How Managers Can Make Work More Meaningful

Business adviser and author Lisa Lai offers these tips for how managers can make work more meaningful for those on their team.

Employees are motivated when their work has relevance. Business adviser and author Lisa Lai offers these tips for how managers can make work more meaningful for those on their team:

Share context and provide relevance. To motivate your employees, start by sharing context about the work you’re asking them to do. What are we doing as an organization and as a team? Why are we doing it? Who benefits from our work and how? What does success look like for our team and for each employee? What role does each employee play in delivering on that promise?

Anticipate roadblocks to enable progress. Recognize that challenges can materially impact motivation. Be proactive in identifying and addressing them. What might make an employee’s work difficult or cumbersome? What can you do to ease the burden? How can you remain engaged just enough to see trouble coming and pave the way for success?

Recognize contributions and show appreciation. Leaders consistently underestimate the power of acknowledgment to bring forth employees’ best efforts. Employees are motivated when they feel appreciated and recognized for their contributions.

Assess your own motivation. Employees feel motivated when their leaders are motivated. If you’re not engaged and enthusiastic about your company, your team or the work you do, it’s unlikely that you’ll be a great motivator of others. What aspects of your role do you enjoy? What makes you proud to lead your team? What impact can you and your team have on others both inside and outside the organization? How can you adapt your role to increase your energy and enthusiasm?

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    Paul Nolan is the editor of Sales & Marketing Management magazine.

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