Motivating, Monitoring and Mentoring: The 3 Ms of Supervisors and Managers

In our workplaces, there is need to motivate, monitor and mentor people.

As human beings, we live to be satisfied, to feel good and accomplished.  We work best in positive environments; and when that is in place, we can be very productive, working with pride, contributing positively to our employer and achieving personal satisfaction.  Providing us with the right environment requires conscious effort, attention and planning. For any business, it is a win/ win situation for both employer and employee.

Supervisors and Managers should seek to motivate, monitor and mentor their staff, employee, worker, reportee or whoever is delivering their services. Newer and younger employees should not be assigned duties and then left on their own to figure things out, but should be motivated, monitored and mentored. Left on their own, without the experience and understanding of consequences, they will do it their way, which may not always be pleasing to the Supervisor or Manager.

In this article, I want to look at the benefits of motivating, monitoring and mentoring staff in your workplace.


Motivation, a form of encouragement, is necessary when one employs new workers, and at various times during the employee’s tenure with the company. Workers may need inspiration to buy into the vision of their employer, to understand the service culture of the employer and to partner with them in that respect. Workers may need motivation after a challenging period of additional responsibility, during festive seasons, or any time they lose focus.  They may even need support during and after a time of personal difficulty.

Not everyone comes into a new job feeling motivated. They may start feeling anxious about getting it right, excited about having a job (or a new job) or having received a promotion. These feelings can distract and cause people to be not as attentive to details or as productive as they should be. No matter how well-meaning, or educated a new employee is, without experience, an employer should never leave them on their own to figure things out. Attention should be paid to ensuring they stay focused on the job; and  motivation can do just that.

Motivation can take different forms: words of affirmation, kudos and compliments on a job well done, all serve to motivate staff.

Motivation varies from company to company; some may give quarterly certificates or  awards for employee of the month, the year, the quarter; others may have a staff discount policy (based on their product or service); many have a health insurance programme in place; some give bonuses or commissions at the end of the year or quarter. Many larger companies have travel allowances, company vehicles, housing or housing allowances for certain senior staff based on the size of the company, or the contract of employment.

Studies at Harvard University show that people who have a sense of purpose, something to work towards are more focused, creative, and resilient. So give your staff that something to work towards.


Employers, Managers and supervisors must monitor their staff.

Businesses monitor employees for various reasons. Productivity is one of them. The need to be aware of how the business is doing is another.

When you assign duties to your employees, don’t take it for granted they’re doing okay, especially if they are new or junior staff. Sometimes they are unsure they are doing it right. Sometimes there’s no need to say anything to them; just passing by their desk, station will do, or a simple question, “how are you doing”, “how you going?” could make a world of difference. When people see you are interested, they will talk. If all is not going well, or they’re unsure about something, they will ask or may drop a hint. That’s what you as Supervisor or manager should be looking for to offer your advice or assistance.

Honesty is yet another reason why managers and supervisors should monitor employees. Not everyone is naturally honest. Some people, unfortunately, need to know that there are checks in place to prevent opportunities for wrong doing.

A different form of monitoring

When employees reach the level where they are working on their own, where they have bought into their employer’s vision and mission, they will deliver. They’re excited about seeing their company do well and will work towards outdoing other competing businesses. This is when trust should step in and physical monitoring should lessen. If physical monitoring does not lessen, it will seem as if Managers are micromanaging.

Monitoring should then take the different form of reporting. Employees should be encouraged to report on the status of their work.  Businesses should have meetings at a set time, managers should report to their chairmen, supervisors should report to their managers, and employees should report to their supervisors. Everyone should know they’re reporting to a higher authority, and prepare for their meetings. Each person should feel accountable for their respective areas of responsibility.


If you want your staff to grow and get better at what they do, you must mentor them. Mentoring is a result of monitoring. If you have monitored and a staff member tells you something they do not understand or they notice something wrong, here is a great opportunity to mentor; here’s when you say how you want it done or how it should be done. Here is an opportunity to build a great working relationship. Talk, share your own experience, what happened when you were a young or new employee in the business, your mistakes and how you perfected them, as well as who mentored you. People tend to be more acceptable to mentoring when they realise that you too were mentored or that you mean well. Never feel threatened if you see your staff growing, and becoming more independent. Mentoring is a mutually satisfying relationship, where both parties benefit, as well as the company for which they both work. Studies have shown that employees who are given encouragement and motivation by their employers, are more inspired to work even harder. So do what you have to do to get the best out of your employees: motivate, monitor and mentor.

Alice Thomas-Roberts

Personal and Professional Trainer, Facilitator & Coach

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