Maybe this is the only one of the Top 12 Motivators that isn’t always simple and easy to address in the workplace. In fact, one of the difficult challenges for first time managers is having to accept that they shouldn’t aim to be “everyone’s friend” at the expense of getting the job done.
That said, there are at least three things that we can aim to provide in the workplace:
For new starters, a designated “buddy” who will be available for the first few days and weeks to help them find their way around. “Hold their hands until they find their feet” as one of my colleagues once put it!
For the “rising stars” (and the owner or Chief Exec) an experienced mentor who can act as a sounding board and ask the right questions
Regular, honest face-to-face feedback – providing in an open, professional manner some of the benefits of a “critical friend”. In other words, being prepared to challenge and to question, in the long-term interests of the other person.
So maybe we can’t literally be, or provide, a “best friend” at work, but there’s a lot that we can do in an organisation to provide many of the positive benefits of a “best friend”. And it’s also a great motivator for those taking on the role of the buddy, the mentor and the “Critical Friend”!
Take an active interest in helping your employees to develop – you’ll boost their skills and their motivation!
Most of us like to feel that we’re making some progress in our lives and our careers. We want to keep our minds active and we want to believe that tomorrow we’ll be more knowledgeable, more skilled or more adept than we are today. And most of us feel happier when we’ve got something to aim for – “We feel happy to the extent that we are in pursuit of worthy goals”…
Ultimately we’re each responsible for our own career progression and development but it can be difficult to do it all on our own. And that’s particularly true if we’re not sure what skills we might need in the future.
Larger organisations may have HR staff with active “talent management programmes” who provide career counselling, well-planned training and development opportunities, and the like. But for smaller organisations there’s often very little help or it falls to the employee’s immediate supervisor or manager and often is low on their list of priorities.
An alternative approach is to provide access to a mentor or “career buddy” elsewhere in the organisation – ideally a more experienced manager that the employee doesn’t directly report to. They will have an idea of the roles that are likely to be required in the future, and can guide their mentees towards how best to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to fill those roles. It’s also a great way of helping more experienced staff find new ways to make use of that experience. Try it!
… and if you want effective, bespoke training and development for your manufacturing employees, contact Andrew.Nicholson@ImproveMyFactory.com