The lack of motivation and engagement is one of the gravest problems businesses are facing. Sure, you cannot expect employees to be happy 24/7. Their workdays are filled with multiple peaks and valleys and that’s totally fine.
But, what if your employees are consistently dissatisfied and unmotivated?
Well, they will soon start looking for a new job. Gallup’s research says that 73% of unmotivated employees are seeking new professional challenges, compared to 37% of engaged ones. Given that, it’s not surprising that the lack of engagement costs companies up to $550 billion yearly.
Here are a few tips on increasing workplace motivation.
A. Reward your Employees’ Hard Work
Hardworking employees expect to be properly rewarded. By incentivizing good work, you’re telling your employees that you care about them and that you appreciate their dedication. Most importantly, you will boost their loyalty.
- Celebrate their major professional milestones.
If one of your teams did exceptionally well last month, why not throw an office party, plan a team building event, or take everyone for a drink? Such events don’t have to be expensive, but they will mean a lot to your teams.
- Personalize rewards.
Get to know your employees. Learn about their major hobbies and preferences when choosing the right reward. For example, if one of your best employees has a sweet tooth, why not buy them a box of chocolates they love? Know what their favorite store is and buy a voucher or a gift card there. If you’re still not sure about their preferences, you can always use prepaid cards that are accepted in multiple stores. For example, your employees could use a Xoxoday voucher to purchase from over 5000+ experiences, 1000+ gift cards and 10,000+ perks – meaning that they have ample options to choose from.
- Choose rewards that engage and motivate.
The way you treat your employees tells them a lot about their future at your company. After finishing an important project or a professional milestone successfully, they tend to envision themselves movingmove up in their career. Career advancement opportunities, as well as monetary rewards like bonuses or raises, are always a good way to increase your employees’ morale.
B. Increase Workplace Transparency
Trusting your employees and gaining their trust is key to your organization’s success. Precisely because of that, you need to invest in greater workplace transparency.
Start with your employee recruitment and hiring tactics. When onboarding a candidate, make sure they understand what your company stands for – what your major values, goals, and missions are. They need to know what their roles and obligations are, as well as how they, as individuals, contribute to creating a cohesive work environment.
- Create thorough employee performance reports
Sweeping employee performance problems under the rug can only lead to greater problems. Yes, talking to your underperforming employees about their mistakes may upset them, but that’s the only way to help them improve their productivity.
So, set reasonable employee productivity KPIs and track their performance regularly. Based on these metrics, create comprehensive, clear, and unbiased productivity reports that will help them understand what their major productivity problems are and help them overcome them. Research shows that the highest engaged employees receive feedback from employers on a weekly basis.
- Ask for employee feedback
Knowing how your employees feel about their current position, how satisfied they are, and what their major expectations and fears are – may help you a lot and that is why collecting their feedback regularly is important.
Hold regular meetings and encourage employees to ask questions and voice their ideas publicly. Nurture an open-door culture. Let your staff know that that they can talk to you whenever they come up with an innovative idea or they face a problem.
Remember that many of your employees are afraid or embarrassed to state their opinions openly. In such situations, you can always turn to anonymous surveys and polls to gather honest employee feedback.
C. Provide Career Advancement Opportunities
Over time, your employees will gain more knowledge, experience, and courage. They will want to improve themselves both personally and professionally, expand their skill set, and take on more responsibility at work. And when that happens, you need to back their ideas up.
This is what Steve Jobs emphasized a while ago: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Therefore, get to know your employees. Talk to them in person to learn more about their preferences, ambitions, professional goals and plans. Ask them whether there is anything new they would like to learn or whether there is any field of the industry they would like to specialize in. Is there any training program or course they would like to attend? Based on their answers, give them the opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge.
Over time, assign them with more challenging tasks. Encourage them to participate actively in the decision-making processes, unleash their creativity and voice their ideas openly. Put them in charge of important projects, let them work with your major clients, and ask them to attend any industry-specific events on your behalf. This way, you will signal that you trust them and that your goal is to keep them happy.
Sure, as their obligations grow, make sure you reward your employees properly. Like I’ve mentioned above, this starts with a greater salary, public recognition, and a better position in your organization.
D. Encourage Greater Results through Workplace Flexibility
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy that can work for each of your employees. Each of your staff members is different – they have different needs, worries, and goals. And, your goal is to focus on building a vibrant and inclusive workplace culture that celebrates people’s differences and individualities. In other words, instead of making them adapt to your corporate values, your corporate values need to be tailored to them.
For starters, prevent the creation of a hostile work environment by building policies against any form of bullying. Irrespective of their gender, race, age, nationality, abilities, or sexual orientation, an employee needs to be treated with respect.
Walk in your employees’ shoes. Learn about the things that are important to them. Help them celebrate their personal milestones. To appeal to minority workers, know what their major holidays are and help them celebrate them properly. If you’re hiring people with physical disabilities, then adapt your offices to their needs so they can perform their daily tasks effortlessly. Any young parent should be allowed to work remotely when the need arises. That said, nowadays a remote job is so very popular that you can also offer all your employees that option. They could meet every week in a rented co-working space, like this one from the Executive centre.
Over to You
Long-term success is a result of small wins. One of them is definitely keeping your employees engaged and helping them feel appreciated. This will help you retain top talent and create a unique corporate culture.
Just like I’ve stated above, there is no strict strategy that may work for you. Instead, you will need to get to know your employees and experiment with different motivation-boosting tactics until you find the one that really resonates with your staff.
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmarkblog