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With people facing so many challenges right now regarding mental health, business owners must focus on motivation. Find out how leading CEOs boost morale and motivate their people.

As we enter Mental Health Awareness month, we must recognise the importance of creating positivity in the workplace. When your people feel happy and fulfilled, their mental health improves and they become more productive.

Your challenge is to do what you can to create positivity in your workplace.

This is an area where some of the top leaders in the world excel in. The likes of Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and more find ways to boost motivation and take care of their people.

How?

Find out in this article.

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Richard Branson – Give Them Freedom

So many leaders get stuck on the idea that they always need to be present in their businesses. The danger here is that this can result in micromanagement. You may end up trying to oversee every task that your people complete, which can lead to them feeling like you don’t trust them.

Virgin’s Richard Branson recognises the danger of this, which is why he actively removes himself from the workplace. He says:

“If you are not always there, it forces other people to call the shots, which in turn improves their own leadership skills, builds their confidence, and strengthens your business.”

This isn’t to say that your people don’t need leadership and oversight. But what they don’t need is somebody who constantly looms over their shoulder.

If you give your people the ability to work through challenges on their own, you demonstrate that you trust them. This results in a huge motivational boost.

 

Elon Musk – Serve Your Team

The founder of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk has his own insight into how to motivate your team. And again, it all starts at the top, as he explains to Glassdoor:

“If you are a manager or leading at any level at SpaceX, we stress that your team is not there to serve you. You are there to serve your team and help them do the best possible job for the company.”

It’s critical to understand that a great leader is not the person who sits on high and barks commands at others. Your team is not a group of people who exist solely to serve your needs - it’s the opposite that holds true.

Your task as a leader is to do whatever you can to enable your team to achieve its goals. When you focus on serving your people, you boost motivation simply because you show that you care about their needs.

 

Sheryl Sandberg – Communicate Honestly and Openly

Do your people trust you?

It’s an important question because a lack of trust leads to poor communication and a lack of transparency.

According to the 2014 Building Workplace Trust, trust is a major issue in Australian workplaces. It states that only 38% of people trust their managers enough to talk openly to them about ideas.

A lack of trust is a major demotivator. It comes as a result of people feeling like their leaders don’t care about them or their ideas. And it’s an issue that Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg aims to overcome with her open communication policy:

“We know we'll never achieve our mission if we aren't communicating openly and honestly with each other. Honest feedback delivered frequently and with good intent is what helps us build better products and develop better leaders.”

Her advice is to encourage your people to feed their ideas back to you. Help them understand that you appreciate them for every contribution they make. And, most importantly, offer feedback on those ideas. Make sure your people feel heard and create discussions around their ideas.

 

Jeff Bezos – Show Them That Failure Is Part of the Process

So many people struggle with motivation because they’re afraid to fail. They don’t want to go beyond what they know they can do due to this fear.

But as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos points out, failure is part of building a successful business. If your people fear it so much that they won’t share ideas, you have an issue in your company. Bezos says:

“Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It’s not optional… Inventing is messy, and, over time, it’s certain that we’ll fail at some big bets, too.”

The key here is that you don’t make your employees feel bad for taking risks. Encourage them to push beyond the boundaries of what they do and think of new ideas. If an idea doesn’t work out, it’s simply a lesson for your employee and the business.

Bezos’ idea ultimately comes down to creating a culture of innovation. Getting rid of the fear of failure also removes a motivational barrier that stops your people from reaching their potential.

 

Sam Walton – Incentivise Your People

Reward program designer Hawk Incentives highlights the importance of incentivising your people. It says that 66% of employees feel motivated to stay at their jobs if an incentive program is in place.

Walmart’s Sam Walton highlights this, too. He introduced a profit-sharing plan for his employees and is quick to talk about the results:

“The profit-sharing plan has created significant wealth for many Wal-Mart employees, but more importantly, it makes each employee eager to work hard and come up with innovations to improve the profitability of the company.”

The point?

Recognise and reward your people for the effort that they give you. An incentive plan can help here, but even something as simple as a thank-you can boost motivation.

 

Become the Motivator

Ultimately, it is your responsibility as a leader to take care of your employees. Your goal is to engage with and motivate them so that they enjoy coming to work for you.

The tips we’ve shared here come from some of the greatest business leaders in the world. Use them to create a positive workplace that motivates and improves the well-being of your people.

And if you need a hand, we’re here to help you become the motivator for your team. Contact us today to find out how working with a business coach can elevate your company.

 

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