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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every employee showed up to work engaged and energized? Some employees may already have an enthusiastic attitude, but often it’s up to the manager to motivate employees.There are several ways to motivate people you supervise. The common theme of these strategies is that you express confidence in your employees’ abilities and you create a link between hard work and a positive outcome.  

1. Praise their work

Complimenting someone on a job well done may seem like a simple thing, but it really can make the difference between a positive work environments where people are motivated to succeed and a workplace where the employees are bored with their assignments. Try to notice one thing your employees have done well each day, and let the person who completed the work know that they did a great job.

2. Recognize their achievements

If some of your employees have consistently gone above and beyond, recognize them with an employee-of-the-month award, or commend them at staff meetings. Take a minute to explain what they did and how it benefited the team. This shows your top employees that you appreciate them, and it gives everyone else concrete tips on what they could do to make a more valuable contribution at work.

3. Reward effort

Praise and recognition are good rewards in the short term, but when someone has been working at your company for a year or more with excellent job performance, you should reward them with something more material. Try to recommend your best employees for promotions, and help the high achievers move into more challenging roles. If you can’t offer a promotion, try to boost pay or improve benefits for high achievers. For example, you might offer more flexible shift scheduling, the option to work at home one day a week, or some additional vacation days.

4. Give them space

If you hover around your front desk agents and jump into the conversation every time a guest asks a question, those employees probably won’t feel motivated to put effort into their work. After all, they know you’re standing right there and that you’re going to take over when the job gets interesting. Instead of hovering, take a step back. Tell your employees that you’ll be nearby if they need help, but wait for them to come to you. You’ll probably find that they can handle many situations on their own and that you only need to step in occasionally.

5. Offer constructive feedback

Some people assume that criticism demoralizes workers, but it all depends on how it’s delivered. Constructive criticism that gives your employee the information they need to improve can be motivating because it signals that you believe they have the potential to do better. Back up feedback with training. For example, if a new housekeeper makes a bed in a sloppy way, point out the problems in the bed’s appearance. Then, demonstrate the correct way to make the bed, and ask the housekeeper to show you the correct method. Spending time teaching an employee shows that you want them to succeed and you’re willing to offer support.

6. Give employees a challenge

When people perform easy, routine tasks, they sometimes act like they’re on autopilot. But when they face a challenge, they draw on their strengths and work hard. Offer your employees challenges that ask them to think creatively and work together. For example, you could ask employees to brainstorm ideas for new holiday decorations or to design a more efficient luggage storage system. The challenge should be something doable but out of the ordinary.

7. Ask their opinion

In your one-on-one conversations with employees, ask them to share their ideas for upcoming events or ways to improve work processes. Ask how they think the tables should be arranged for a banquet, or if they can think of more innovative uses for your current lobby space. When you seek employees’ opinions, you show that you respect them and that you want them to be thoughtful about their work.

8. Ask them to help train others

People feel good about themselves when they help others, and sharing their own knowledge leads to a sense of pride. Let your employees enjoy that feeling of ownership in their work by giving them opportunities to train new team members. Knowing that someone is looking up to them and depending on them for guidance is a great motivator.