The First Step to Successful Employee Motivation
There’s an old story I remember, and it goes something like this:
A young mother was concerned that her son was eating too much sugar. She felt it was impacting his health, and was desperate to set it right. She had tried every bribe or plea you could imagine, but it had never had an effect.
Now, the woman had heard of a wise old man who lived far away, and she decided that her only hope was to go and see him. He lived far away, and she knew that the journey would take many days – but she had her heart set on making the trip, as she felt it was her only hope.
And so, one night, the young mother and her son set off. After many days of travelling, and many more spent waiting, she was finally granted an audience with the wise old man. She told him about her son, and asked him what he could do about it. The wise old man sat quietly and thought for a while.
“Come back in one month” he finally instructed “and I will have an answer”.
After one month had passed, the young mother and her son set out on the long journey once more, and returned to the house of the wise old man.
“We have waited one month” said the young mother “can you make my son stop eating so much sugar now?”
The wise old man turned to the small boy, smiled, and said “Stop eating sugar, small boy”.
The mother was surprised and confused.
“Why did we have to wait one month for that?” she asked. “Couldn’t you have just said that the last time we were here?”
“Of course I couldn’t” replied the old man. “I am no hypocrite, and last month I was also eating too much sugar”.
First Step to Employee Motivation: Start With Yourself
How many times have you got up in the morning and felt truly motivated?
The fact is, you can’t really expect your colleagues to do something that you are not prepared to do yourself – and this includes being motivated.
The saying ‘lead by example’ is more than just an age old cliché – it is effective advice that really works.
If you are motivated at work, then those who are around you will feel more motivated themselves – and in turn, the people they speak to during the day will feel more motivated, and so on, and so forth.
So the next time you notice your colleagues look like they just want the day to end, take a look at yourself – are you enjoying the day? Are you ready for anything? Are you feeling motivated?
Start with yourself, and the rest will start to fall into place!
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