Merge's Blog

To motivate employees, offer them choices

I’ve blogged many times in the past about zero- and low-cost ways to motivate employees (just in July I covered Have a career discussion and Let them telecommute).  Today’s topic – offer them choices – costs nothing, but creates a sense of power in your people.  And workplace research has unequivocally proven that when employees feel more powerful, performance, productivity and job satisfaction all increase as well.

Offering choices leads to greater autonomy – and the choices don’t have to be earth-shattering either.  Choices as straightforward as the projects your staff work on, or how they do their work, or where they complete the tasks can all make a big difference; because people crave a sense of control over their environments and their situations.

The next time one of your staff members comes to you with an issue, ask them “What do you think we should do?”, and then once you have a preliminary answer, probe for a second alternative.  Then ask, “Which option do you think we should pursue?”  The answer is usually obvious but the simple act of asking your employee to make the choice creates that sense of power that further leads to highly-motivated and high-performing worker.

Well, do you agree?  As always, I would love your thoughts on today’s blog post.  Please comment below.

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