by Tanya Bourque
Why is motivating employees important?
There are many ways to measure the success of a company including sales growth, rate of territory expansion, and more. However, one essential measure of success is, in fact, very difficult to measure at all. The level of employee motivation and job satisfaction within any given organization is very hard to accurately discern. For example, if you would like to know how much more your company has earned this year, you simply run a report and do the numbers. There’s no “employee motivation report” to be analyzed and improved upon.
Although employee motivation and job satisfaction may be hard to measure, it is still very important. A lack of motivation can lead to poor performance, employee dissatisfaction, poor customer service, expensive hiring, and, ultimately, decreased revenue.
How do you implement a company culture that fosters employee motivation?
Incorporating employee motivation policies sounds great on paper. However, putting this method into practice may be a bit trickier. Here are some of the keys to effectively boosting employee motivation:
Don’t skimp on your training budget.
Usually, an unmotivated employees is made, not hired. Most employees do not start out as unmotivated and disenchanted. Many actually start off at a company with intentions of making a difference and becoming valuable employees. One major reason that employees become unmotivated is because they do not feel that the company is investing in them. A great way to make sure that you remember to invest in your employees is to budget appropriately for employee training and commit to actually using your professional development budget every year. And please, make sure you use your training budget fairly. Favoring one employee or a single department may lead to resentment which can cause a lack of motivation as well.
Remember to give back.
Employees give a lot of themselves to the companies they work for. They give their time, knowledge, energy, and more. Employees are compensated with money for their time and the work that they produce. However many become unmotivated when they perceive that their employer is not giving back in all of the ways that they pour themselves into the company. That is why it is important to show employee appreciation beyond their regular paycheck. For example, hosting a monthly employee appreciation lunch can go a long way to showing your employees that all of their extra efforts and sacrifices have not gone unnoticed. It also brings together different departments to socialize.
Celebrate employee successes, even if they are small.
Another reason that employees may lose significant job satisfaction is a lack of acknowledgement. Sharing your happiness and appreciation for the results that a specific employee produces is a great way to keep that person motivated. Sometimes, even a simple “thank you” or “great job” can make all the difference. Applauding good work and great results also serves to reinforce your expectations and communicates clearly to employees what your goals are for the company. This in itself serves to maintain or increase employee motivation.
Invest in an employee health plan and good health care.
Sometimes, a good employee may still have the desire to perform at a high level, but their health may be preventing them from achieving their true potential. To avoid or at least mitigate this problem, make sure that your employees have access to good quality health care that won’t break their bank. (Editor’s Note: This tip is of course more relevant to American companies. Any company however can benefit from making sure your employees get enough time and breaks to feel up to the job.)
In addition, taking an active role in your employees’ general wellness is a great way to foster employee motivation and make sure people are happy working for your company. For example, some companies or organizations have dedicated a section of their facilities to provide employees with a place to workout on their lunch breaks or after work. Other organizations sponsor contests that are only open to employees that focus on wellness and fitness goals. Even a small “wellness allowance” each year to purchase a new pair of tennis shoes or a gym membership can go a long way to showing employees that you care. Some just encourage short naps or have ping pong to encourage team-oriented breaks.
Share your vision.
Many times, employees lose motivation because they aren’t sure what the big picture is at the company they work for. Communicating your vision for the company is a great way to help employees understand why certain decisions are made that they may not have originally agreed with. Sharing your vision is also important because it gives employees a purpose for their work. When you share your goals with your employees, they see where the company is headed. Generally, this means that your employees will jump on board with the plan and help push you further along the track toward your common goals. So, simply share your vision with your employees clearly and with regularity to ensure that they stay motivated.
Setting a vision together is a great way to get more employee commitment to it. Try these 150 Vision Words to help kick off your vision statement writing.
What should I do if I need help with effectively increasing employee motivation?
While measuring employee motivation specifically may be difficult, the results of your actions to create a better company culture will manifest itself in other measures. Your revenue will increase, your profit margins will grow, and your company will be better overall. Happier teammates are actually proven to be more innovative and productive. However, consulting a human resources and employee relations expert might be a good idea if you’ve been “spinning your wheels” for a few months without seeing any real results.
All in all, increasing employee motivation comes down to one word: trust. Your employees must know that they can trust you to take care of them and invest in their future while you also communicate your trust in their abilities. Build confidence among your employees and watch your business grow!
How do you increase employee motivation? How has your motivation been increased? Or decreased? Tell us in the comments below!