Two years of the pandemic after, we are tired. The future looks more uncertain than ever, and many have lost their motivation. In the middle of the mist, people need reasons to stay, make efforts and outperform. For creating the better conditions, many factors should be considered.
This uncertainty has come with a particular side effect that can be seen both in companies and society as well: the continuous erosion of trust. Citizens don’t trust their politicians, and employees don’t trust their managers. Employees and citizens must their leaders and one another for a company or society to success. There are many reasons behind this effect, but talking about the context, we can name one.
Decades ago, it was way easier to relate causes and effects. Therefore, leaders could explain what was happening and take the appropriate actions. In most of the cases, they didn’t need to back off.
Today and for complex issues, we simply can’t relate causes and effects. Leaders take decisions and, many times, they need to change them. Along with their inability to say “I don’t know”, it is the fact that people still want to have certainties. That’s impossible now.
Leaders need to build trust. It doesn’t mean that they need to know everything or always make right decisions. It’s more about being open and transparent about what is happening, sometimes acknowledging the fact that they don’t know. On the other side, people need to be educated to understand that a good leader is not who provide certainties but these able to shape the future and make people work together to overcome the problems along the way.
Without trust, motivation is not possible. Will you stay working with someone you don’t trust? Probably not. You will stay as long as you find a better place to be where you find something you want.
Give ME a reason
Some months ago, a friend of mine and executive in a company told me that his right hand wanted to resign. These are tough times to lose someone valuable, and he was worried. When he told me, I suggested him to make this question: Is it something that can make you change your mind?
Understanding is the first step in motivation. Reasons are different for different people. And acting without knowing is quite difficult.
We all have inner and outer motives to stay or to work better. For some of us, we need to grow in responsibility, feel recognized or have a sense of achievement. Some others, we need to belong, feel that we work towards a higher objective; for something bigger and more important than ourselves. Or maybe we work only for the money, and we want more flexibility and better work-life balance.
No matter what the case is, the leader should know.
One of the biggest problems today along with the lack of trust is that people’s wants have changed.
Ask your people to understand what they want, and be open and honest about what you can do to fulfil their needs. This way, you create their conditions for their motivation to grow.