A common theme we hear from business owners and leaders is the frustration that employees don’t always show the same levels of enthusiasm for the business as what they do. The reality is that they have not got as much invested and so they are unlikely to! This does not make them bad people or employees, they just want something different from the business and so as a leader you need to understand this.
When growing a business the first few hires seem to be much easier. You create a dream team and make great progress! Its when you start to scale that you realise it is much harder to replicate this in larger numbers. This is where you have to transition from a high performing practitioner into a leader or CEO. You have to understand your people and work hard to provide them with a platform to perform to the best of their abilities.
It’s not all about the pay check!
A good job may be hard to find, but as an employer, you probably know that a good employee is even harder to keep. You want to ensure that your workplace is staffed by people who look forward to coming to work and for more than just a paycheck. Most employers try to use monetary benefits like pay rises, stock options and performance-based cash bonuses to motivate their workers. Motivation is more than just money and when surveyed, employees cited the highest-ranking motivators to be attention from company leadership, chance to lead work projects and positive feedback from their bosses.
It is sad that in this day and age, some companies still lack an employee engagement strategy. There is sometimes an assumption that if an employee resigns, it’s only because they have found a better paying job. But research shows that many employees who resign from their jobs cite their manager as the reason and not their salaries. Many employees who resign admit that they would stick around and work harder if their bosses showed some kind of appreciation for their efforts.
Motivated employees are more productive, willing to learn new skills, better skilled and provide better results. This also has a knock-on for employer reputation and initiatives such as employee referral schemes meaning the hiring of quality new talent becomes easier.
Here are some of our top tips to motivate employees:
This is so important. I understand that your diary is full and you are juggling so many commitments, however the time you invest in communicating with your people will 100% be worth it. When I talk about communication, I mean really communicate. You need to spend as much time with your people as you can and really understand what they want out of the deal. It may be more money, it may be that Sandra in accounts has qualified as a yoga teacher and needs a more flexible working pattern to allow her to follow her passion for teaching. Many places have formal appraisals and all of that, however we are talking here about real and personal communication.
If you are nothing more than a name on an email or a face on a newsletter, you’re missing a trick. Listening is probably the easiest thing you can do for your employees. You should communicate with your team freely and frequently. Your employees need to know that their efforts are appreciated and there’s no better way to do that than by communicating in person.
Build A Mission-Driven Organisation
A mission-driven organisation will inspire your team from the top down. It’s vital you make your mission and vision clear to everyone, from entry through to executive. Your employees should view their output as pushing the organisation into heights that go well beyond mere financial goals. For best results, establish a mission with clear goals and devise ways to measure progress. Make sure it’s a mission all employees will want to support. By creating a mission that resonates with everyone, your employees are likely to go that extra mile to achieve shared goals.
Make Fun Part Of Your Business Model
We spend a lot of time at work and so having a bit of fun is really important. Of course you have to be focussed on business goals, but there is no law to say that you can’t have a laugh along the way. If your employees are not enjoying themselves at work, they are probably not performing at their best. When you incorporate fun activities into work, your employees will loosen up and get to know each other as real people. If you get bored easily, the chances are that your employees also possess a short attention span. Initiate a contest in the middle of the office on a Tuesday, host a cake bake-off, have fancy dress days for special occasions or let someone else be in charge of the weekly meetings. All these activities will ease tension and break the monotony. You will be surprised how motivating a little bit of fun at the workplace can be!
Let Them Have The Yelp Treatment
While carrying our day-to-day activities, employees may become too focussed in their own work to realise how their output is affecting others. Many employers forget that customer feedback and reviews are great motivators. They let the employees know that what they do matters. In many organisations, only a small percentage of employees come into direct contact with clients or customers. If you lead such a company, you should consider coming up with a platform to share customer reviews and feedback with all your employees.
Give Them Purpose
Motivating your employees to work for a purpose is one of the best things you can do for them and your organisation. Company culture is nothing more than a workplace term that has little or no meaning these days. While it’s challenging to gauge company culture with real numbers, like revenue and productivity, you can use the term to encompass what strikes you as a common goal. It is imperative that your employees feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. A strong company culture deeply rooted in your employees will encourage them to work together for the common good. This is sure to make work meaningful.
Challenge Them To Be The Best Version Of Themselves
You can let each employee be the CEO for the day. Okay, not literally. It has been proven that employee empowerment through positive reinforcement programs works more than most people think. Your team craves challenges, and it will thrive when trusted with more responsibilities. No one knows your employees better than you. By helping them set achievable work goals and priorities, you will make them more engaged, motivated and productive. Instead of focusing on negative behaviours, channel your attention to improving positive ones. So do it today – empower your employees to take full control of their professional careers. To make this practical, first ensure that your organisation has a transparent career path process.
Minimise Negative Factors
There are 3 main negative factors that hinder employee motivation – inertia, economic pressure and emotional pressure. As an employer, you need to give your team the tools, information and authority to do their jobs with greater autonomy. This kind of empowerment boosts your team’s feeling of self-efficacy and self-confidence. It also helps to offer attractive benefits to improve well-being. You can start by offering more paid time off, look at things like corporate gym memberships or providing a more robust healthcare option. If the employees feel like their workplace is taking good care of them, they will want to take care of the organisation in return.
Foster Career Development And Personal Growth
An employee will be more driven if they know that they’re working towards something. If your employees don’t see an opportunity for advancement, they may well well lack morale as they do not see a future in the organisation. No-one wants to be in a dead-end job. Give your employees the necessary skills and training to enable them to climb their career ladder. A strong reputation for career development helps to build your reputation as an organisation that places great emphasis on their people and development.
Support New Ideas
You are not the only one with ideas. When an employee approaches you with a solution or an idea they believe will help the organisation, don’t be too quick to dismiss them, This is a good sign that they have the organisation’s interests at heart. Embracing fresh ideas will ensure that your organisation stays ahead of the competition. Whether the idea will work is not necessarily the point, giving the employees a chance to express themselves is the motivating factor.
It’s no surprise that motivated employees tend to have better attendance records, hold their positions for extended periods and more likely to pursue creative solutions to work-related challenges than unmotivated workers. Organisations with empowered and motivated employees perform better than competing firms with disengaged workers.
How do you motivate your team? What are your top tips?