Employee motivation is one of the pillars of business success, yet it rarely becomes a concern until engagement and productivity waiver. Unlike sales, product shipments and customer leads, motivation is hard to measure. Motivating factors are also unique for each person, which makes pinpointing motivation harder still.
If you want to increase employee productivity you’ve got to make boosting their motivation a top priority. It may take a while to figure out what works best for each employee, but the ideas are a good place to start.
There’s just something about shiny trophies, blue ribbons and plaques that bring out a fire in people’s bellies. We’re conditioned from a young age to associate awards with achievement and excellence. Not only that, they tell the rest of the world we’ve accomplished something special.
If you use awards for motivation, just make sure it’s not a generic trophy that looks like an afterthought. Custom awards that feature the employee’s name, job role and achievement are a keepsake they’ll proudly display on their desk or at home.
Money is one of the quickest ways to motivate employees. It’s also a very common tactic in sales departments. Employees in the sales department are often given bonuses or higher commission rates for hitting goals.
Just keep in mind money isn’t a motivator for everyone. Monetary incentives also work best with employee’s who hold performance-based positions rather than creative roles.
People like knowing when they’ve done a good job and getting recognition for their hard work. When managers fail to acknowledge the success of their employees sooner or later the employees will stop trying so hard.
Make it a habit to publically praise the work of your employees. It can be as simple as congratulating them on finishing a project or featuring them in the monthly newsletter. Their way, a little bit of public praise goes a long way in motivating employees. They’ll strive to live up to the expectation of excellence that they’ve set for themselves.
Opportunities to Promote
To many people, hard work means you get to move up in the ranks. These people are motivated by the idea of advancing their careers, gaining experience and getting to take on more responsibility. If there’s no clear way to promote, it could kill their drive to keep growing in their role.
Even if there aren’t any job openings at the next level, you can find ways to promote employees within your department. A few ideas include making an employee the team lead on your next project or giving them a more illustrious job title.
Stay Positive and Encouraging
It’s hard for employees to stay motivated if their manager is a negative Nancy that rarely offers words of encouragement. Focusing on the positive keeps people engaged and makes providing direction easier. Always lead conversations with what an employee got right then segway into how other aspects of the work can be adjusted to be just as good.
Keep Snacks Around
There are two motivational benefits of having snacks in the office. For starters, they are seen as a special perk, which shows the boss cares about their happiness. But beyond that, snacks help keep energy levels up.
After hours of mind-bending work, our brains start to fatigue. That’s when motivation starts to wane. Healthy snacks that don’t need preparation are a small investment that provides much-needed fuel for employee motivation.
Provide Regular Performance Reviews
Believe it or not, many employees want more feedback from their managers. They want a better idea of what they’re getting right and what can be improved. Employees in this category are motivated by personal growth.
The best thing you can do to foster that motivation is to have regular performance reviews. Just 10 minutes a week is all it really takes to have a one-on-one that provides your employees with direction. You can also make this a time when employees can voice their questions, concerns and ideas. Feeling like you’re being heard in the office is another great motivator.
Motivated employees are better employees all around. If you can’t figure out the best way to motivate an employee, simply ask them. Ask them what excites them most about their job and what they would like to get out of their career. Questions like these will help reveal what motivates your employee to work their hardest.