Being a great manager is about more than regulating workflow and ticking off targets. A great boss takes the time to observe the way their workforce operates, and looks out for patterns within the individuals and groups with whom they work.

Oftentimes, it is this attention to detail that creates the opportunity to help an employee truly bloom: to help them to progress from merely hitting targets to smashing them out of the arena and setting some new ones. For many staff members, a job may mean little more than showing up regularly and doing what’s asked for: this is when it becomes the boss’s responsibility to help them to find the own drive.

This is a question of self-discipline. With a bit more drive and stronger willpower to succeed, you can turn around your team’s attitude to work. Try to build self-discipline techniques into your weekly schedule, and see the way the whole morale of the office can change.

For one thing, you can get your guys to try visualization exercises. Try asking them to picture the results of their work: the tangible effects they will have for themselves and for other people. This can have a real effect on the way that workers feel about their job, particularly if they have responsibilities that alienate them somewhat from front line of your business.

If you find there are certain areas of their work that your employees dread having to do, try to pair these tasks with more pleasant activities. For example, if it is a certain employee’s duty to update a database once a week but it’s clear the work gets them down, offer them the option to work remotely the day that the task needs doing. You should find that they come to look forward to the opportunity to work from home or a café, and start turning out better results in a more disciplined time frame.

There are any number of little tweaks you can make to give your workforce a bit more drive to keep on keeping on. Check out this new guide to self-discipline for a few more ideas. Helping others to help themselves can be one of the most rewarding elements of people management.


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