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Staff Motivation - 18 December 2007

One of the most authentic ways to motivate your employees is by putting their needs ahead of your own - the art of sacrifice.

Mother Theresa made the ultimate sacrifice by leaving a very comfortable convent life to help India's poorest. Even in her first year in Calcutta, she resorted to begging on the streets for food. Such a sacrifice inspired others, evidenced by her missionary's growth from 13 members to about 4,000 just before her death.

In a game of chess, players make short-term sacrifices for long-term gains. They purposely give up a pawn or another valuable piece in order to obtain an advantageous tactical position.

So what sacrifices are you willing to make in the short-term to secure your employees' trust and build a long-term advantage?

It might be the sacrifice of short-term productivity so that you can send an employee to training during work hours. It could be the sacrifice of putting your employees' personal goals ahead of your own. It might be the sacrifice of staying back after work to mentor a team member. It could even be the sacrifice of having a roster that's less than perfect in order to give your employees total flexibility.

Whatever it is, it's important to recognise that there's an imbalance in the workplace: employees are continuously expected to sacrifice anything from wages to time with their families. If they were to see their managers making the sacrifice instead, their lack of motivation would no longer be an issue.

Sacrifice - the science of selfless good deeds - is a strong reflection of a manager's commitment, and with such dedication on display, motivation naturally follows.

 

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