The Top 9 Things That Ultimately Motivate Employees to Achieve

When you wake up in the morning, what is the passion that fuels you to start your day? Are you living this in your work? If others asked you what drives you to achieve, would the answer be obvious? The triggers that motivate people to achieve are unique for everyone. Many would say its money; more people are starting to claim that they are driven to make a difference. Regardless of what motivates you and drives you to reach peak performance – it must be managed and balanced. 

To help you get the most from your employee relationships, here are the nine (9) things that ultimately motivate employees to achieve. As you read this, think of how you associate with each of them. Share your story and perspectives – and comment about it. This is a hot topic and the more we can discuss it, we can help one another become better leaders.

1. Trustworthy Leadership

Leaders that have your back and that are looking out for your best interests – will win the trust of their employees who in turn will be more motivated to achieve. I once had a department manager that always looked out for me. He was upfront in communicating his performance expectations and his feedback was direct. He never treated me like a subordinate and looked for ways to include me in senior management meetings. This opened my eyes to what lied ahead in my career and thus motivated me to reach the next level and in the process exceed the expectations of my boss.

Trust is a powerful motivational tool and those leaders that are more transparent with their employees will find surprising results and new types of opportunities to develop talent.

2. Being Relevant

In today’s world where everyone wants to be noticed and recognized for their work – employees are motivated to achieve to remain relevant. As such, employees are in search of new ways to learn, improve their skills and invest in themselves. This is an opportunity for leaders to get involved and understand how to build the depth and breadth of their employee’s skill sets and aptitudes. For example, find ways to elevate your employees’ high-potential status.

Helping employees increase their relevancy is important and those leaders that participate in this process will help cultivate increased performance levels and loyalty. Helping your employees get discovered will elevate their motivation to achieve.

3. Proving Others Wrong

This particular motivation to achieve has been heightening as of late from younger professionals that seek to prove themselves faster amongst older generations in the workplace. Employees never want to be stereotyped or marginalized, but for many younger professionals, this serves as the trigger to awaken them from within. This certainly is not a generational issue as many of us have been questioned about our ability to achieve at a high-level. I learned this the hard way throughout my career. For example, as a former C-level executive (in my early 30’s) and later as a successful entrepreneur – people begin to envy and/or doubt me thus igniting my hunger and drive to overachieve.

As a leader, encourage your employees to exceed expectations by taking responsible risks. Embrace diverse thinking and measure one’s ability to innovate. Never underestimate an employee’s ability to perform until you have properly evaluated and tested their abilities and potential.

4. Career Advancement

Perhaps the most important factor on this list is the ability to advance. Employees are extremely motivated to achieve if this means that advancement awaits them. This requires employees to be mindful of opportunities that lie around, beneath and beyond what they seek. As leaders, you will sustain high levels of motivation from your employees if you can open doors of opportunity and accelerate their chances for advancement. Remember, just because your employees may be relevant, it doesn’t guarantee advancement. So make it a point to help them get there.

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