5 ways to increase employee motivation
Posted: 15 February 2017 at 9:00 am | Author: Alison German
A happy and motivated workforce can make all the difference to productivity levels, staff turnover rate, and the running of your business on a day-to-day basis. As a business owner, or manager, there are a number of things you can do to help inspire motivation in the workplace.
- Put communication first
Depending on working styles and personal preferences, different staff members will be motivated by different things. Some may become more motivated when given the opportunity to take on more responsibility; others will be happier working within their defined job role.
Understanding what motivates others comes with effective communication; this can’t be done if you’re simply a name below an email, or an elusive figure shut behind a door in the office. It is important to spend time to get to know your staff; understanding what engages them in the workplace will then follow naturally.
Feeling as though you have no idea how your work fits in with wider business goals is a massive barrier to motivation that can be easily fixed with better communication with your staff. You can do this by setting regular goals and ensuring that team members have a clear objective within a project.
- Get the right balance between guidance and independence
The balance between offering enough support to your employees, and allowing them to make their own decisions about how they do their job, can sometimes be difficult to navigate. Getting this balance wrong is a massive barrier to motivation. Interfere too much, and your staff could feel they aren’t challenged enough and cannot be trusted to do their job properly; don’t provide enough support, and your staff will not understand what is expected of them.
Motivation naturally increases when you are more engaged with the work you are doing. As such it is important to, where possible, give people more opportunities to make their own decisions about how they do their job or carry out a certain task.
- Provide Praise and Incentives
Nobody likes to feel as if the work they do is unappreciated and undervalued. Sometimes something as simple as a ‘thank you’ – in person – now and again can ensure that your colleagues know their work is appreciated. You could also provide rewards and other incentives to show your appreciation and increase motivation levels – your efforts don’t need to be expensive! You could offer an extra paid day off, or a gift card!
- Encourage a healthy work-life balance
It is important to encourage a healthy work-life balance by encouraging colleagues to leave on time, and to take the paid annual leave that they are entitled to. Almost a third of British workers did not take their full holiday entitlement in 2014, for reasons including anxiety about taking time off and heavy workloads. If your staff are working long hours with little to no breaks, this may look good on paper, but this doesn’t necessarily lead to higher productivity. On the contrary, employees feeling as though they do nothing but work will increase stress and unhappiness, which will eventually show in their performance at work and in employee turnover rate.
- Practice what you preach
If you’re unwilling to work hard to complete tasks at hand, demonstrate enthusiasm for team projects, or behave in a manner that accommodates wider business goals; then you cannot expect others to do so. It’s important that you are a model of what you expect others to be, and to show that the rules apply to everyone, including yourself.
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