Have you been ignoring the key to motivating your staff?

Every boss wants to get the most out of their staff, but are you holding up your end of the bargain?

Effort is about more than the individual’s drive to succeed, as Betty Liu, editor-at-large at Bloomberg Markets and founder and chief executive of Radiate, Inc, explains in a recent column for Inc; it is also about how invested bosses, leaders and managers are in the success of a goal or project.

Liu uncovered this insight when reflecting on her kids’ extra curricular activities. Despite pouring a significant amount of time into swimming training, when it came to competition meets, she saw that her sons weren’t really focused on giving their all to the task at hand.

A conversation with their swimming coach led to a realisation. Her kids were not really invested in the sport, which in turn made it difficult for those who trained them to find a strong drive to help them improve.

Read more: Three tips to improve staff motivation

Then, Liu changed her approach, realising that while she had been acting like a “drill sergeant” to get them to training, there was more she could do to connect with her sons about the sport.

She started to focus on ways of showing she was invested in her sons doing the best they could, from getting more involved in swim meets to watching videos on the sport with them.

The result? The more Liu showed an interest in the outcome, the more diligent her sons were.

This example also works for the world of business, she believes, where the overall motivation of staff can also be linked back to the actions of the people leading them.

“It’s always amazing to me how in any workplace, what the boss does is always noticed more than what he or she says,” Liu writes.

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