From The Great Resignation to The Great Inflation to Silent Quitting to Silent Hiring. Whether virtual, hybrid, or in person. Leaders need to constantly be innovating not only in their business but in ways to motivate their team's success.
The many benefits of highly motivated employees include:
Increased employee engagement.
Higher productivity and performance.
Greater levels of creativity and innovation.
Better customer service.
Positive company reputation.
Lower company turnover.
Greater company culture.
Motivating staff is a question I get quite often when coaching my leadership clients. If you want to understand how to motivate your staff, first you need to understand what motivates them. There is not one size that fits all in many establishments but rather groups of people with similar motivators. It’s putting it together to formulate the right strategy to get your staff in line to show up at their best.
Below are methods you can use to outline a strategy that works to motivate your employees to be their best for your team to succeed.
Understanding what motivates individuals to work in your business can empower you to tailor the options. Cultivate a team's motivation by building on its culture with these steps:
1. Employee Incentives.
Incentive programs offer an external reward for productivity, work quality and other factors. These can include monthly bonuses for the employee with the highest sales, extra time off for the department for reaching specific goals or giving commissions to the employee that goes above and beyond.
2. Provide Growth.
Providing opportunities that are towards the employee's goal(s) is a great way to motivate your employees. Providing an opportunity to advance can motivate employees to work harder in their current positions. Give them a reason to stay with your company.
Opportunities for leadership and growth can include paying for an employee to earn industry licensure or certifications, offering an employee a promotional position or giving your employees a specific project to see to completion.
3. Create Space that is Supporting and Welcoming.
An office that’s inviting and supportive will keep your staff motivated. Consider creating an open, naturally lit and aesthetically pleasing space where it’s easy for your employees to work and interact together and be inspired to provide innovation.
4. Acknowledge, Appreciate & Celebrate.
Acknowledge the hard work and talent each team member provided to keep them motivated. Employees want to know their hard work is an essential part of the mission. The recognition will show your employees that you noticed and care and encourage them to want to do more. When they internally feel good about the work, they provide they will continually seek to receive the internal dopamine raised when receiving acknowledgment of their hard work. Employee recognition is more than just a thank you for doing a good job. Our brains are hardwired and continually need recognition. In fact, the recognition results in the release of dopamine.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain. Dopamine stimulates the parts of the brain that processes rewards and creates positive emotions like satisfaction and enjoyment. Should you have correctional feedback, begin the meeting on a positive note, provide the area of correction and be sure to end the meeting positively to show that you encourage the employee to improve and believe in them in making the change.
Celebrate the success!
By taking the time to acknowledge the daily efforts of your employees, you can help them feel valued and inspire them to continue fulfilling their job duties above and beyond.
5. Be Resilient.
If you want your employees to take risks and be creative, you need to accept challenges. Understanding outcomes will not always go as planned. Create a culture that is resilient to challenges without judgement or criticism. The words you use is what the employee focuses on. Instead of using disempowering words use words that encourage open and honest feedback. Accept that taking risks comes with some failure. You have not failed until you stop trying. Be resilient with your staff and provide the confidence they need. Review and revise the plan. What can be done better next time? Use it as an opportunity to learn and improve, so employees feel comfortable taking risks in the future.
6. Accommodate Flexibility.
Flexibility can motivate your employees. Allowing them to fulfill their work duties while also taking into consideration their personal lives. Employees want to feel appreciated and valued. Allow employees to work from home if feasible in your industry. Flexibility when something important comes up in their lives whether that be appointments for health and well-being. Babysitting issues or the like. What the employee needs to succeed. This can help an employee feel supported and valued within the workplace and motivate them to perform their job well.
7. Encourage Work-Life Balance.
You want your employees to be efficient and productive, but when they are constantly overworking themselves or never taking time for what is needed such as vacation time can quickly lead to burnout. Be a leader that supports work-life balance in the workplace by encouraging your employees to take their vacation time.
You can also support work-life balance by being accommodating when personal issues interfere with work. You might let an employee work from home temporarily to take care of a sick child or parent. Giving employees plenty of personal time for a death in the family or other situations can also help.
8. Support your Employees’ Mental Health and Well-being.
You can boost motivation, engagement and work quality by providing what your employee needs. Having an employee assistance program that gives your staff easy access to wellness opportunities and counseling and other services that help them be at their best is a great beginning.
Focus on creating a healthy work environment that supports mental health. Providing opportunities to decrease stress for your employees, which can have an impact on mental health and decrease motivation.
9. Fair Compensation.
Money shouldn’t be the only motivator for workers, and generally is a temporary motivator. Once an employee obtains the money they seek, they will be looking for other motivators such as purpose. Assuring your employees are compensated fairly will drive your employees. Assure you review your current salaries and compare them to your competitors for each position within your area. Consider bumping up the pay when your business is below average. You want to meet or exceed the pay.
10. Clearly Communicate Goals and Expectations of Your Team.
Create the vision. Outline the goals. Determine the Strategy.
When determining the goal for your team to achieve assure you communicate clearly with your expectations of the outcome you wish to achieve. Setting clear goals and expectations for each team member will allow them to understand the important role they contribute to the mission and achieving your vision motivating them towards the success to be their best.
Providing confidence in their abilities to get the goals accomplished.
Understand and appreciate their world. Create a space for open and honest communication and opportunities to connect understanding where they are and what they need to succeed will build trust. A must for every leader.
Assessments can help to understand what motivates your employees directly and is valuable tool to every leader. When coaching with Ack Professional we provide the essentials for you to connect and understand your employees’ direct motivators and tailor a strategy in the program towards their success.
How can you tell if motivation is running low? When trust is not built with your team many may not tell you they’re feeling unmotivated, but that does not mean they are not giving signals. Pay close attention to some of the signs that indicate you need to work on improving workplace motivation:
Watch for these signs that motivation is lacking in your employees:
Higher rates of turnover and being absent.
Employees showing up late and/or getting a slow start on their workday.
Providing the bare minimum required for the job.
Not contributing on project ideas or in team meetings.
Withdrawing from team building and coworker activities.
Mood changes and overall beliefs in the business and its mission.
Not using time wisely, appearing bored and/or not caring about work outcomes.
There are many additional opportunities to motivate your staff to do their best. Looking for more ways to understand and motivate your team to its success? Grow your vision as a leader by visiting our resources page. Our premier Leadership Development program provides the tools and assessments you need to formulate the right strategy to get your staff in line to show up at their best and be the leader you see in today’s world. Apply today. Space is limited.
Be the best version of you.
Published in Brainz Magazine on February 12th, 2023