You know you have a team of superstars. Now the pressure is on to retain them and keep them happy and motivated. Money and benefits are important for this, but you may be surprised to learn that they are not the leading factors when it comes to motivating and engaging your employees. Instead, things like peer motivation and feeling acknowledged and encouraged are often more important for employees.
The State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report carried out by Gallup reported that globally, only 21% of employees felt engaged at work and only 33% were thriving in their general wellbeing. These figures highlight that there is a long way to go when it comes to motivating employees.
A more motivated workforce is a more productive workforce so if you are looking for inspiration to motivate your employees, here are some top tips to inspire you.
1. Create A Pleasant And Engaging Environment
A lifeless, beige space is not somewhere people want to spend their days. By making your offices well-lit, aesthetically pleasing and even fun, the experience of being there becomes more pleasant. You should maintain things properly and install up-to-date equipment that is versatile and easy to use.
Cleanliness is also important. It doesn’t have to be expensive to give the place a spruce-up. Put some work from local artists on the walls or invest in some interesting furniture from a charity shop. A bit of greenery always goes a long way too. It’s the little touches that can make a space more welcoming, which can help motivate your workforce.
Eventura Head Office, St George’s House, Westhoughton, Bolton
2. Use Positive Communication
Positivity is a catalyst for motivation. Presenting new ideas and projects in a positive way encourages employees to want to succeed. When everyone has a strong understanding of the company goals it can truly motivate employees.
The same approach should be taken to problem-solving. If an issue arises, a solution is more likely with a positive approach. Try addressing the issue over an informal cup of coffee and some biscuits rather than raining down on everyone with a tirade of negativity.
3. Provide The Right Tools/Software For Completing Tasks
An employee who keeps having to find workarounds to do basic parts of their job will quickly become frustrated. Outdated and inadequate systems are an obstacle to employees looking to be productive, and this takes a toll on their motivation.
Listen to what your team says to you about your technology. Undertake regular reviews and involve them to help identify areas for improvement. By finding opportunities to upgrade technologies, you can empower your staff to be better at their jobs. In turn, this can help motivate your workforce.
4. Establish Employee Rewards Schemes
People need to be given a reason to stay with a business. If you want to keep employee motivation high, an incentive program can be a powerful resource. Here are some common examples of employee rewards:
- Private healthcare.
- A quarterly bonus.
- Shares in the company.
- Offering to fund additional qualifications and training.
People who know their hard work will be rewarded feel valued and motivated. This will make them more likely to remain with your business and help you grow.
5. Be A Respectful And Supportive Leader
Bad managers are one of the most common reasons for poor employee motivation. Qualities like respect, support, honesty and communication are fundamental to good management. But you can go beyond this to be a great leader.
If management is new to you, there are plenty of books on the subject. Good management takes knowledge and practice. Look for best-sellers relating to business management. In a nutshell, if you’re a good person to work for, it inspires loyalty. This is a surefire way to boost motivation.
The idea that the best managers are those who are hard on their employees is archaic and counterproductive. Don’t let that manager be you.
6. Promote A Healthy Work-life Balance
It can be very difficult to find an equilibrium between work and life. Every employee is a person, and these people have parents, children, partners, studies, interests and more. As an employer, you need to understand these complexities and make allowances for your team’s personal lives. Things like annual leave and allowing time off for personal issues can go a long way.
When people are able to achieve a healthy work-life balance, they are happier and more motivated in general. They will be able to concentrate on their work without having to be weighed down by external issues. You might find that things like allowing employees to work from home one day a week if possible could actually increase productivity and motivation.
7. Give Employees A Role In Decision-making
You can leverage employee engagement to yield gains in motivation. By listening to your employees’ opinions and giving them accountability, you increase their intrinsic engagement and, therefore, motivation.
This can be done by doing things like setting up surveys on the company intranet or asking staff what colour should go on the new product labels. You could also ask for feedback on policies like remote working and other things. When major decisions are being made that will impact the lives of your employees, try including them in the process.
There is also a lot to be said about getting other people’s opinions on business matters. It’s prudent to remember that your own opinion is just one opinion. You might think you are making the right decision on a particular issue, but by speaking to a broad range of people like your employees might make you think twice.
8. Give Employees Autonomy
Workers are happier when they have a healthy level of workplace autonomy. Things like flexible working, schedules and the order in which tasks are completed are all things people like to have some control over. If this sounds daunting, you can start slowly.
You could start by offering some flexibility over work schedules and remote working as a reward for achieving company goals. Or perhaps you could retain control over critical milestones but allow flexibility for how your team executes the tasks required to get there. Between you and your team, the right level of autonomy can be found.
We do understand that in business there are deadlines and timescales to be adhered to, but you will probably find that a motivated workforce with a good level of autonomy are better equipped to meet them.
9. Consider Offering Food In The Workplace
Nobody works well when they feel hungry. By providing options for a mid-morning or afternoon snack, you could give your employees’ energy levels a much-needed boost. In turn, this could help keep them motivated and productive throughout the day.
Snacks and meals in the office are considered a top perk, so they make up an important part of many workplace cultures. Pay attention to your employees’ physical needs and they will feel valued as people. This is a powerful motivator.
The Bistro in our head office, St Georges House, Westhoughton. The bistro offers free hot meals, snacks and beverages to employees and it’s design commemorates the Cross Guns Public House which once stood on the same land which our head office now occupies.
10. Recognise A Job Well Done
When you see people doing something right, make sure you let them know. When someone acknowledges the effort we are making and tells us we are doing a good job, we feel motivated to do it even better. It boosts confidence and lets us know we are appreciated.
The same principle applies when someone demonstrates courage or initiative. For example, reporting a hazardous situation or coming up with an innovative solution to a problem. These are things that are valuable to your company and should be recognised as individual achievements.
Some of the above ideas might seem alien to businesses, but we’re a big fan of not knocking something until you’ve tried it. More and more businesses are waking up to the fact that traditional business practices when it comes to getting the most of employees are quite simply old hat.
It may not be practical to implement all of the points we’ve talked about, but just putting some basics in place can go a long way. At the very least, your business should promote a culture of respect and acknowledgement of a job well done. This is the foundation of motivating your employees, and the rest puts the icing and the cherry on the cake.