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Five things that motivate your employees more than money

If you want your employees to take risks and be creative, you need to be okay with failure. If you criticize or publicly blast your employees’ failures, they’re going to lose the motivation to try something new. Accept that taking risks comes with some failure. Use it as an opportunity to learn and improve next time, so employees feel comfortable taking risks in the future.

The Top 9 Things That Ultimately Motivate Employees to Achieve

When you wake up in the morning, what is the passion that fuels you to start your day? Are you living it in your work? If others asked you what drives you to achieve, would the answer be obvious? The triggers that motivate people to achieve are unique for everyone. Many would say it’s money; more people are starting to claim that they are driven to make a difference. Regardless of what motivates you and drives you to reach peak performance, it must be managed and balanced. Too much motivation in one area will weaken other parts of your game.

Motivation has been studied for decades and leaders in the workplace have used assessments like DISC and Myers-Briggs to determine their employee’s personality types to better anticipate behaviors and tendencies. Additionally, motivational books are used as tools to get employees to increase their performance and get them back on track. While assessments, books and other tools can help project and inspire short and long performance, the factors that motivate employees to achieve evolve as they mature and begin to truly understand what matters most to them. Therefore, as leaders we must hold ourselves accountable to build meaningful and purposeful relationships that matter with our employees. This allows us to better understand those we are serving, just as much as ourselves.

As a leader, don’t just read the assessment scores, get to know those whom you are leading and be specific about how you help each of them achieve their goals, desires and aspirations. The objective should be to help one another and to accomplish this each of you must identify those things that motivate you both to work together.

To help you get the most from your employee relationships, here are the nine (9) things that ultimately motivate employees to achieve. As you read this, think of how you associate with each of them. Share your story and perspectives – and comment about it. This is a hot topic and the more we can discuss it, we can help one another become better leaders.

Leaders who have your back and are looking out for your best interests will win the trust of their employees who in turn will be more motivated to achieve. I once had a department manager that always looked out for me. He was upfront in communicating his performance expectations and his feedback was direct. He never treated me like a subordinate and looked for ways to include me in senior management meetings. This opened my eyes to what lay ahead in my career and thus motivated me to reach the next level and in the process exceed the expectations of my boss.

In today’s world where everyone wants to be noticed and recognized for their work, employees are motivated to achieve to remain relevant. As such, employees are in search of new ways to learn, improve their skills and invest in themselves. This is an opportunity for leaders to get involved and understand how to build the depth and breadth of their employee’s skill sets and aptitudes. For example, find ways to elevate your employees’ high-potential status.

Helping employees increase their relevancy is important and those leaders that participate in this process will help cultivate increased performance levels and loyalty. Helping your employees get discovered will elevate their motivation to achieve.

This particular motivation to achieve has been heightened as of late from younger professionals that seek to prove themselves faster amongst older generations in the workplace. Employees never want to be stereotyped or marginalized, but for many younger professionals this serves as the trigger to awaken them from within. This certainly is not a generational issue as many of us have been questioned about our ability to achieve at a high-level. I learned this the hard way throughout my career. For example, as a former C-level executive (in my early 30’s) and later as a successful entrepreneur, people began to envy and doubt me thus igniting my hunger and drive to over achieve.

As a leader, encourage your employees to exceed expectations by taking responsible risks. Embrace diverse thinking and measure one’s ability to innovate. Never underestimate an employee’s ability to perform until you have properly evaluated and tested their abilities and potential.

Perhaps the most important factor on this list is the ability to advance. Employees are extremely motivated to achieve if this means that advancement awaits them. This requires employees to be mindful of opportunities that lie around, beneath and beyond what they seek. As leaders, you will sustain high levels of motivation from your employees if you can open doors of opportunity and accelerate their chances for advancement. Remember, just because your employees may be relevant, it doesn’t guarantee advancement. So make it a point to help them get there.

People only have a few real chances in their careers to reach their ultimate goals. In fact, how many times do you meet people that are more successful than you are and you wonder how they got there. People don’t want to live with any regrets in their career/life and thus are motivated to not disappoint themselves.