How to Lead Your Employees With These 5 Strategies

What is it about some leaders that allow them to motivate their employees at the most optimal times? Well, that's what we're here to find out!


There’s trust and then there’s trust. As a leader, you know how important building trust is within your organization. It's the lifeblood of communicating and executing your brand strategy.

What is it about some leaders that allow them to motivate their employees at the most optimal times? Well, that's what we're here to find out!

How to Motivate Your Employees With Great Leadership

You may be wondering, is there a secret mojo that leaders have up their sleeves?

We've all had that one coach, mentor or boss that seemed to know what buttons to push to spark our drive.

There was something about them that cast a vision you could believe but couldn't see yourself. They possessed immediate access to trigger a result that was mutually beneficial.  

I'll give you the inside scoop — there is a secret mojo! 

In my 15 years of studying organizational behavior, I've come to the conclusion that leaders need to have built equity with their people. Great leaders have a well of positive experiences, trust and respect they can draw from.

How do you build this well of equity? Start by following these five strategies:

#1. Give the Experience of You Listening

Steven Covey said, "Seek first to understand and then to be understood."

Workplace equity was first considered by J. Stacy Adams in 1969. His belief was that employees value fair treatment, which motivates them to keep the fairness maintained within the relationships of their co-workers and the organization.

The first way to make someone feel different is by creating an environment where you as a leader listen. To achieve relevant moments, your employees must have an experience where they know you hear them. 

#2. Give the Experience of Personal Investment

Recognition, praise and gratitude are powerful inputs. Do your people believe that you are willing to pour into them?

Building an influential voice often comes down to someone's belief that you have their best interest at heart. If their only experiences are interactions where you tell them what to do, reluctance will follow.

My life is a quilt of experiences I've had with past leaders who poured into me.

Gordon Tytler was a mentor to me when I worked at Rolls-Royce. He seemed intrigued to share because I seemed intrigued to listen and gain wisdom. The occasional informal sit down where he asked, "how are you doing?" went a long way for me wanting to work hard for the company.  

#3. Give the Experience of Positive Conflict

You don't change peoples' minds by being negative and brash in difficult circumstances. Safety is an emotion that can't be built in a Utopian environment.

Hard-working employees want authenticity. What experience have you given them to add to their belief bank when things didn't go well?

Cognitive distortion is when an employee perceives conflict will end negatively. They will seek to distort the facts with a negative outcome rather than rely on positive experiences where your leadership guided them through.

I believe that creating a culture of positive conflict propels an organization to be innovative, inspirational and influential. 

#4. Give the Experience of Team Work

In the book The Ideal Team Player, Patrick Lencioni suggests that every great team player possess three critical attributes:

  • Humble
  • Hungry
  • Smart

The character of a leader, at the moment you need to influence, must quickly attract the confidence of your team member.

Does your organization have a rich history of reaching goals together? As a leader, you are responsible for the reactions you create.

The inverted leadership pyramid is a practical way to empower your people. The inverted pyramid is a metaphor for a reversal of traditional management practices.

Employees who are closest to customers are placed at the top and managers at the bottom. The servant leadership mentality builds equity that pays strong organizational dividends.

#5. Give the Experience of Clarity

Every great leader needs to be a great communicator. A lack of goal clarity is the culprit for decaying leadership.

The instant you attempt to lead someone, the question of why must already be answered. If this concept is new to you, watch this video from Simon Sinek.

Strong business leaders never stop telling the story of why. The business mission, the purpose of why you do what you do, the guiding values — all must be personalized daily. When people forget why they are working for you, your leadership equity is bankrupt.

Final Thoughts

If you want to motivate your employees, start by using these five positive experiences.

Want to learn more? Check out our next leadership blog!

Join the Club

Subscribe to our email list to get the latest digital marketing content delivered to your inbox each week!