by Jen McKenzie
Business owners ideally want to keep productivity and profitability high throughout the year, and this means that you need to take regular steps to keep your team engaged and motivated. Some business owners and managers target morale only when productivity drops, but waiting until that happens can be detrimental to your company. A better idea is to focus your attention on boosting employee morale, satisfaction and motivation on a regular basis throughout the year. By following these helpful steps, you can enjoy truly beneficial results from your employee engagement efforts.
Employee Motivation Step #1: Let them know what to expect
It’s easy for employees to feel out of the loop in some workplaces. When employees feel lost or frustrated in their position, they can easily lose focus and motivation. Likewise, when they do not feel as though their efforts are meaningful or important, they may not work as hard or as efficiently as they could.
A smart idea is to regularly educate your team about the company’s goals and explain how each member’s contribution is important to achieving that goal. You should ensure that each employee has a realistic workload that corresponds well with her or his skills and training.
Furthermore, focus on your own actions. As a manager or boss, your actions should always correspond with what you say to your employees, and they should also be aligned with the company’s overall goals at all times. Overall, your team needs to see that their own efforts as well as yours are unified toward a common and identified objective.
Employee Motivation Step #2: Build trust with your employees
In order for your employees to put forth their best effort on a regular basis, they must feel attached to the company as well as to the team and company management. Each time you see a team member, smile and greet him or her personally by name. This simple step will help you to develop a stronger, deeper connection to your team. They will feel less like a general worker and more like a valued individual in the office.
Take time to chat idly with individuals periodically to learn more about their vacation plans and personal lives. Send gifts or cards to celebrate a birthday, wedding or arrival of a new baby to deepen the personal connection they feel toward you and the company.
Just ensure that you don’t cross that line and get too personal. You should always remain at a professional distance from your team members. Just remember that when your team feels as though you care about them personally, they may be more motivated to work hard for you and for the company.
Employee Motivation Step #3: Nurture their personal growth
Employee morale and motivation can decline when individuals feel as though they are spinning their wheels without cause or benefit. Workers naturally want to improve their skills and advance in their careers, and they want to feel as though their efforts are benefiting their own lives in some way rather than just helping the company to make money.
Provide your employees with ample opportunities to improve their skills and knowledge, such as through massive open online courses (MOOCs like Coursera.org) or affordable and convenient technology-based training. You can also offer them foreign language courses and enroll them periodically in seminars and conferences they’re interested in.