How to Inspire Your Employees

The right inspiration can motivate teams to work harder, think more creatively and achieve ambitious goals together. As President Kennedy once said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

If you’ve ever wondered how to inspire your accounting and finance employees, here are some things that you as a manager can do to help drive outstanding performance among your staff:

Be a Great Example

A chain of command is an inescapable fact of office life, but that’s no reason to abuse the concept. Team morale and motivation will undoubtedly suffer if you leave early several days in a row during a particularly hectic crunch time when everyone else is staying late. On the other hand, if you roll up your sleeves when the work piles up, they will respect you all the more. Little things like these matter, both practically and symbolically, in considering how to inspire your employees. Another important characteristic is the ability to admit a mistake. Your team will become more open with you if you can say, “I was wrong.”

Be an Artful Delegator

People will work well beyond their job descriptions if you give them an opportunity to do so. Your employees are your resident experts at getting the job done, so turn them loose on some special assignments and new projects. When you do, be sure to give them the freedom to experiment and make mistakes, and don’t micromanage the process. By effectively delegating and encouraging people to try new things, you’ll inspire higher performance, reach greater levels of individual effort, boost team motivation and achieve better results overall.

Be a Shining Light

Most people want to work for a good corporate citizen, so take every opportunity to inform your team of how your organization contributes to the betterment of the community, the country or the world. For starters, a company’s profitability always has a positive impact on the local economy. Additionally, if your company has a cadre of volunteers, get involved yourself and encourage your team to join, too. This is an excellent way to build team motivation.

Be a Guide

Employees value having a good chance to advance in their careers. In fact, limited opportunities for advancement was ranked second by respondents in a survey regarding the reasons people quit jobs. And yet, some organizations keep capable accounting and finance professionals in the same job for years on end “because they’re so good at it.” Instead, try to develop a program for cross-training people on your team and find new roles for those über-competent folks to grow into. Organizations that do this well tend to have lower turnover among employees.

Be Informative

Make sure your team sees the way the business works up close and personal. This ranks high in how to inspire your employees because it gives everyone a sense of ownership and a big-picture perspective. If yours is a service company, plan a visit to a customer facility to see your systems or services in action. Or whip out the safety goggles, open a new box of earplugs and take your team on a plant tour. Don’t have any nearby facilities to visit? Bring in a production manager or an internal client to talk to your team about their observations.

Be Appreciative

Frequent recognition of accomplishments is an effective motivator. Be heartfelt in your praise of an employee’s — or your team’s — efforts, and spread the word throughout the workplace. You’ll be sure to see a positive difference in your team’s productivity – and possibly, your team members will be able to inspire the same in others.

How do you inspire your employees? Share your top tips below.

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Tags: Management