12 Traits of Good Leaders Who Inspire and Motivate

October 21, 2013

Good leaders and bosses can use their own behaviors to encourage excellent employee performance.

In today’s healthcare environment, in which doing more with less is becoming the norm and change is the constant, inspiring and motivating employees can be challenging.   There are 12 traits that good leaders practice to encourage employees that I refer to occasionally to help me be a better boss.    After all, motivated and inspired employees only make our jobs easier. Here are 12 traits you can exhibit which, in return, can get higher productivity, respect, and commitment.

1.       Assume the best about employees.   Treat them as mature, responsible members of the team.   

2.       Never miss a chance to recognize employees on a job well done.    Everyone likes to be recognized when they put forth that extra effort.    After employees have had a very busy day, I will simply say, “Thank you for all your hard work today.”  The words “Thank You” are so simple, but yet so powerful.

3.       Encourage workers to make their own decisions, and show that you trust them.  In my opinion if you show workers you trust them and respect their ability to manage their work day, your job will be much easier.  And, you ask, what to do if there is a speed bump during the day?  Coach the employee!

4.       Communicate goals in specific terms and in writing, and make sure the goals are clearly understood.  

5.       Believe in investing time and money for employees to improve or upgrade their skills.   In a time of budget constraints this can be challenging.    However, if the situation can enhance customer service or productivity, the investment is worth it.

6.       When possible, allow employees to make mistakes.   When this occurs, it is critical to view the situation as a learning experience.   Refrain from jumping to conclusions, and take a step back and count to 10!

7.       Leaders are trustworthy.   Set an example by not making excuses and being completely honest.  Be accountable for your actions, just as you would expect employees to be.    We live in a society in which there are becoming fewer expectations on accountability. 

8.       Good leaders are pleasant to be around.   They smile, laugh, and are consistent in their actions and behaviors.   Employees do not want to be guessing from day to day whether I am going to have a bad boss or good boss day.

9.       Leaders ask employees for feedback on how they can do their jobs better. This can be done through surveys or staff meetings.   If employed in a hospital setting, most facilities now perform online employee surveys.

10.   Keep employees informed about what is going on.  This way, rumors are not allowed to get started, and important information is passed on as soon as possible.   Also, I urge you to give extra thought to what communication should be given face-to-face and by email.   I feel email is frequently used as a bail-out for bosses to deliverer news that should be given face-to-face or by phone in order to avoid conflict.

11.   Resist the temptation to micromanage.   Today’s employees want the opportunity to work independently and not have someone looking over their shoulder.   Micro-management does one of two things to employees: it stifles creativity or the willingness to take chances.

12.   Good bosses take the time to know their employees as individuals.  Good leaders want to know what goes on in an employee’s life outside of work.  Find out their hobbies and interests or what types of activities take place in their family lives.