How To Motivate Employees By Building Trust

To be an effective leader you must fully know and understand the things that make your employees tick.

As a leader, you need to understand what they want in their lives and in their careers.

So, what’s going to motivate your employees to give you and your business everything they’ve got?

Building trust and understanding.

Establishing a level of trust among yourself and your employee base is what will allow those under you to open up and tell you what it is they hope to get on the back end.

Setting up my employees to be motivated in the workplace is what drives me and my passion to be an HR-driven CEO—one focused on establishing a culture for my employees to thrive in.

I’ve built two large companies over the course of my career. One was Wine Library, which was my dad’s liquor store where I started my career. A business I eventually helped grow into an industry leader in the early dot-com days. The other, my agency VaynerMedia, went from 100 employees to 500 over the course of five years and continues to grow by the minute. We grew rapidly, continue to grow, and the culture has thrived. But none of that would have been possible if I didn’t know what was going to keep my employees engaged and excited about working there.

So, how do you continuously make sure that employees are passionate and hungry for more?

Get to know your employees. Understand what they want.

Do they want to work up the ranks and become a Fortune 500 CMO? Or do they want to clock out at 5 p.m. every day to spend time with family and friends?

As much as I encourage “hustle,” I completely understand that there will be some that will only want to put in 8 hours a day, and that’s totally fine. I just need to know. And that’s why I ask.

Although my schedule is incredibly busy, within the first few months of them joining us, I still make it a point to sit down with every new hire at VaynerMedia. Even though it may only be for 5-10 minutes, it allows me the time to not only introduce myself, but to also establish the baseline for them to be comfortable with me and to understand that I’m available for them when needed.

And that’s how trust is developed.

Sitting down with your boss or the CEO of your company isn’t easy or natural, and being fully aware of that, I try to break through it. If I can succeed, I’m closer to having people be comfortable enough to tell me what they want. And If I know what they want, I’ll know how to optimize their experience.

And you’ll never know what motivates someone until you ask. The biggest mistake you can make is to assume it’ll be as simple as more money or vacation time. Everybody is driven by different things. We all have our own dreams, aspirations and beliefs that motivate us. So you need to use your ears and listen. You need to sit down with your employees and understand where they want to take their careers. What do they want to do with their life? By sitting down with people and actually listening, you’ll be able to set up your employees for success while also motivating them to work hard and fast.

Find out what makes your employees tick, then find out the highest percentage of people you can actually deliver for. In a large-scale organization with a lot of rules, even if you can deliver for only 9% of the organization, that will make inroads throughout the company and that sentiment will spread.

That’s how you motivate employees: by listening and actually providing them with what they’re looking for.


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