As a leader, people need to trust you. You build that trust by consistency of words and actions and create an environment that allows the employee to gain meaning, purpose and motivation from their labour.
Competence Connection and Choice
Building from Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the work of Deci and Ryan on Self Determination shows that people who are:
Treated as competent - valued for being good at what they do
Allowed to make good connections with the individuals with whom they work, the teams they are a part of and the ad hoc groups that form extemporaneously and;
Given the choice / autonomy to make decisions (even if those decisions are with a specified set of predetermined parameters)
will work harder, give more and strive more fully as they are intrinsically motivated.
So what are the behaviours that drive the above? Some of them are:
Allowing employees flexibility in their job
Encouraging them to take initiative
Sharing facts, data and knowledge
Showing genuine interest in each employee
Allowing participation in decision making
Asking for opinions and perspectives
Reflecting upon what your employees say / do
Take responsibility of one’s own actions (don’t blame others!)
Share the why behind decisions
Provide choices to employees
Clarify and explain organizational structure / process
Acknowledge employees feelings and experiences
Avoid controlling language (should, must, have to etc.)
Refrain from judgement and criticism...
You cannot make your employee feel competent, connected or have choices only they can feel that for themselves. You CAN create the environment where the employee can feel competent connected and having choices
To quote Simon Sinek, “Leadership is a choice not a rank”