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How To Motivate Your Employees’ Productivity

How To Motivate Your Employees’ Productivity

In the office, your workers follow your lead. That’s why motivating them to work, to better themselves (for MORE than just a paycheck) is important.

Great leaders do just that. Motivating someone is more than just pushing them – here are 10 tips on how to do just that.

1. LOVE What You Love

When I was crashing a wedding a few years ago, one of the bridesmaids’ sisters complimented my energy for dancing. “I’ve never seen someone so enthusiastic at these things,” she said.

The obsessive love you feel for what you’re doing, when it transcends the mundane reason of being only for the paycheck… Is more apparent than you realise. We pick up on energies and vibes, steering towards people who seem to be operating on a different level.

Be that person people gravitate towards to: they’ll resonate with you, and follow your lead. Lead by example.

2. Take Some Time Off

Break and break often. Human beings are not wired to shoot through the atmosphere at 500 mph, for hours on end. We just can’t work efficiently like that.

I’ll admit, there have been days where I just did not want to take a break – I was in that sweet, blissful zone. Total self-harmony. The only other time I was that excited was my younger years’ experiments with pharmaceutical drugs. But this was work, work I loved, and looked forward to doing the entire day.

You know what happened at the end of the work day?

You know what happened, don’t you. Yeah you do.

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I went home, undressed, and face-planted the living room sofa. And stayed there for a grizzly 14 hours.

If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’.

3. Keep Home at Home

You’re running a business. You have deadlines to meet. If you see someone who’s carrying three emotional briefcases, politely kick them out of your workplace. This isn’t a time for soap, drama, or soap dramas. Everybody today is here to make money (and have a smooth-as-sails fun time doing it).

It’s called “work” for a reason – try to keep that in people’s minds as they go about their day. Work isn’t a platform for airing personal problems.

Be sure to round up the troops and tell them that.

4. Motivate Growth

Take a mental note of quirks and interests your workers have. As a leader, these people go to you for guidance. How many times has a mentor, friend, or leader of yours been influential in your life’s decisions?

Be that influence by helping your workers’ special “areas.” Did you learn that Sally is a writer in her off-time? Buy her “The Elements Of Style” by William Strunk, Jr. Did the grapevine tell you that Joe has an obsession with dolphins? Take Joe out for lunch to an aquarium – dolphins galore! (Just be sure to do the equivalent for every worker.)

Figure out that special quality that makes people who they are… And then help them develop that quality, in the workplace.

My art teacher in elementary did that – and she was by far the greatest teacher there. Many of my classmates I kept in touch with feel the same way I do, as well.

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Why? Because she helped us form that special part of ourselves the other teachers sort of had to ignore, for the sake of getting through the curriculum.

5. Believe In Yourself

You’re successful in all that you do – and success comes easily to you. You have complete composure every single time of the day – you accept challenges and arguments in good spirits and calmly.

How you think about yourself makes up a large part of how you’ll treat workers. Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.

Do you remember the blockbuster hit Wolf On Wall Street? There was NOBODY like seeing confident-as-all-get-out Jordan Belfort walking into the wolf’s den, preparing to land another knock-out speech.

He was able to do that because he believed in himself – his self-belief made him millions of dollars, after all.

6. Actually Talk With People

When things go right and you spot someone doing a bang-on performance, acknowledge that! Don’t you appreciate being thanked for doing something right? Your workers need your encouragement and energy.

And when things go wrong? Talk about them, as well. There is nothing more counter-productive and time wasting than bickering, complaining, and starting arguments about a bad worker.

The longer air remains foggy and “damp”, the more stress builds steam. When stress builds steam, tension gets high and strong. People start suffering. Work

7. Inspire Happiness

Outside of the Grinch and that one old bag who always has something up his/her craw… Most people can’t resist a smile or friendly gesture.

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Inspiring happiness boosts morale and gives people an incentive to get in their seats and work. When I worked the gruesome 9-5, in a dinky cubicle, the boss man wouldn’t allow us to personalise our cubicles. He said he couldn’t afford us being distracted.

Please, for the sake of your workers’ humanity, let them express who they are with the little space they can afford to.

Slowing down has also shown to maximise productivity. Instead of making everybody a scatter-brained, nerves-on-edge breakdown waiting to happen… Encourage everyone to tackle one project at a time.

One practical thing you can do right now is to hire a happiness trainer. Yes, that’s a thing. Really.

8. Build Camaraderie

Years ago when I worked briefly as a first assistant editor on a student film, we quickly realised this: unless we meshed on a deeper level, the film wouldn’t make the cut for a festival.

Working together, even offering advice about certain shots and music choices and giving our two cents about each other’s specialty… Helped us join together and bond more.

In life, love and business, having a group of people by your side while you wade through the swamps and sail aboard rollercoasters makes those journeys worthwhile.

9. Be Gracious

Here’s the real truth: No matter how much your company hates and berates each other (often behind each others’ backs… It’s your job to simmer the heat and turn flames into sizzle. The workplace is a warzone – like high school on a much larger scale.

Your team works with each other and, there’s a giant chance a few people feel underappreciated, underfed and underpaid.

