A blog about leadership and motivation: How you, as a leader, can remove apathy in 7 steps

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Leadership & Motivation: How to remove apathy, anxiety and stress in your team and re-introduce 'engagement'

This fact might not be true in your team. So, how is your team? Please go out and ask your employees. Leave your office and ask them face to face with the right explanations and questions. Try this:

'Hey, everybody. Please pay attention. I want to ask about your engagement. Specifically your interest in the job and your commitment which is your engagement. Your vote will be anonymous. I can assure you!

So, here is the question: On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 is low and 10 is high) what do you assume is the average level of engagement - interest and commitment for our work - in our team? Please write a number from 1 to 10 on a note and put your note into this hat. Sabrina will do the maths.'

The hat and the number (Sabrina has added the numbers and divided the results by the number of team members) will come from Sabrina. When you, the leader, looks at this number, what do you see? And when you show this number to your team, what do they see?

  • How will you describe their engagement if the number is between 1 and 3?
  • How will you describe their engagement if the number is between 4 and 6?
  • How will you describe their engagement if the number is between 7 and 9?
  • How will you describe their engagement if the number is 10?

After doing the maths and completing the survey you will have an idea about the situation. To be absolutely clear about the numbers - you can motivate your team to engagement 10. And it is your responsibility as their leader. Why aim for anything below 10?

You have looked in the wrong direction

For decades you and your fellow leaders have looked in the wrong direction. You have been looking for motivation where it was not to be found. Everything from pension schemes, salary increases, coffee machines, play rooms, ice-creams, fun at work, free lunch and bonus schemes. All this motivates all-right. But it only motivates individuals for a few minutes. It does not encourage your group of employees in the job that has to be done. And it does not encourage your group of employees to collaborate, to help each other, to pay attention, to focus. Think about it. Why should a new coffee machine make anybody work harder, with more care, with more interest? But the leader is able to invite the team to collaborate to reach a tough deadline. A coffee machine can't help it. But a leader can.

From now on the leader will be able to get the four out of five out of their un-engagement zone.

Engage your team as a group

Through many years of practical experience we have realized what goes wrong and what goes well, when a leader stands up in front of employees to engage them in a common cause. A common cause could be a deadline, increased sales, reduced costs, a new campaign, better ... anything. A cause which is so important, that everybody has to stand by it and engage in it.

For 15 years we have tested and practiced and designed a practical model for Strategic Motivation. ’With this model, motivation will no longer happen by accident or coincidence, but will become a part of a greater, a structured and a long term plan. Because employees deserve it. Because it will be easier for leaders to lead this way. And because the company will make more on the bottom line.’ – says Michael Meinhardt.

’We have seen howcorporations have an unclear understanding of the terms 'Motivation' and 'Engagement'. Secondly we have seen how leaders are rarely measured by the engagement of their employees on a daily basis. Thirdly motivational initiatives are not coordinated by an 'Engagement Officer'. ' - says Mette Berner. 'We have discovered what works in practice. The mystery is solved. Now leaders can learn to generate, control and maintain the engagement of their employees. And this is worth a fortune.'

Michael Meinhardt says: ’We have developed a motivational model, that introduces 7 motivational states which the leader must 'invite' his group of employees into. The leader can learn, train and adapt this new model of Strategic Motivation and use it with the team.’

Gallup concludes in ’State of the Global Workplace Report’ that 4 out of 5 employees are unengaged or hostile unengaged.

The model of Strategic Motivation

Here's our moving YOU model - so simple, that everyone is able to understand it. The model introduces 7 states that the leader must secure in his group of employees. If the leader does not succeed in bringing everyone in his team successfully into, through and out of these states he will demotivate them. When the leader succeeds he is motivating them to engage in the common cause.

1.    The desire to show up

2.    The desire to participate

3.    The belief that it is useful

4.    The willpower to contribute

5.    The willpower to help

6.    Be appreciative

7.    The desire to proceed

A simple seven state model that holds a series of techniques to be learned. As a leader you will learn to lead, not by forcing, nudging or pursuading - but by inviting your employees to collaborate.

Unengaged employees cost your company a fortune. But engaged employees just have to be motivated.

Blog is written by Michael Meinhardt, LEADERS WAREHOUSE.


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