What HR managers can do to increase employee motivation

- Motivation

by Emma Miller

Employees are the most essential aspect of any successful business. The happier your employees are at work, the more efficient your business flow will be — it’s as simple as that. However, in order for employees to be good at what they do, they need to be motivated, engaged, productive and effective at work. In most cases, a company culture and environment where employees can feel comfortable and relaxed does the job. But what happens when the overall employee motivation start to decline even with good conditions in place?

That’s where human resources managers come into play. HR managers are responsible for measuring and maintaining the positive mood company-wide and are arbiters between employees and upper management, especially in larger organizations. This job isn’t as easy as it may sound, but with a bit of effort and dedication, every organization can have happy employees. Here are a few things HR managers can use to motivate employees.

Communication for the win

It’s important to understand that employees aren’t simply a means to an end. As a matter of fact, they’re the most important part of a company.

That’s why you can’t distance yourself from your employees. Instead, keep an open communication with them and be transparent when communicating with your employees at all times. If your employees know they can openly talk to you and share their potential problems or issues — without facing repercussions — they’ll feel more at ease when they’re at work.

Think outside the box for a second. Why do people work in the first place?

The obvious answer is to support themselves financially. But they might also be supporting someone else (a family for example) or they might be trying to raise funds to fulfill one of their life-long dreams. These personal reasons motivate people to work. And, to the opposite, if they happen to have any difficulties in their personal lives, chances are that it will reflect on their job. If you offer to help them overcome these challenges  — even if it’s a listening ear — they’ll undoubtedly be grateful, and in return, they’ll become more motivated at work. Make sure that you provide counsel and assistance to your employees whenever they need it, and you can be certain your employees will be happier and more motivated.

Show your appreciation

Every employee enjoys recognition in the workplace (and at home and anywhere else, for that matter.) When they know their hard work isn’t going unnoticed, employees will feel motivated to continue doing well on their job. Show your appreciation by thanking your employees for the job they’re doing, either in person or in writing, or both. Be sincere and show them how much their efforts mean to the company. Congratulate them for successfully completing a job, reaching an important milestone, or an important business goal. And if their effort is noted, but the project went astray, sometimes that’s worth acknowledgement too — after all, learning should be celebrated as it’s the path toward innovation.

Employee appreciation goes a long way for employee motivation. Simply put, the more you recognize their contributions, the more motivated they’ll be to face new challenges.

Moreover, ask for their opinions:

  • How do you about X?
  • Is there anywhere you think we can improve?
  • Are there business processes we can improve?

The fact of the matter is that your employees will feel better about themselves when they know that you appreciate their work and value their opinions.  

Emphasize the life-work balance

Each and every one of us struggles to find the perfect balance between our jobs and our personal lives. Finding work-life balance is oftentimes challenging and it can be quite difficult. However, as an HR manager it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to help your employees live a happy life and be happy with their job at the same time. For instance, everyone needs some time off to take their minds off of things and reconnect with friends and family. Heck, even if you’re solopreneur and the only employee in your company, you still need to take a step back and go on a vacation. The same goes for any other employee.

Aside from their usual vacation days, you can also reward your employees with extra vacation days, based on their performance and accomplishments. In addition, you can offer your employees flexible working hours, so they can choose when to start and finish work. That way, you may be helping someone take their kids to school or take care of a sick relative. After all, it doesn’t really matter when employees come or leave, as long as their daily tasks are completed successfully. That being said, who wouldn’t give their best at work, knowing that the company they work for takes care of them and helps them maintain work-life balance?

Involve employees in decision making

Employees are already a part of your organization and you might be surprised at how much valuable insight they can offer. Your employees have a unique perspective on things and they might spot something that upper management failed to recognize. Involving employees in decision making — especially in decisions that concern them or their areas of expertise — is a great motivator. That way, not only will your employees have a sense of purpose, but they’ll also have a sense of involvement, and they’ll feel like that their insight is valued by the organization.

In addition, aside from gaining valuable insight from your employees’ perspectives, there are more perks to involving them in making decisions and allowing them to participate in the process. It helps build trust between workers and managers and it also allows managers to establish more personal relationships with their employees. Moreover, these relationships foster team collaboration, which motivates employees to work together with other members of the organization, in order to find efficient and innovative ways to overcome challenges and obstacles.

Allow your employees to grow

An opportunity to grow and advance in the ranks of an organization motivates employees to give their best. The promise of career advancement and better job conditions is something every employee will look forward too. However, having your employees invest their blood, sweat and tears isn’t a good way to motivate them to aspire for promotions.

Instead, help them get there by offering them additional training, courses and seminars that will hone their skills and expand their knowledge. Allow them to learn new skills and let them look for — or carve out — their ideal roles within your organization. That way, your employees will not only be motivated to accomplish more and seek greater opportunities, they’ll also become more engaged and productive.

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Motivating employees isn’t a simple task, but HR managers have the means to identify what will truly do the trick. As well-known entrepreneur Richard Branson said: “Your employees are your company’s real competitive advantage. They’re the ones making the magic happen – so long as their needs are being met.”

How as an HR manager do you motivate your team? Or how has human resources kept you motivated? Share proactive tips in the comments below!

Photo: Pexels

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