As a business owner or manager, one of your primary responsibilities is taking care of your employees. Motivated employees tend to be more productive, focused, and dedicated, which contributes significantly to helping your organization achieve and maintain its business goals. Different employees will respond better to some tactics over others, which is why it’s important to take a comprehensive approach to motivating and supporting your team.
Boosting morale also can help with employee retention and fostering a culture that’s conducive to long-term loyalty - that’s why this program is a regular feature with the PCC Professional Development and Training program. Here are a few methods to try incorporating within your organization:
1. Create employee recognition programs
Most people appreciate having their hard work validated. Employee recognition programs help create an emotional connection between you as the employer and your employees and fulfill the basic human needs of self-esteem and a sense of belonging within a group. When employees themselves feel noticed and appreciated by their supervisor or company, it motivates them to continue performing well and being a dedicated team player.
You can incorporate awards for specific achievements or work anniversaries or set up peer-recognition systems. It’s best if these programs can be enhanced with tangible rewards, including extra PTO; a pay raise or bonus; a gift card; or if you’re a public agency with strict rules against gift giving or spending that may violate the public trust, get creative and brainstorm some other small token of appreciation. Don’t underestimate the importance of even simple written or verbal praise. Taking time to recognize your employees regularly in small ways will pay off by helping you retain your top talent.
2. Give your employees autonomy
Today’s workforce has grown increasingly fond of freedom and flexibility, as well as the ability to work independently on their projects. Not only does this allow them to take more ownership over their work, but it also strengthens their ability to balance their professional and personal responsibilities.
A few ways to encourage autonomy within your workplace include creating choices within boundaries; establishing and rewarding trust; granting employees ownership over tasks and utilizing their unique skills; accepting their input on scheduling; and providing them with the training, technology, and other tools to proficiently do their job.
3. Instill purpose and passion
In general, people work harder on a project if they believe it is meaningful or supporting a higher purpose. The same concept applies to the workplace. Employees want to feel not only that their work is contributing to the success of the company, but also that their company is providing a meaningful service or product for the clients.
As you seek to motivate employees through passion and purpose, it’s important you clarify and communicate your company’s “big picture” goals and values. From there, connect individual goals and accomplishments to these broader business objectives. Additionally, you can practice giving candid, constructive guidance that contributes to fostering a company culture where employees feel safe being open and honest.
4. Design an inspiring workspace
Another way of motivating employees is to create an aesthetically pleasing, functional, and comfortable workspace. People spend a considerable amount of time on the job, and they will be happier to do so if they are working in a pleasant environment. Make sure you keep the job site organized, well-kept, and up-to-date. Don’t make your employees suffer through having to use outdated or broken-down equipment and technology. Natural light, potted plants and flowers, comfortable seating, and artwork are other nice touches to augment the appearance of your job site.
5. Stay positive
Negativity is draining and stressful. While your company and employees are sure to experience occasional low points, focus on the positive as much as possible. One rule of thumb is to praise publicly and correct privately. If clients have shared positive feedback with you, make sure to disseminate it to your team so they can see their work is appreciated. Other ways to foster a positive environment are to encourage your employees to take their breaks and to keep coffee and decent snacks on site. Never underestimate the value of food-based perks.
When you do have negative information to share, be transparent, straightforward and constructive. Include sentiments of support and encouragement in the conversation so your employees feel confident they are being taken care of.
Learning how to motivate your employees
Boost your recruitment and retention efforts and enhance your company’s culture by undertaking a number of different approaches for motivating your employees. If you want to learn new methods and techniques for cultivating a supportive environment for your team, register for Portland Community College’s Motivating Employees course.