The ability to cause someone to do something enthusiastically by offering internal or external rewards is known as motivating skills. In other words, it means impelling an action by providing an incentive or a reason for it.

Motivating skills are sometimes confused with inspiring skills. However, their difference lies in the fact that unlike inspiring someone, motivating them requires persuasion through an appropriate reward system i.e. offering them a ‘carrot’ such as a raise in salary or promotion etc. Inspiring someone, on the other hand, leads to a desire being developed from within the person, without any persuasion required.

Why are motivating skills important

Ideally, when an organization is able to hire the right person (with the right skills) for the right job, optimum level of productivity is reached. This is because the employees get to do what they do best so they are enthusiastic about the completion of all those important tasks.

However, reality is quite different. The duties at work tend to be very monotonous and tedious for employees despite pursuing the profession of their interest. Therefore, motivating such employees of an organization is very important. It can benefit the organization in the following ways:

  • Improved performance. Once an organization has hired employees with the ‘ability’ to perform certain tasks, it is time to add ‘willingness’ to the equation to improve employees’ efficiency. Their education and training may have given them the ability but motivating them is what will help obtain willingness. Once the equation is complete, performance is bound to improve.
  • Indifferent attitude of employees changed. Never having achieved anything for a good performance at work tends to make the employees indifferent towards any improvement required. Such attitude can be easily changed by making them realize the link between efforts and results/rewards.
  • Reduced absenteeism and employee turnover. In the presence of an appropriate incentive plan, with monetary and non-monetary rewards as well as promotion opportunities, the employees will not only have greater willingness to improve efficiency but also a greater job satisfaction.

How to improve your motivating skills

Now that you have read and understood the importance of motivating skills, here is how you can improve them and bring about a great deal of change in the organization’s performance:

  • Provide challenging as well as productive work. As a manager you must understand that no matter how self-motivated your employees are, or how amazing the rewards are, it will be difficult to motivate them if the job is designed badly and employees find it inherently unsatisfying. You must be able to provide interesting jobs with variety, challenge and autonomy to motivate people to be more efficient.
  • Manage the goal setting process. It is important to have clear and attainable goals towards the achievement of which employees work. The goals being set shall be effective if they outline what exactly is to be accomplished and when will it be deemed as ‘achieved’. Moreover, setting organizational goals such that they are aligned with the personal goals of the employees can also help in motivating them more than ever.
  • Understand the individual differences. If you seek to motivate them, you should be able to look at the employees on an individual level. This will help you to focus on their varying needs and wants, and offer incentives accordingly. For instance, you can offer more time off as an incentive to someone who seeks work-life balance, promotion to someone who seeks status and recognition in the organization, and salary raise to someone who seeks a monetary reward alone.
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