Research confirms that motivated workers perform better at work. If you consider that Gallup survey data reveals that only 33% of all workers in the U.S. feel truly engaged in the workplace, it's not hard to see that lack of motivation on the job creates a problem for many managers and organizations.
If you own a business or lead a team of employees, you have seen firsthand how lack of motivation among your staff can negatively affect your bottom line. Unmotivated employees won't bring their best selves or their best work to the job. What's more, employees who lack motivation are more likely to call in sick, quit, and let important deadlines slip.
Lack of employee motivation can impact any size company in any industry. It doesn't matter if you are the foreman of a factory, run your own small tech business, or head up a global marketing conglomerate. When employee satisfaction declines, productivity and work quality decline right with it.
This article will discuss eight ways to enhance employee experience by focusing on a company culture that keeps your team members motivated to do their best work every day.
Understanding Employees' Lack of Motivation
It can be hard to get a handle on the factors that affect employee motivation. Sometimes, issues that have nothing to do with the work environment can drag team members down. Family issues, financial burdens, and other stressors can spill over into the workplace.
Other times, of course, the work environment itself causes employees to lose interest. Office politics, performance anxiety, and a lack of clear leadership can contribute to a toxic work environment that alienates good workers and hurts overall productivity.
8 Ways to Motivate Employees
Fortunately, you can keep your employees from falling off the motivational bandwagon using simple employee engagement methods. And if you find that your workforce is losing its mojo, these same tips will help your team members recapture the spark that made you want to hire them in the first place.
Acknowledge Good Work
Acknowledging your employees' contributions is critical to keeping them engaged and motivated. In fact, recognition is one of the most important performance drivers because it creates an emotional connection between the employee and the company or department they work for. Employee recognition for a job well done is so important that studies show that 37% of employees look to personal recognition as the primary factor in motivating them to keep up their hard work.
Acknowledgment for doing a good job can be as simple as writing a personal note of appreciation or offering an on-the-spot bonus - like a gift card or cash - to thank an employee for going the extra mile. As long as the acknowledgment is genuine and correlated to a specific act or behavior, it should create happy employees who are motivated and engaged.
Collect Employee Feedback
Your direct reports want to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. If you can, communicate with them about company goals, company values, and why certain decisions are being made. Then, ask for their feedback.
When you offer transparency and ask your employees to give their opinions, you preemptively thwart complaints and gossip. You can ask for formal feedback through some kind of engagement survey process, or you can create a safe space where informal feedback is encouraged.
Opportunities for informal feedback can occur spontaneously throughout the workday. Let your employees know that you have an open-door policy when it comes to hearing their ideas and views. In addition, think about asking for feedback before or after team meetings or during project reviews or post-mortems. Ask questions like, "What worked for you and what didn't?" and "If we could start this project over, what should we do differently and why?"
When you create a healthy culture that encourages feedback, you'll find that your team will be less likely to complain about company policies or direction and more likely to participate in meaningful and valuable discussions they find motivating and empowering.
Fuel Everyone for Success
Nothing motivates a team member more than feeling that management has their back, regardless of where they work or the position they hold. There are ways that you and your company can fuel everyone on your payroll for success. For example:
- Make sure remote workers are included. Invite your distributed workforce to participate in meetings and team-building exercises via video conferencing software.
- Get to know your employees. Make it a point to perform check-ins with each staff member regularly. Know something about their goals and their lives outside work, and let them know you're invested in their professional and personal growth.
- Encourage a work-life balance. If you want to create a work environment where people feel valued, encourage your employees to take time off. Two-thirds of American workers say they don't have a good work-life balance, even though a good work-life balance increases happiness in the workplace and positively impacts productivity.
Provide Areas for Career Advancement
If you want to motivate your employees to bring their best work to the job each day, provide them with opportunities for career advancement and professional development. When you provide pathways for career development, you help employees stay motivated to reach their future goals.
Providing growth opportunities is beneficial to both your employees and the company. Employees will want to stay and grow with an organization that respects them and their work. And the company gets the benefit of top talent retention who can share institutional knowledge with new hires and co-workers, lessening their learning curve and creating better productivity in the workplace.
Allow More Employee Autonomy
Allowing workers greater autonomy at work with methods like flexible scheduling, work-at-home options, and self-determination when it comes to the order of deliverables helps employees stay motivated.
Of course, not every work environment lends itself to complete worker autonomy, but relaxing rigid rules and letting employees make at least some of their own decisions about how and when to work can be a big motivator for increasing the overall employee experience.
Help Employees See the Big Picture
The more your employees feel like their work plays a vital part in your company's success, the more likely they will be invested in your organization's positive outcomes. It's important, therefore, to talk to your team about how the job they do impacts the organization on a daily basis.
For example, if you manage a team of call center personnel whose job is to set appointments for the sales team, keep them apprised of how their appointments fall into the sales pipeline. Let them know their work plays an extremely important role in the company's overall success, and make sure they feel invested in that success by tying perks, rewards, and bonuses to overall company performance.
Teamwork increases employee engagement by creating a sense of belonging, which, in turn, fosters collaboration, innovation, and motivation. When employees feel like valued team members, they are naturally going to want their team to do well.
Some ways to instill teamwork in your employees are:
- Walk the teamwork talk. Exemplify the attitude and work ethic you expect from the team. A leader sets the tone for expectations and behaviors, so model positivity and be supportive.
- Foster team cohesion. Put people together who will complement each other's strengths and help each other overcome weaknesses.
- Create meaningful incentives. Don't underestimate the usefulness of positive reinforcement. Reward the entire team for not only meeting deliverables and objectives but also for how well they collaborate and support each other.
Personalize the Performance Review Process
A truly personalized performance review can go a long way in creating motivated employees. People want and need positive reinforcement. People also want to know how they can improve.
A fair, honest, and thoughtful performance appraisal is an important factor in fostering job satisfaction. Try the following in your personalized performance reviews:
- Convey to the employee they are valuable to the organization. The mere fact that a supervisor has taken the time and trouble to give the employee a thoughtful review is empowering. Even if the feedback isn't all good, the employee is left with the knowledge that they have value and warrant this level of attention.
- Recognize achievements. Performance appraisals are a time to recognize an employee for their achievements. While there are many opportunities to praise and encourage your team members, the performance appraisal offers a formal mechanism for positive feedback and reward.
- Provide insights for improvement. For anyone who is goal-oriented, a personalized performance review offers the insights and information they need to improve. Knowing what they are doing right is rewarding, but understanding what needs to be improved on and what they can do to excel can be extremely rewarding for many people.
You can also use the performance review as an opportunity to gain more feedback on your management style and the company. Invite each employee to give a "reverse review" during their regularly scheduled employee performance review. Make sure they know their candid feedback - both negative and positive - is appreciated. You might even allow them to fill out a written performance review of the company and management, similar to employee reviews.
Keep Your Company on the Road to Success With Accounting Software From Skynova
There's a lot to creating a healthy business environment. Besides keeping your employees motivated, you need to keep suppliers on track and clients and customers happy. You also have to keep up with all the record-keeping and accounting tasks that come with running a business. Fortunately, Skynova's accounting software and business templates can help you track income and expenses and manage transactions.
See how easy it is to keep up with accounting tasks using Skynova's software products.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with human resources to ensure you're meeting workplace standards.