Want to get your employees to do more?

Then take an interest in their future.

Have you ever noticed that there are managers who can get their employees to go beyond what is “normal”? To get them to do things that are professionally or personally risky? And what is more, when they do, their employees strive to achieve it and take it as a positive challenge.  Why is this?  

One key reason often comes down to the fact that the employee trusts their manager.  And by this, I do not mean that the employee things the manager is good at their job.  It is more than this.  I mean trust at a personal level.  The employee trusts that their manager has an interest in the employee’s future and wishes them to succeed not just at work but also in life.  It stands to reason that if a person believes you want what is best for them, they will be willing to do more for you.   

Building this trust starts with asking questions and taking an interest in the answers.  When I work in organisations I often start by asking people to tell me:

  • What they want from their job?
  • What are the challenges that they face? and
  • Where do they want to be next?

One of the most surprising responses I get is that “this is the first time anyone in the organisation has ever asked them this.”   This is shocking.  How can you motivate employees if you don’t really know what they want?  How can you build long term trust if you don’t know what drives them? 

My advice is to spend some time talking to your employees about what they really want.  This is not a counselling session.  Focus on the longer term personal side rather than the shorter term business goals. 

If you are both on the same page, then the manager trusts that the employee will do their best and the employee trusts that the manager will look after them.  From here is where you can start to really challenge them.



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