There are two schools of thought on this. One says it's not the managers job to motivate and engage their employees, it's up to the employee. The other recognizes that most employees disengage and leave organizations because of their relationship with their manager.
Managers who engage and motivate their teams excel in four areas.
They clearly define goals and expectations.
They make resources available.
They recognize performance.
They genuinely connect with and care about each team member.
Imagine a project or team or department where goals and expectations are clear. People know their roles, they take initiative, they ask great questions, they offer timely insight - they come together to get work done. This clarity starts with the manager.
Now imagine that engaged, motivated team operating without necessary resources and forced to make do. Great managers fight for and make resources available and people appreciate that - a lot!
Employees also appreciate being told they're doing a great job and knowing their manager appreciates what they do every day. Recognizing performance is not only about what people do well. Engaged employees value a leader who encourages accountability and can address when performance doesn't meet expectations.
And finally, great leaders value people and know how to connect with them. They are authentic and trustworthy and believe the more they give, the more their people will give back.