Supervisors and managers can walk a tough road if they run a work environment where employee satisfaction isn’t emphasized as a part of the overall business strategy. Motivating your employees is a continuing challenge at work, as they may feel unsupported or not fairly rewarded for their work contribution to feel motivated. When it comes to employee motivation, there’s no reason to be a perfectionist and try to create an ideal work environment. However, you can extend your reach to create an environment that fosters motivation among employees.
There are various ways and incentives you can try to improve your employees’ motivation. If you’ve tried everything you could think of, read through some of these motivational techniques that might work with your employees.
1. Give them a purpose
By giving your employees a purpose, you’ll be able to motivate them, because they will understand the company’s vision better and try to execute it more strongly. By understanding the purpose of the business and their purpose within it, they’ll understand better how they fit into the whole picture. Employees have to understand the bigger picture, so they can see how their work fits into it and how it will eventually contribute to the company’s end goal (short- or long-term). Those who are talented and inspired will exceed your expectations.
2. Recognize their performance
This type of recognition stands high on any employee’s need for motivation. Some managers and supervisors equate recognition and reward with monetary gifts. Although employees appreciate it, they appreciate a written or verbal “thank you”, extraordinary job opportunities, and praise, as well. So, the next time an employee finishes a task successfully, write a thank you note that praises them for their special contribution in order to reinforce the behaviors you want to see. Praise them verbally as well by visiting them in their workplace, and give them a small token that expresses your gratitude: an office plant, a coffee mug with an interesting inscription, gift cards, an interesting bubble wrap calendar, or ear warmers with built-in headphones, and you’ll see how it will make their day.
3. Be transparent
By being transparent and open with your employees about what’s happening in the company, there will be no surprises and everybody will have a chance to give their feedback and ask questions. It’s another way to make them feel committed to the company’s direction and included in big decisions. Transparency instills trust, which is a major factor in all workplace relationships, and it can help to sustain increased company loyalty and motivation. Having an “open door policy” will make your employees feel more heard, more appreciated, and more valued, will improve your team performance and open new lines of communication.
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4. Set smaller weekly goals
Instead of focusing on making a billion dollars this year, set smaller goals, like getting 50 new customers this week. That will get you to earn that billion, but if you have big ambitions and remind your employees only about those big, long-term goals, they might get demotivated, or even disorientated when it comes to their line of work. On the other hand, by reaching smaller goals, you can reward them with a party or a day off, making them see that the goals you set for the company are realistic, reachable, and that everyone benefits from hard work.
5. Prioritize the work-life balance
It is important to create a company culture that prioritizes and supports work-life balance. By promoting only hard work and having your employees work 12 hours per day will not help your business, because it will leave them drained. Encourage them to take vacation time, give them a chance to work remotely (if not full-time, then at least one day of the week), and offer alternative or flexible work hours. This will eventually lead to a productivity increase, as those who have a better workplace balance are ready to work harder. It will also reduce your staff turnover (employees who burn out may quit their jobs or even get fired because they can’t manage to work properly), and increase employee engagement.
In your organization, you are the leader. As you set an example for the rest of the group, people are going to follow. What are you going to be setting? Everything from the set of company’s values, a work ethic, a tone – all in all, the right example that will have a crucial effect on your employees’ mentality. If you stumble in front of big challenges or problems, that will make them question you as a leader. On the other hand, staying optimistic at all times will make the work environment more motivating, and your employees will mirror you.
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