by Michael Holland    

Managers sometimes wonder what motivates my employees?  What satisfies them?  What will make the biggest difference to an employee? Leaders at all levels often make the mistake of assuming that all employees are motivated by the same thing – a new assignment, recognition, a promotion. But what motivates a person is likely to be as individual as that person is themselves.

So how do you find out?  Ask!  Talk with – yes, a real, live conversation – each employee about what satisfies them, what they like and dislike about their job, what motivates them personally and professionally. Your goal is to get to know the individual and respond accordingly. Your success in managing each person is largely dependent upon how well you get to know each person and what drives them. So strike up some conversations, ask some questions and listen to the answers. It’s likely that just the process of your asking will have a positive impact as well – it will show you’re interested and that you care – something most everyone is motivated by!

Make a list today of your employees and a goal date by which you will have a conversation regarding what motivates them.  Create a list of questions and conversation starters that will help you to get to the real question on motivation.