Building and maintaining a motivated and happy workforce is key to your bottom line. Motivated employees not only work harder, they are often more prone to innovation, helping your organisation to gain a competitive edge. Moreover, engaged employees are more likely to remain loyal, reducing the costly need for hiring and training new employees.
Whilst the benefits for building a motivated workforce are clear, doing it on a day to day basis can be tricky. But, with a clear and structured approach, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are 6 tactics for motivating your employees.
Leadership is inherently important for motivating employees. According to Chris Roebuck, author of the book ‘Lead to Succeed’, when it comes to an employee’s decision to give high performance, 57% is rational and 43% is emotional. About 80% of that emotional factor can be controlled by the employee’s direct manager. Supportive leaders don’t just bark orders from the top, they work closely with employees, seek to understand the challenges they are facing, and offer support when times are tough. If you’re a leader, your goal should be to lead by example, inspiring your employees to work harder and smarter. If your employees feel trusted, supported, and listened to, you’ll be well on your way to fostering a well-motivated workforce.
Positive workplace environment
Most professionals spend the majority of their time in the workplace. Hence, it’s incredibly important to ensure that their workplace is a positive place to be. The nature of a workplace often derives from the top, and is embedded in the culture that your leaders create. A positive environment is a safe place, where employees are encouraged to share ideas, to think creatively, trusted to work hard, and encouraged to achieve. As well as creating a safe place, you also need to create an efficient workplace, with the right tools and equipment for your staff to succeed. There’s nothing more draining than having sub-par IT solutions, or equipment that isn’t up to the job. Invest time and money (within reason) in your workplace and motivation will follow.
Recognise and reward
Appreciation is one of the key factors for building a motivated workforce. Why should an employee work hard, if that hard work isn’t appreciated? Supportive leaders need to recognise an employee’s ideas and hard work. This doesn’t have to come in the form of bonuses and perks (although these can help), sometimes a thank you, or an employee of the month plaque is enough for your employees to feel appreciated.
Boredom is an absolute motivation killer. To stop boredom from setting in, it’s important that you try and keep things lively and new. If there are repetitive tasks that have to be done, try and spread the load a little, so that one person doesn’t end up with the same dull tasks. Even just acknowledging that they are dull, and finding new ways to do them, can be a good way to break up the monotony. It’s also important that you encourage creativity. Are there new ways of doing an old task? It’s also worth allowing your employees to explore other’s roles or responsibilities. Not only will this help to alleviate boredom, you’ll also be up-skilling your employees in other areas, helping them to work more efficiently with their colleagues. Variety is the spice of life, and it could help you to keep your employees happy.
Your employees should feel a distinction between work and home. When they leave the office, they should be able to leave their work there too. Your employees will be more motivated to work if they are able to go home and have some down-time. As an employer, you should take a genuine interest in your employee’s work/life balance. If it helps, you could consider implementing flexible working options. A recent employee survey carried out for CIPD by Kingston University found that workers on flexible contracts tend to be more emotionally engaged, more satisfied with their work, more likely to speak positively about their organisation and less likely to quit.
Be conscious of different personality types
It’s important to note that everyone in your organisation is different. Some will be inspired by knowing that the work they are doing is helping others, whilst others are motivated by knowing that they are faced with a difficult challenge. Some will prefer to work with others, whilst others will prefer to fly solo. Figure out what your employees are like, what motivates them, and what their strengths and weaknesses are to better engage them in the work you’re doing.
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