It is on a Monday morning and your employees walk sluggishly into the office. They look tired and frustrated. And one thing is crystal clear to you: No one is motivated to get back to work.
This is what happens in most businesses across the world today. The song, “Thank God its Friday” is one that all unmotivated employees cannot help but sing every week. Yet, the key to delivering a great service to your customers in order to retain them and get more referrals is team motivation and keeping your team members motivated.
There is no method that will keep your employees inspired and engaged all the time. There are several techniques that when used together can have major positive effects on the productivity and motivation of your employees. Motivation and engagement are said to have a significant impact on work every day. It is found to have increased productivity at the workplace.
You should align your company goals in such a way that you inspire your employees to perform better. The question today is how to motivate your employees and improve the company’s productivity. Here are some of the best six proven steps that will help you motivate your employees effectively.
#1. Open communication works
To maintain employee motivation, you need to foster open communication. No one enjoys working under a domineering, controlling or intimidating boss. You can foster open communication by showing your employees that you genuinely care about them.
A staff member who is interested in his or her work will naturally have concerns, questions or comments. Initiating an open door policy and creating accessible lines of communication will help your employees feel good. Thus, you are indirectly letting them know that their input is important and you value them.
If you can’t have an open-door policy at the moment, you can consider scheduling staff meetings regularly for your employees. This will encourage them to voice their concerns or discuss their issues as a group.
Also, following up with your employees is one of the important factors for motivating your employees. While you may not fix all problems or answer every question, following up shows your employees that you value their input or remarks. They will know that you listen to them and they will not be afraid of approaching you in the future. This will, in turn, motivate them to work harder.
#2. Reward great work
What do you do when your employees exceed your expectations? Do you offer performance incentives? Perhaps, you send them a thank you email. Or acknowledge them in your office meetings.
Research shows that 86% of the businesses across the world have a formal reward program to motivate their employees to do their best. Employee recognition creates a sense of accomplishment in the team and promotes employee growth.
Do you remember all the gifts and rewards your parents gave you for every good grade you got in college? Your parents used a system that works effectively. Rewarding great work pays off in spades in the long run.
#3. Improve your work environment
According to Ivory Research, creating an agile work environment is one of the best ways to keep your employees engaged and motivated. This means to create an environment emphasizing on fast-paced project management strategies instead of rigid structures. While this technique is normally used by software developers, the principles that govern it can be used in any industry or business.
Psychology shows that human beings are driven by the desire for instant gratification instead of long term rewards. You can make use of this natural desire by having your employees work on projects that will deliver results quickly and efficiently. Creating a fast-paced environment will excite and inspire your employees and thus, keep them engaged and fulfilled in the long run.
It is also crucial to encourage creative thinking. Motivating your employees to be innovative and take risks even if it means making mistakes along the way will keep them engaged and motivated. When your employees are not afraid of failure, they will naturally become daring and generate work that will set your business apart from the competition.
#4. Be the person you’d want to work for
We have all worked with a manager or supervisor who has made our work a nightmare. This could be through unrealistic expectations, unapproachability, criticisms and a negative attitude in general. Even if you love doing what you do, a manager with a negative attitude can make your life a living hell.
Doubt and fear usually give rise to negative attitudes. To hide these states, people can become controlling, angry, domineering or too soft. Negative attitudes will drag you and your business down like a sea anchor. To keep your employees motivated, you need to be someone you would want to work for.
You would not wish to work for a manager who is constantly blaming, complaining or criticizing you. This means that you need to cultivate a positive attitude. Being passionate about your work and staying positive all day long is crucial not only for the success of your staff but also yours.
At the end of the day, remember that your employees are human beings just like you; not robots. Everyone makes mistakes. Employees who are afraid of admitting to their managers when they make mistakes cannot be engaged and motivated to work. If the same employee works under an understanding and sympathetic manager, he or she will get the work done well because someone can support her whenever he or she needs it.
Allocating time to have face to face meetings with your employees will help you understand them better and discover what motivates them. Nurturing individual relationships with your employees will eliminate barriers that separate you from them in their minds. When your employees have a personal connection with you, they will work hard to avoid letting you down. Therefore, make an effort to know them and this will have a profound effect on how they work.
#5. Make use of incentives
Providing rewards or incentives when your employees achieve or surpass their objectives is one of the best ways to make their jobs gratifying and fun. When employees are engaged in their work, they will naturally feel motivated.
One of the ways to incentivize the workplace is making work fun. You can achieve this through the gamification strategy which involves applying gaming concepts to ordinary tasks to create healthy competition and generate enthusiasm in the workplace. While not all organizations can gamify their crucial operations, simple things such as bingo for salespeople can motivate them to sell more items and make their work feel like play.
Rewarding employees who work hard will motivate them to perform even better next time. Remember, there are other rewards that can motivate your employees apart from money. You can reward your employees by recognizing their efforts and awarding them with certificates that will progress their careers in the long run. When you reward your employees, they will look for ways to reward you.
#6. Train your staff
Growth is a critical aspect of employee motivation. Nobody wants to work hard for years with no prospect of advancement in the future. That is why it is important to train your staff regularly.
The urge to grow and advance is universal. All plants and animals want to grow as much as they can. And the same applies to human beings. A human being who does not want to grow is abnormal.
Employees want to develop and improve critical skills that will help them achieve their long-term goals. By creating an organizational culture of training, your employees will perform better and this will translate to higher revenues and profits.
Motivation is universal but highly personal. You need to take the time to discover how to motivate your employees and what works with your team. You should ensure that you keep them excited and engaged in what they do. In the end, you will reap the fruits of your labor – happy employees, high productivity and more revenues and profits.