It can sometimes be a puzzling experience trying to work out what your staff need from you, particularly when on the surface, it appears that different people want and expect things.  However, numerous studies on motivation have shed light on what employees need from their employer.  Here are 5 things that most employees need to be successful at work.

  1. Role clarity.  Tell your team what their roles are, what results you expect them to achieve, and what the rules are for getting there. Equally importantly ensure that each team member knows what each other team member is expected to deliver too, so there is no ambiguity over ‘who does what’ and team members can mutually support each other to achieve their goals.
  2. Autonomy.  No one enjoys being ‘micromanaged’.  People want to be trusted to do their job well and have the freedom to make decisions about their work.
  3. Accountability.  Holding people accountable for their results sends a clear message to the team about what is and is not acceptable.  This is best achieved by sitting down with them on a regular basis, reviewing their performance and how you as their manager can best support them in achieving the results you want.
  4. Praise.  Everyone wants to be recognised for a job well done, or for when they have done something right. Small rewards are best, a simple thank you, a letter highlighting their achievements or possibly a small gift. You will motivate your team more effectively by focussing on their strengths than you will by harping on about their weaknesses.
  5. Pay people fairly.  Money is not a motivator per se but it can be a big source of dissatisfaction.  People expect to be paid fairly for what they do and so it is important that you don’t have pay irregularities across your team and that their pay reflects the ‘going rate’ in the marketplace.