An employee’s relationship with their manager is the one of the strongest factors influencing employee engagement, so it often becomes the responsibility of the management team to improve motivation among employees. Figuring out how to motivate your employees to be more productive at work comes down to your level of influence as a manager.

Influence is the ability to affect the actions, decisions, of thinking of other people. If you have positive influence as a manager, it allows you to achieve the desired outcomes in your organization.

Influence allows you to work effectively on long-term goals and helps to inspire and motivate your employees. The Center for Creative Leadership outlined three different ways you can maximize your position of influence:

  • Logic – By using logic, you tap into someone’s rational side. You state your case for the best course of action and appeal to the person’s sense of logic.
  • Emotional – A manager who uses their influence on an emotional level connects their argument with the values and emotions of another person.
  • Cooperative – Cooperative influence is achieved when a group of people work together to achieve a mutually desired goal. This is type of influence is very strong because the goal desired involves the collaboration of many different people.

Often managers try to utilize power, not influence. They can persuade or order employees to do what they want them to do, but this rarely motivates anyone or achieves the desired outcome long-term. Achieving important goals and tasks within your organization requires a genuine commitment from employees.

Now that you know the different types of influence, here are 7 different ways you can utilize them in your own management style and apply them in your workplace:

  1. Create incentives

Employees will work harder and be more productive when they feel appreciated. Incentives programs have been shown to be highly effective in motivating employees because when employees feel like they are rewarded for doing well in their jobs this will have a positive impact on the organization as a whole.

A study done by the International Society of Performance Improvement found that incentives programs can improve employee performance dramatically. The study found that incentives can increase performance by 22 percent in individuals, and 44 percent in teams.

  1. Communicate frequently with employees

Employers can use training sessions, memos, newsletters, and regular meetings to communicate regularly with their staff. Make sure to allow employees to ask questions and communicate any concerns they may have. It is important to create a culture of communication where managers and employees can work together to meet common goals. This is especially important during difficult times or times of transition. Communicating openly with employees can minimize resistance, reduce anxiety, minimize uncertainty, and provide clarity about what is happening going forward.

  1. Show a genuine interest in your employee’s career path

Employees who feel like their manager really cares about where their career is headed will feel more valued at work. Ask them what their long-term goals are and where they see their career going in the future. You can offer mentorship, coaching, or recommend additional training to help your employees continue to develop their skill sets.

  1. Encourage a healthy work-life balance

It’s not possible to give every employee their ideal schedule but offer as much flexibility as possible. Be understanding of appointments, family commitments, sick kids, and more. Employees will appreciate this kind of understanding and it will go a long way toward building your relationship.

  1. Create trust

Use your judgment and experience to create an environment of trust. When problems arise, examine the circumstances before acting in judgment. If you respect and trust your team you will get the same in return. When you make a mistake, admit to it and apologize. Your employees will be better able to relate to you and will feel you are honest with them.

An organization’s employees are one of its most important assets and managing them effectively is equally important. As a manager you should be tuned in to how motivated, productive, and satisfied your employees are because these things affect the future growth and success of the organization.

Perhaps the most important way to influence your employees to work harder and achieve more is to lead through your experience rather than through your title. By mentoring and encouraging your employees your entire organization will see the benefits. Employee training is also one factor of the workplace that must be taken into consideration to have a strong cohesive work force.