So much has been written about a Leader’s role in motivating the work force. But we still find that majority of the work force does not find their work exciting. Have you seen a child playing with his toys? No motivation is required for making him play with toys which excite him. Why don’t we apply the same analogy to adults, by making their work look exciting?
Workers need to develop passion for their work. They need to be excited about what they are doing and believe whole heartedly in the mission. Once this is achieved, motivation and productivity would soon follow. So how does a Leader develop such passion in his workers?
Servant-Leader concept. Under heavy work load conditions, interaction becomes limited to rushed reports and finding ways to get the work at hand finished somehow. There is no time to stand and stare and contemplate about better ways of completing it or making it interesting. There is a concept of servant-leader. Is the leader a servant first? It begins with the natural feeling that one likes to serve. It is observed, that a person who come up from the grass roots and has learnt the ropes, is confident to guide the workers, about the best way to complete a task. Comparatively, he is in a better position to lead than a person who enters as a leader from a different field. He, however, needs to be honest about his task at hand.
Discover people’s passion. In the course of work, try and make the workers pause and think what makes them passionate about their work. What excites them and what doesn’t. They could be asked pertinent questions.
- For a new project. What excites them about the oncoming project? What suggestions or ideas would they like to offer to make it interesting?
- Lessons learnt. What excited them about the previous project and what did not appeal to them? What was rewarding and what were the pitfalls that need to be avoided?
- Performance Reviews. What did they most enjoy working on? What ideas they could not implement and would like to do so in future?
- Career Development talks. Where do you see yourself in next two to three years and how do you intend to work towards that goal? What excites you now?
Prioritising work. It is essential to identify where the passion of your worker and the contribution to the team overlap. This needs to be prioritised and the workers too be asked to do likewise, to achieve a synergy, for better results.
Care needs to be administered while loading the workforce in the garb of passion. Excessive opportunities could lead to a “brownout”- a term used to describe the life cycle of a star. People keep putting in tremendous amount of work, contributing to the overall results. However these people are often working in a silent state of continual overwhelm, and the obvious results are disengagement.
Help people to move on. Every person looks for opportunities for growth. This raises his self esteem and desire to do better. The Leader must ensure growth for his team members. In case he finds some member capable of delivering better results elsewhere, he should let him move on, rather than hold on to him selfishly.
A smart leader would recognise the capability of his worker and help him to move on to better prospects. Thus building a healthy rapport, which continues in later life. The worker would remain in touch with such leaders for healthy advice, thus forging a mutually benefitting relationship.
As they say, if you want happiness for an hour- take a nap. If you want happiness for a day- go fishing. If you want happiness for a year- inherit a fortune. But, if you want happiness for a lifetime- find work exciting!