A happy and motivated workforce is a productive one,so that means keeping your employees motivated should be a key part of your human relations strategy. High levels of motivation are often found in fledgling start-ups, where a new venture is synonymous with excitement, determination and a sense of adventure. Without ongoing support and adequate follow through, of course, these can fizzle out fairly quickly.
In an established business, on the other hand, the chief menaces that destroy motivation are employee boredom, management complacency and an obvious lack of potential opportunities for development. Whatever the status of your company, here are five sound tips to help you keep management and employee motivation alive and well.
Communicate your company culture
You know why,in the context of your business, certain things have to happen in a particular way, what the limitations are and where to find the best resources to achieve your goals. Do your employees also know? Think about how well you are communicating with them; in fact, do they even know what the goals are? When your entire team has a clear vision of where the business is headed, it’s much easier for individuals to see where they fit in and to appreciate the importance of their role. Make sure the bigger picture is effectively communicated as well as the value you place on the specific job they do. Genuinely feeling valued is a prime motivator in the workplace.
Take team building to heart
Cohesion, the presence of a ‘united whole’, is regarded as a blessing in most group settings. That includes families, classrooms and workforces. It’s not that everyone has to think the same way or agree about everything all the time, but rather that team members learn to accommodate a variety of opinions learning from them in a constructive way. Team building events can be a useful way to promote cohesion, especially if they are fun. However, a consultant-led management exercise or a competitive outdoor pursuits weekendis not everyone’s preferred shared experience. Instead, why not make the most of home-grown fun activities such as setting up a team lottery syndicate with the prospect of a decent lottery payout: find out more here. Rewards can really boost motivation and team effortscan engage people from across your organization. This is a great way to keep expectations high, week on week.
Whether you run a scheme to identify the ‘employee of the month’ or offer a bonus to the top salesperson you can reward employees in several ways for their dedication, hard work and success. Depending on the nature of your business, sometimes an accolade delivered publicly in front of other staff members is enough, as long as it is sincere. Remember that promotion is also a reward, and a way to indicate that your company recognizes an employee’s achievements.
Once upon a time, maybe, the slave driver cracked the whip and the minions obeyed. In today’s world, however, using such tactics are recognized as outdated and harmful to employee welfare. The ‘command and control’ management style can result in short-term results, however, it will never allow your employees to engage with your company’s aims and goals in a meaningful way, and you are likely to witness a high turnover of staff as a result of micromanagement. If you can’t trust your employees to deliver, then you’re definitely not motivating them in the right way. Think about it: they will do just enough to get you off their backs, after all why should they go the extra mile in an atmosphere of intimidation and menace,if their additional efforts aren’t acknowledged?
One successful way forward is to adopt a strategy that encourages two-way trust, positive attitudes to work and the setting of realistic performance targets. In this environment employees will try harder to engage with their tasks, knowing they can come to you openly and honestly to discuss any problems or concerns without incurring your wrath. It’s also easier to have more difficult conversations, such as when you notice an employee is underperforming, if the the atmosphere is generally calm andupbeat.
As with family life, the workplace is comprised of people with different viewpoints, different roles and different ambitions. A laudable goal for your business is to aim to ensure that every employee has respect for other people and treats them well; that theybenefit from learning about the businessand how they fit in; and, that their workplace experience is positive and fulfilling.