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Mary Schaefer

Create an environment that inspires motivation and engagement through empathy

Written by Mary Schaefer – President, Artemis Path, Inc.

You can make sure your people are using their natural strengths. You can focus on job fit and culture fit. Is that all there is to ensure motivated employees?

When I think of supporting employee motivation, my thoughts go a slightly different direction. What if you demonstrate that their contributions make a difference? You can do this through empathy. Yes, empathy.

If you want to cultivate motivation, don’t do this.

There are those times when employees are put in the position of dealing with disappointment or being denied an opportunity to contribute. Management calls a project to a halt. A budget cut sends employees’ current job assignments into a spin, perhaps impacting the trajectory of their careers. This gnaws at people. I don’t often see attention given to addressing the meaning employees assign to such changes. They end up feeling bad because of what it means to them. They are expected to roll with the punches. After all, “It’s just business.”