Keeping employees motivated is a constant struggle for workforce managers, and, as all great managers of people understand, ignoring a team’s flagging motivation can be fatal to a business. Employee motivation is key to business success. Unfortunately, there aren’t any cookie-cutter recipes to solve low motivation levels in the workplace.
There are often many variables at play, most of them specific to an individual business. However, this blog discusses some widely applicable tips that can then be adapted to the specific needs of any business. Read on to find out more:
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Five Effective Ways to Build Employee Motivation
One business could be facing poor employee engagement and/or motivation levels due to a mismanaged decentralized recruitment approach, while another could be experiencing a drop in motivation because of toxic workplace culture. Yet, another may experience poor morale attributable to a lack of open communication.
Employers may need to address these issues in very specific areas. However, managers may find the following ways to be useful starting points when improving employee motivation and engagement levels:
Encouraging Open and Transparent Communication
Low motivation levels often become visible only after they have firmly taken hold. For that reason, managers may not often even be aware of the problem taking root among their teams. One of the most effective ways to quell this issue is to foster a culture that is encouraging and conducive to open communication.
Managers, especially those coordinating large teams, have a responsibility to the people reporting to them. That includes being accessible and available to address concerns as they arise, particularly when it comes to motivation.
In workplaces with open communication in place, employees typically feel safer and more comfortable approaching their managers with problems that are sapping their morale. Conversely, where managers are neither accessible nor encouraging communication, workplace morale deteriorates without the manager’s knowledge.
Creating a Culture that Motivates and Empowers Workers
Workplace culture is another key driver when it comes to keeping employees and teams motivated and engaged. Toxic cultures will invariably come with poor motivation (and employee retention) levels, ultimately undermining future talent acquisition strategies.
It may not be enough to simply address toxic elements in the workplace. Instead, employers need to work harder at creating a culture that appeals to workers.
In other words, businesses need to become the kind of workplace that people would want to work at. The specifics can differ from business to business. But this is usually a workplace that motivates employees by empowering them with autonomy, offering space to exercise innovation, and openly acknowledging their achievements.
Incentivizing or Gamifying Employee Performance
Most employees want to work hard and grow professionally, but businesses can’t reasonably expect this performance and growth to be sustainable without offering meaningful incentives. These can be of a monetary or non-monetary nature. In either case, they must be meaningful and apparent, especially if managers want to encourage healthy, performance-oriented competition among their teams.
Offering bonuses for achieving plan targets and rewarding high-performing workers are effective tools; so is gamifying performance. Managers can, for example, offer a luxury weekend getaway for employees (and their families) that can get the highest quarterly sales. These incentives offer a visible short-term goal and can encourage even less committed workers to boost their performance.
Facilitating Team Building and Employee Camaraderie
For teams to work cohesively as a unit, there needs to be a certain level of trust and professional understanding between them. High-performing teams, such as recruiters in a mortgage staffing agency, must have a certain amount of informal camaraderie among them in order to excel. A key ingredient in building employee motivation is facilitating and encouraging team-building efforts.
These can be as simple as an online game night (especially for remote teams), a day at the local theme park, or even a casual, low-pressure dinner to celebrate a business win. When employees are comfortable with their coworkers, they typically exhibit a higher motivation to show up and work together for greater success.
The intention should be to allow workers regular opportunities to learn more about each other, humanize the people they work with, and develop an affinity for working as a team.
Demonstrating Employee Well-Being as a Top Priority
One of the best ways a business can motivate its employees is to demonstrate its commitment to workers’ well-being. Offering health benefits that cover both physical and mental health is a great example. It demonstrates that the employer is concerned about employees maintaining and/or improving their mental and physical health.
Similarly, maternity and paternity leave policies allow workers to take time off without worrying about job continuity and demonstrate the employer’s investment in their well-being.
These demonstrations don’t necessarily have to be at the policy level. Even the simple act of empathizing with an employee going through a tough personal situation is a demonstration of employer commitment. The result is the nurturing of loyalty and motivation among the workforce which, in turn, encourages workers to do more for the employer.