Your employees are the cogs that drive your company and without them your business would inevitably collapse. Many employers forget exactly how important their employees are and this can often foster an environment in which employees feel undervalued, resulting in dire consequences for your business. All of the most successful CEOs and motivational speakers in the world will tell you that the cornerstone of a well-operated business is employee satisfaction; a satisfied workforce is almost unstoppable. Unfortunately, ensuring that all your employees are satisfied is not easy and it is something that employers struggle with across Australia and even internationally.
Sometimes, it feels like you are doing all you can but its just not getting you anywhere and though this can be very frustrating, it is important to keep an open mind. Getting through to your workplace probably involves more than just an office Christmas party or a small end of financial year bonus; in fact it goes much further than that and sometimes it needn’t cost you anything at all. Satisfying your workers can be as simple as providing them with recognition, leadership, engagement, understanding and inspiration. Doing this will do even more than just satisfy your employees, it will motivate your employees. Motivated employees are inexorable and will boost the productivity of your business to levels that you might have previously thought impossible. This article aims to highlight some strategies to motivate employees, which would result in a happier workforce with better results for your business.
Strategies to motivate employees
It is essential to keep you employees motivated in order to enhance their productivity and get better results for your business. Below are five strategies to motivate employees in the workplace, which will result in a satisfied workforce and enhance productivity in the workplace.
#1 Provide your employees with meaningful recognition
If you were to ask a dissatisfied workforce what the cause of their problem is, you might expect to hear a whole range of things but perhaps the most echoed sentiment would be a feeling of not being recognised. This is something that can have a negative effect on anyone, regardless of his or her position in a company or business. Even you, as an employer or manager, would probably be pretty unhappy if you felt as though your contribution to a workplace was under recognised. This just confirms the importance of providing your employees with the recognition they deserve. Being genuine is important too – offering insincere accolades may well worsen the situation in some instances. As any motivational speaker would tell you, motivation is one better than just satisfaction and to achieve it you will need to go above and beyond for your employees and trust that they will return the favour tenfold.
#2 Demonstrate to your employees that you are a leader
If your workplace seems to be left to its own devices, productivity is the last thing you need to worry about. It is very hard for anyone to maintain a motivated mindset when there is no evident structure or direction. If such a situation were left to continue, it is likely that your employees would lose not only motivation, but also satisfaction. These types of scenarios often result in interpersonal disagreements and with no distinct leader to mediate these they can progress quite considerably. In the worst cases, disputes and disagreements can consume your entire workforce and this will have a catastrophic effect on productivity and satisfaction – motivation will be destroyed entirely. The only way to prevent this is to demonstrate to your employees that you are a leader with leadership qualities. Develop a system within which your workplace can flourish and ensure that interpersonal clashes are dealt with fairly. Be sure to avoid coming across as harsh; although this is sometimes portrayed as a leadership quality, it is not and it will only make your workplace an unpleasant place for employees. With a regimented and hierarchical workplace, your employees will have clear structure and direction, which will take the guesswork out of their job and encourage a much higher rate of motivation.
#3 Keep your employees engaged
Something that can also prove to be an impediment to employee motivation is engagement. If your employees feel as though they are not being engaged mentally, socially and even sometimes physically, they are likely to become bored. Boredom is the arch nemesis of motivation and a disengaged workforce will be prone to boredom, procrastination and worryingly low levels of productivity. Getting your employees engaged with their work and their workplace can be challenging, however. Many employers struggle to find an approach to engaging genuinely with their employees and failed attempts at engagement can occasionally exacerbate the issue. A relatively reliable method to engage with your employees is to work with them towards an attainable goal. Perhaps you could set a workplace goal and delegate individual tasks to individual employees, or organise a function or event – perhaps hire a motivational speaker – to encourage interpersonal engagement amongst employees, management and between the two. All of these things can be helpful, however it also depends on the nature of your workforce. All workplaces are different and often a unique approach to engagement is necessary for every company.
#4 Let them know that you understand where they are coming from
Just like every workforce is different, so too is every employee. Just like employees have the tendency to feel disengaged or unrecognised, they can also feel misunderstood and that can be extremely damaging on a company level and on a personal level. This is where it really pays to get to know your employees a little bit so that you can demonstrate to them that you understand. There is no need to delve into their personal life or anything quite so extreme, but many employees who are not satisfied with their workplace have expressed their collective feeling that management or employers are not understanding of them as individuals. In a sense this really comes down to humanising your workplace and fostering a welcoming environment in which all employees can feel comfortable. It is only when employees feel comfortable that they can truly find motivation.
#5 Do something every day to inspire your employees
Inspiration and motivation go hand in hand and it is your role as an employer or manager to make sure that your employees feel some sense of inspiration in their work and in their workplace. Many people mistake inspiration for being something very broad and big picture, but when it comes to motivating your employees, you can find daily inspiration on a very small scale. Even small gestures can be sufficient, such as linking the work that your employees do, to a positive outcome for the business. Any good motivational speaker will tell you that inspiration can be found almost anywhere if you look and it is undeniable that inspiration is the foundation of motivation.
For more insights into strategies to motivate employees, get in touch with Natalie Cook today, a leading motivational speaker.