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One way of showing how much you ADMIRE having them in your employ… Is by throwing a potluck party for lunch. (This is a very popular decision, with good reason.)

10. Stay In Shape

A lot of self-made millionaires exercise.

So, all those annoying health-freaks pestering you to move more, eat healthier, and talk so much you want to do violent things to them?

They’re on to something the rich have known.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, being a monumental leader isn’t about controlling people. It isn’t about how much profit you make the company.

Being a memorable, valuable leader requires human involvement. Bring the humanity of your workers to life, and you’ll see a giant increase in success – both in life, love and business.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on April 8, 2020

How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious

How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious

Overwhelmed with work, family responsibilities, financial challenges and health issues are common culprits which catalyze stress and anxiety symptoms that show up differently in each and every one of us.

Whilst many of us are becoming much better at identifying what can trigger us to feel these, we’re not always that great at recognizing our individual thresholds; we don’t know exactly how to calm down when the mental, emotional storms erupt.

We can almost see you eye-rolling upon hearing commonly recommended stress antidotes such as taking a bath, lighting candles or going for a walk. Let’s face it. These simply aren’t practical things you can do when you’re on a red-eye flight at 5:30am to run a full day of training interstate and then fly back the same evening not to mention juggling a young family.

You want to know your triggers, predict the impact of them and have your own suite of tools up your sleeve to calm down that impact for the long-term.

Doing a little ground work to gain a strong self-awareness of your likely reactions puts you smack bang in the pilot seat to develop a robust mental and emotional toolkit that will work wonders for you.

A few simple but well-practiced techniques may be all you need to simmer down the cyclonic intensity of emotions, and disparaging thoughts pecking away at your self-esteem and confidence. However, it’s important you do this self-reflective groundwork first to gain maximum impact for long-term effect.

1. Strengthen Familiarity with What Triggers You

When you have arguments with your loved one, do you stop and look to see if there are certain things you fight about? Are there certain behaviors they display that drive you bananas?

Take your focus off them and ask yourself: “What is my usual response?”

Perhaps you feel the anger welling up inside your chest and you then spurt out that you’ve told him or her ten times before to not leave their underwear lying across the bedroom floor.

Think a little deeper. Ask yourself what values, standards and expectations you have that are not being met here. You’ll likely be attached to certain ways you believe things should play out. Are there assumptions and expectations as to how you believe people should conduct themselves and principles about how you feel you should be treated?

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Having a strong attachment to these for yourself is one thing. Expecting others to have the same attachment is often what can make the hot water start simmering.

It is often when people behave in ways inconsistent with our belief systems and events unfold in discord with what we expect and are prepared for that we feel the most stress and anxiety.

Make a list of the common circumstances in different areas of your life that cause you to become anxious and stressed. Against each of these, describe your stress response:

What happens? What do you feel?

Now think about the values, principles and expectations you have attached to these. You’ll see you have a few options:

  • Change my values and expectations
  • Try to change other’s values and expectations
  • Recognize and be in allowance of others having different values, standards and expectations

Reviewing how you react when you’re stressed and anxious, and identifying which of these three options above is going to best serve you, can greatly increase your ability to feel and be in control of calming your reaction.

You move closer to being able to choose how you want to respond as opposed to feeling helpless and the world is spiralling out of control.

2. Have Coping Statements on Hand

When you have a washing machine of chaotic thoughts churning in your mind, trying to implant thoughts that are the complete opposite of what you’re thinking and feeling can be pretty hard.

Not being able to do it can also add another layer of us feeling disappointment in ourselves. We feel we’re failing.

Having coping statements that you can literally latch on to to help you calm down in those stressful and anxious moments, can be particularly helpful.

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Look at creating palm cards and just have three to five of these you can have in your pocket or in your purse. Here are 6 examples:

  • Even though I am feeling this right now, I am going to be alright
  • What I am feeling right now is uncomfortable. I won’t feel this way forever. Soon the intensity of what I am feeling will pass.
  • I’ve survived these feelings before. I can do it again.
  • I feel this way because of my past experiences but right now, I am actually safe.
  • It’s ok for me to feel this way. My body and brain are trying to protect me but I am actually safe right now.
  • Ah, here you are again, anxiety. Thanks for showing up to protect me, but I don’t need you right now.

Choose words and dialogue that feel true and accurate for you. Read the statements out to yourself and test how fitting they are for you. What feels more assuring, calming and right for you?

Make these statements your own. The aim is of these statements is to de-escalate the intensity of what you feel when you’re anxious and stressed.

Remember, you want to refrain from having blunt statements which feel or sound like they’re self-reprimanding because they won’t be pacifying in a positive way.

If you are unsure as to how to come up with statements that fit for you, look to work with a psychologist or licensed therapist to give you a strong start.

3. Identify and Develop Physical Anchors

You actually have within you resources to provide some of the most effective ways to calm yourself down in heightened moments you feel stressed and anxious. Renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Peter Levine and expert in treating stress and trauma, teaches us how techniques which do this, such as Somatic Experiencing®[1] can significantly help us calm down.

