Find and cultivate leaders to motivate your staff
November 29, 2011
The current state of the job market has proven troubling for managers and employers, as wage stagnation and limited employment opportunities have served to discourage workers and reduce productivity.
A recent survey by ComPsych found nearly 30 percent of employees admit to have had at least five days this year in which they were "too stressed to be effective." Two-thirds of respondents report high stress levels, including fatigue and a sense of powerlessness over work conditions, and last month, BNA reported continued recession-level stagnation in its quarterly index of private sector wage growth.
Consequently, employee morale and workplace productivity are beginning to suffer. The trend underscores the need for managers to implement effective motivational strategies to keep operations timely and in order. Leadership training and cultivation may help toward this end, but employers need to be careful who they assign to such positions. Internal promotions are sometimes preferred because they provide evidence of upward mobility while also ensuring familiarity with the new managers.
As Laura Kutcher explains for the blog Expert Business Advice, some companies utilize a system of voting to nominate employees to leadership roles and positions. This can help narrow the pool of candidates, but employers should understand that popularity does not entail effective leadership skills.
"The interviewing panel should be composed of more than a single person because what one person may not see in the interviewee, the other may easily identify," Kutcher adds. "Also, you can be able to verify if the person has capacity to talk before a group; the panel would be an example of the larger group of employees one wishes to represent."
Even if a candidate has received sweeping praise and support from colleagues, it's important to check his or her background. What sort of leadership roles have they held in the past? What do they value? How does their ethical sense permeate their work? How do they perform under pressure?
Leaders should be efficient at multitasking as well. For any position focused on motivating and engaging lower-tier workers, it follows that they should be able to handle a variety of responsibilities at any given time.
"Also, see how much the nominee knows about other employees," Kutcher points out. "Ask him/her what their good and bad qualities are and then how the person expects to work through them for a better organization."