With leaner workforces, slower sales and tighter budgets, managers and executives need to motivate their employees to do more with less, according to Suzanne Bates, author of the newly published book, Motivate Like a CEO: Communicate Your Strategic Vision and Inspire People to Act!

“Monetary incentives such as raises and bonuses are in short supply,” Bates said. “Managers and executives must find non-monetary ways to keep their teams motivated, and to inspire them to achieve goals and objectives with fewer people and less funding. This makes it even more important for leaders to be out in front of employees as much as possible, continually communicating and making personal connections with them,”

Bates is president and CEO of Bates Communications.

Among the ways managers and executives can lead their teams to do more with less are:

  • Praise, reward and recognize. “People really don’t mind working hard; they just want to know that their efforts are appreciated,” Bates said. “Recognition doesn’t have to be through raises and bonuses.”
  • Communicate constantly. “In times like these, many managers tend to withdraw because they aren’t getting clear direction from their own bosses,” Bates said. “Fear grows in a vacuum, and employees will fill that vacuum of information with their own worries about their future.”
  • Be open and honest with employees.
  • Adopt a variety of ways to find out what is on employees’ minds. “It will require using several different approaches to dig deep and discover how employees are feeling,” Bates said.
  • Give employees an opportunity to vent about such issues as layoffs, increased workloads, salary freezes and other cutbacks.
  • Don’t be afraid to push your employees to take more initiative and become more involved.
  • Get clear about your own priorities. “Managers often hear that they need to communicate their priorities,” Bates said. “But they can’t communicate these if they haven’t decided what they are. Leaders need to make the tough decisions about what really needs to be done now, and what isn’t as urgent and can wait longer.”
  • Reassess day-to-day, even hour-to-hour. “What seemed important yesterday may not be so important today,” Bates said. “Although your priorities must be based on a sound business strategy, you need to continually reassess them, and help your team make good decisions about where to spend their time and resources.”
  • Get in closer touch with customers, prospects and vendors.

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