By learning to be fully present and applying touch to certain areas of your body (e.g. forehead and heart space), you increase your capacity to self-regulate. You also learn how to attend to and release your unique symptoms that your body has been containing in a way you have not been able to before.

Here’s one technique example:

  1. Get in a comfortable position
  2. Have your eyes open or closed, whatever feels most comfortable for you
  3. Now place one hand on your forehead, palm side flat against the skin
  4. Place the other hand, palm down across your heart space above your sternum… the flat of your chest area.
  5. Gently turn your attention to what you feel physically in the area between your two hands. Observe and just take notice of what you physically feel. Is your chest pounding? How strong are its beat and the rhythm? Do you notice any other sensations anywhere else between your two hands?
  6. Don’t try to push or resist what you’re feeling. Try to just sit with it and remain this way with your hands in place until you feel a shift, a physical one. It might take a little longer, so try to be patient.

You might feel a change in energy flow, a change in temperature or different, less intense sensations. Just keep your hands in place until you feel some kind of shift, even if gradual.

It might take you even 5 to 10 minutes but, riding this wave will help you to process what discomfort your body is containing. It will greatly help to release it so you gradually become calmer.

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Purely cognitive exercises can be tough at the outset. Learning somatic experience techniques is particularly helpful because you’re engaging in exercises where you physically can feel the difference. Feeling the changes helps you increase confidence you can control and reduce the discomfort you’re feeling. You’ll be motivated to keep practicing and improving this skill you can take anywhere, anytime.

4. Move and Get Physical

If you’re not one to exercise, you’re robbing yourself of some very easy ways which help you calm down and reduce stress and anxiety responses. Many neuro chemical changes take place when you engage in exercise.

At certain levels of physical exertion, your brain’s pituitary gland releases neurotransmitter endorphins. When they bind with certain opiate receptors in your brain, signals are transmuted throughout your nervous system to reduce feelings of pain and trigger feelings of euphoria. You might have heard the term ‘runner’s high’.

For the last 20 years, University of Missouri-Columbia’s Professor Richard Cox has conducted research showing that high intensity interval training (HIIT) is more effective at reducing anxiety and stress levels than other forms of aerobic exercise.[2] However, if you would rather slay dragons than turn up an F45 class, it’s essential you still find something that will physically shift you and alter your current mental and emotional state of mind, even just a fraction to start with. It’s 100% ok if this is not your cup of tea.

So in a day full of back of back-to-back meetings, what can you do?

If you’re sitting, stand. Change your posture and open your body up. Have a suite of discrete stretches you can do regularly as you deepen and engage in diaphragmatic breathing.

If you’re looking down at your desk at work and feeling increasingly stressed, look up and change what you’re looking at. Give yourself more than a few moments to decompress.

The main thing is to change your disposition from the one you’re in when you are experiencing anxiety and stress symptoms. You’re shaking it up to calm it down.

5. Transform Your Unhelpful Inner Dialogue and Its Energy

Learning cognitive restructuring techniques can truly work wonders in helping you recognize and re-frame unhelpful dialogue and negative critical thinking patterns. This involves a little preparation being transparent with yourself about what exaggerated perspectives you might ascribe to what’s happening when you’re feeling stressed and anxious.

When you open your email inbox and see a flood of requests which require more time and energy you have for that day, dread starts to settle in and the following comes to mind: “This is impossible. How can they expect me to be able to do all this? It’s completely unreasonable!”

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Instantly, many other thoughts that reinforce this line of thinking as well as the emotional energy of your first conscious thought start unravelling. A 4-step process you can engage to calm the eruption is:

  1. Catch and notice that first thought you had. What was it? What did you think and/or say to yourself?
  2. Recognize that what you’re feeling and be in allowance of the initial intensity of whatever those emotions are.
  3. Breath deliberately a little more deeply and slowly for a few seconds.
  4. State to yourself: “Right now (in this moment) I’m feeling overwhelmed by this, however maybe I can look at what I can make good progress and headway with as a start from here on.”

Notice the language in step 4 is tentative, supportive, soft and not resistant nor defiant of what your original thought was. You accept your original thought, but gradually you become stronger at pivoting it.[3] You’re expanding your growth mindset language.

It’s definitely worth working with a coach or trained therapist to learn how to tailor re-framing statements which can truly help you calm down.

Final Thoughts

We know, in our minds what we should do. When we’re in the thick of experiencing mental and emotional turmoil, it’s actually harder to implement what we know. In those moments, you’re unlikely to have capacity to think about what you need to do, let alone do it effectively to help you feel calmer.

The key is to practice so that when the storm is brewing, your toolkit and supplies are in easy access. You already know your safety drill well.

Knowing you have strategies and prepared processes up your sleeves helps you not only become better at calming yourself in amongst currently stressful situations. You have more confidence now to face more anxiety-provoking stressors because you have developed the resources to handle it.

How you invest time and energy into getting to know your triggers and thresholds will influence how effective these strategies will work for you. We’re not denying relaxing baths or regular massages are helpful, however these band-aid-like solutions don’t really confront the root causes.

If you truly want to turn your experience of your stress and anxiety symptoms around, dig deeper, do the groundwork and that which rattled your cage will quickly become a thing of the past.

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Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

Reference

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