6 Simple Phrases Executives Use to Motivate Employees

6 Simple Phrases Executives Use to Motivate Employees

Employees who may not have the same vision as an executive need that extra push from time to time. They need to believe a goal is within reach and it can be achieved.

Great executives know how to motivate employees to achieve goals. Many times, these goals are beyond the employee’s imagination.

Achieving them leaves an employee feeling more confident and willing to work hard for an executive.

How do executives motivate employees? They use simple phrases that leave employees believing anything is possible.

1. “How are you?”

The executive with the corner office who walks past staff without saying a word, often leaves staff feeling unimportant.

After all, why should the employee do something for the executive, if the executive does not care if employees exist?

If you are an executive who answered, “Because I pay them”, you may have a problem.

Times have changed. Companies place a strong focus on finding employees with drive and passion, and not people who just want to get paid.

2. “What’s our goal?”

Teams who have goals to achieve are always more motivated than those without goals.

One of the top reasons employees say they leave a job is to “find new challenges”. However, Gallup poll studies often show the #1 reason employees really quit their jobs. They had a bad boss.

Motivating executives know they need goals for the team and must create a goal-oriented environment.

3. “What do you think we can do to improve?”

As an executive, think back to the first time you were in an entry-level position.

How did it make you feel when a boss asked you for your opinion on how something should at work should be improved?  Pretty amazing. You discovered your opinion matters.

Now, how did it feel when your ideas were implemented with a great amount of measurable success?

That was even better!  You were motivated by your accomplishment, achievement, and acknowledgment.

And now, you are an executive!

4. “That was my mistake. I am sorry.”

When an executive takes a moment to admit he/she failed, it makes employees realize the executive is:

  • Humble
  • Real
  • Comfortable enough to admit a mistake

Admitting a mistake tells employees you are not going to get in the way of the team’s success by protecting your ego.

It is also a way to show employees some respect by letting employees know you understand what it means to make a mistake.

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less. -C. S. Lewis"


5. “Excellent work!”

Executives should always share with employees when they have done excellent work.

So much time in the day is spent working towards a goal, and this often means receiving criticism.

Getting the acknowledgment from an executive that someone had done excellent work lets your employees know they are appreciated and acknowledgment.

It is two simple words that tell the employee to keep pressing hard to succeed.

6. “Thank you for your hard work.”

The work week is done and employees feel spent. The paycheck comes, but employees still seem to lack motivation.

What is happening?

If you find a reason to use this phrase, make sure you do it. It may just be what the employee needs to hear to keep going.

Even when an employee loves the job, an executive has to foster that love for the job.

Acknowledging staff for hard work shows you are an executive who is relatable and not taking employees for granted.

Here’s the truth about these employee motivating phrases

The phrases above are White Hat motivation phrases that satisfy an employee’s need for:

  • Accomplishment
  • Empowerment
  • Acknowledgment
  • Epic meaning

If executives have employees driven by these core motivations, the executives who cater to their motivations will have a great track record of success as a leader.

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