Tune Up Your Team for Action: How to Motivate Employees
Economic slowdowns can make people sluggish and lose focus, so we’ve compiled several easy ways, other than money, to give your team a motivational tune-up. You want them to be ready for action when the economic up-turn begins.
Currently, the economic slowdown has flooded the market with skilled workers. However, this dynamic will soon change. The economy will turn around, and millions of baby boomers will be retiring in the next few years, leaving a large staffing gap in organizations, and employees will be in the driver’s seat when it comes to employment choices. Therefore, keeping your employees motivated should be a key strategy for running your business today, and more importantly, for the future. Here is how we suggest you can do this:
MOTIVATING EMPLOYEES FOR SUCCESS: KEY MOTIVATORS
Compensation — The first thing we usually think of to motivate employees is compensation (money and benefits). It is one of the main issues people consider when deciding to join an organization. However, recent studies suggest that money is well down the list of things that are important to employees these days. However, it is still very important to know where you are paying relative to market, because employees paid well below market are at risk of leaving.
New employees are motivated by the challenges of their new job and the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge to prove their worth to their new boss. Existing employees who are well entrenched in their position may be less inclined to apply themselves as much to their tasks and responsibilities. They know they won’t be seeing an increase in pay anytime soon. Therefore, you need to find additional ways to motivate employees. Here are 8 other ways employers can motivate their staff:
Management Training — Make sure managers are well trained. The number one reason why an employee quits their job is unhappiness with their manager (supported by extensive research). Exit interviews may not reveal this, but it is true! Poor people management is poor business! Give your managers the training to effectively motivate and develop employees.
Goal Setting/Challenge – Employees want to have goals for which they can strive. They want to know what are the employer’s expectations and their specific responsibilities…and they want their performance to be evaluated accordingly. They earn a sense of accomplishment when they reach these goals or performance objectives. Setting goals is often overlooked as a way to motivate employees. If the job is very routine, it can become de-motivating and uninspiring, resulting in low morale and higher turnover rates. Also important is to avoid unattainable goals. They don’t work because employees will develop a sense of helplessness, which is de-motivating. Good managers will properly challenge employees and help them become more competent as they reach their goals.
Continuous Improvement – When you give employees the opportunity to continue their learning (on the job or by taking courses or attending seminars), they are more likely to achieve their full potential and strive towards new goals and aspirations.
Respect – The Golden Rule applies at work — treat your employees the way you would want someone to treat you: be courteous, professional, considerate and fair. A high standard of workplace behavior will help to retain the best employees.
Equality – Ensure managers treat their employees equally regardless of their gender, marital status, job title and status, etc. Adhere to the relevant provincial or federal employment standards acts to avoid non-compliance issues. Ensure you have an updated HR Policy guide so all employees and managers know the meaning of equality in the workplace.
Tools and Resources – Make sure employees have all the necessary tools to do their job effectively. This may involve supplying the latest technology or simply giving them a better work station with adequate lighting. The proper tools and resources will go a long way to stimulate better employee performance. Many companies underestimate this.
Feedback and Recognition – This is very effective and costs nothing! Sometimes just a simple comment such as “Great job!” or “I appreciate your input and feedback” can go a long way to keep employees motivated. Make employees feel appreciated and valued for their efforts and opinions.
Listen to Employees – Allow employees the opportunity to share their opinions and make their voices heard. After all, these are the individuals who are supporting your company from the ground up. They deserve the chance to share their viewpoints.
While many employees are self-motivated, the above suggestions will help to boost someone who requires it. Implementing various retention and incentive programs within your workforce will help employees to maintain a high level of motivation. Although receiving a salary, health benefits and vacation time off is sufficient motivation for some employees, in the long run you can find other ways to continually inspire and motivate employees. With these simple techniques you can help your employees to stay energized and enthusiastic about their work. Companies that are successful in the future will have figured this out.
ONE FINAL WORD Giving employees positive and constructive feedback can truly motivate them to strive for success. The absence of feedback gives an employee the feeling that you don’t care about them, or that everything is OK, which may not be the case. Communicate well, and you shall be rewarded!