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Habits That Motivate Employees

The Leader's 3-2-1: Three insights, Two Questions, One Statistic.

Topic: Habits That Motivate Employees

As "quiet quitting” takes the U.S. workforce by storm, Harvard Business Review finds that managers who balance a results-focus with relationship-building have the least disengaged teams. They found the key difference between low or high quiet quitting ratios was the manager's relational skill in valuing and appreciating employees. Connection is essential for motivation: Results-Focus + Relational Habits = Employee Motivation Yet, 73% of senior leaders say their company managers don't get any training on how to value or appreciate employees well. Learned relational habits, to add to your results-focus, that motivate your team in 3-2-1:

Three insights

Celebrate Celebrate milestones like work anniversaries, birthdays, and major life events outside of work (weddings, children, etc.). Celebration shows you value the human behind the job description. Consistency and equity is more important than depth on this one: a nice card and a sincere team shoutout goes a long way. Praise Recognize excellent work, assign credit where it's due, notice gritty progress, and compliment unique talents. Depth does matter: find words more articulate and authentic than “well done” or “good job.” When you personalize praise in a way that really hits home, employees are four times as likely to be engaged at work. Thank Gratitude is both depth and width. Width: “Thank you” should be a trending phrase in your vocabulary, always. Depth: once per month, share with your employee a purposeful message of how their presence matters and their contribution is meaningful. What strengths do they offer? What character traits do you admire? What would you be missing without them? Write a note, type a text, send an email or share verbally. It doesn't have to be perfect to be powerful. An extra resource on giving word gifts: thank you note builder and template.

Two Questions

What frequency and form of recognition does each of your employees need? Tap into your emotional intelligence, but don't leave it all to intuition. Ask directly: “What form and frequency of recognition is most rewarding for you?” More on this via: Gallup + Workhuman Recognition Report. Reflect on a specific time at work you felt valued. What action(s) did it inspire as a result? It's a myth that emotions and feelings don't belong in the workplace. Emotions drive action. When teams experience positive feelings of being valued, it drives positive actions that increase productivity as a result.

One statistic

62% and 3% “We found that the least effective managers have three to four times as many people who fall in the quiet quitting category compared to the most effective leaders…those who were rated the highest at balancing results with relationships saw 62% of their direct reports willing to give extra effort, while only 3% were quietly quitting.” Harvard Business Review


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