Motivating your staff doesn't have to be an exhausting process, or very costly. One of the biggest mistakes made by leaders is to implement a recognition or incentive program without truly knowing what motivates their staff. You would not be looked upon as incompetent if you simply ASKED your staff what motivates them! As a matter of fact, they would probably value and appreciate you even more for asking. Try to find out first what motivates your staff, and then see what you can do about making it happen, or at least coming close to it.
Second, make a concentrated effort to notice what your employees do correctly and acknowledge them. This can be as simple as leaving a sticky note on a computer monitor, or recognizing them publicly in a meeting. I know it seems minuscule, but it always surprises me how few leaders take advantage of this little nugget. When an employee sees that you value their work efforts, they are more likely to repeat the process. Recognition is a jewel in the motivation and engagement of your staff if you use it correctly.
Here's 3 specific leadership traits you can cultivate in yourself to increase your ability to motivate no matter what motivational approach you take or method(s) you employ.
1. Know how much leadership to offer and how much to let the individuals grow on their own.
2. Strike the right balance between specific and generic guidance so the unique individual traits of the workers come through in the business model and solutions to problems, system design and success of the firm are derived from the people running the enterprise and not from the leader.
3. Manage constructively by fostering an environment respectful of all points of view but driving to fulfilling progressive objectives as a first priority and blend differences of opinion decisively.
Here's a final thought that may perk your strategy antennae .....
Howard Schultz, CEO Starbucks once said that he gets employees to smile by only hiring people who smile. He built a company culture around that idea.
So follow Mr. Schultz's rule. Only hire people who are motivated. Only keep people who are motivated. Attempting to change personalty traits is pointless.