According to the Wall Street Journal, management is responsible for motivating, communicating with, and developing their employees, in addition to setting goals, organizing, and measuring progress. These tasks were delineated by management guru Peter Drucker many years ago.
The first three can take some doing. Not all managers are clear on how to motivate, communicate, and develop. These three tasks sometimes take a business strategy back seat to tasks more likely to directly result in revenues or profits. But leadership depends on them. Fortune has a list of five important leadership tasks that can increase motivation, communication, and development. Here’s what they are.
No. 1: Praise Often, and Praise Publicly
Employees are motivated by praise. They are even more motivated by the praise that is done in public or communicated to everybody. In fact, Fortune quotes a study indicating that more than 80% of employees think public recognition is better than a gift.
Some companies use quick meetings to give praise of the week or even praise of the day. Others send out e-mail blasts or social media posts about employees of the month. Whichever way you do it, be sure to spread the praise around.
No. 2: Make Sure Employees Know What to Do
Sometimes, things go awry simply because employees don’t have a clear sense of what to do next out of the welter of stuff that needs to be done. One way of ensuring that folks know the priorities is to have daily kick-offs in which teams list what needs to be accomplished that day.
This can also be used to distribute workflow, of course. Some businesses encourage employees to jump in and help with tasks that could benefit from their expertise.
No. 3: Set Up Plans to Get Feedback, and Show It Is Used
While managers may believe they know what employees are thinking, it’s important to have actual data. It’s a good plan to get feedback. It can be general “how are we doing?” type questions or be geared to specific questions about process or products.
One manager who elicited feedback learned that employees were feeling stressed and overworked. He responded by a thank you for their hard work. Feedback can be utilized to respond in targeted, specific ways.
No. 4: Develop a Positive Culture
If not actively managed, company cultures can turn negative or be the province of only certain groups. Encourage employees to share positive things about each other. This, like praise from management, needs to be public!
One option is to have five-minute team huddles in which employees thank someone for their work during the past week. It's the Golden Rule at work.
No. 5: Ask for Feedback about Leadership
That feedback we were talking about earlier? That was for the company. It’s also important, though, to get specific feedback about how leaders are developing and utilizing the feedback. We have blind spots. Managers are no exception.
Whether you learn that you aren’t considered approachable or that everyone would like to receive your mentorship, the information is good to have.
Motivation, communication, and development need to be cultivated. They need a plan just as much as any other aspect of business. These tasks can help.