways to Influence your Employees to Work Harder by Courtney Gordner

When they are waiting for a client to call back, or someone to finish with paper work, they can do other things to make their time worthwhile.

Now of course, each of these may affect people differently.

You have to use your people skills to feel out which method works best for which person in your office.

When you find the one that works best for you, stick to it!

Remember that the way you approach your employees can have the world of difference in their reaction. No matter which method you choose, always do it with a smile and appreciation. 

Image Credit: sxc.hushanepatrickjones, piccsy,inspirably

About the Contributing Author:

  Courtney Gordner | Contributing Author

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