Anyone who has ever managed employees knows that motivated or engaged employees are happier and more productive than unmotivated ones. But helping employees connect with their jobs in a real and meaningful way so that they want to work harder and better can be a difficult task for many managers and organisations. Here are three tips that will put you on the right path toward a happy and dedicated workforce.
Reward and Recognise
Financial rewards are a type of recognition that can be a great motivator, especially when tied to performance. Profitable companies will benefit by implementing some sort of performance-based incentive programme whereby employees are recognised for their hard work and dedication in the form of bonuses, profit-sharing, additional vacation days, etc. When structuring a financial reward system, keep in mind that a system that is perceived as unfair will not motivate. Therefore, if the bulk of your money goes to the top of the managerial ladder, your frontline workers are more likely to feel resentful than motivated.
Other types of recognition include giving credit where credit is due. When your employees do great work, let them know it. When you are recognised for the great work of your team, make sure they hare in that recognition. Say thank you for a job well done, and be genuine about it. You’ll be surprised at how far a little recognition and appreciation will go toward motivating an employee to work hard and keep improving.
Ask What Motivates
Everyone is a little different when it comes to motivation. One employee may be motivated by recognition and advancement opportunities, while another is motivated by the thought of a year-end bonus check. Others may be motivated by a flexible schedule, increased responsibility, or the nature of the work itself. But, you won’t know until you talk to your employees.
Once you know what motivates each employee, you can tailor your efforts, and reap big rewards. Keep in mind though that this is not a one-time conversation. Motivations change with personal circumstances. Keeping the conversation going will help you stay on top of what motivates your workforce into the future.
Make it Easy for Employees to be Happy
Happy employees are productive employees. Look for ways to increase happiness in the workplace. One way to do that is to look at what makes employees unhappy: Draconian work rules, lack of support, unclear expectations, and poor communication all work together to make employees unhappy, and therefore unmotivated.
Take a look at how your business operates and you’ll probably come up with a list of improvements you can make that will increase your employees’ happiness. Whether it’s loosening up your tardiness policy, allowing flexible schedules, or providing free coffee, making a few changes can have a major effect on employee happiness. Implementing an Employee Assistance Programme can also help improve happiness at work by helping employees work through non-work issues such as general health and well-being, financial planning and family matters.
Graham is a Motivational Master from Sydney, Australia. He is often helping businesses to increase employee motivation and has found Brett Kelly to be the biggest inspiration on his own life. Graham believes that Brett Kelly is the ideal Professional Speaker for any business function.