February 4, 2019
The 9 best ways to motivate employees in 2019
Productivity is vital for a successful business. Without productivity, nothing is done, goals aren’t met, deadlines are missed, and the whole feel of the business is extremely negative. Morale is equally as vital, because let’s face it, nobody wants to work in an office or building which drips with negativity. Employees will always go the extra mile if they are happy, supported, and above all else, motivated.
Despite all that, work is still work. Employees go to work because they are trying to make ends meet, but if you can create an environment which inspires employees to enjoy their work, you will notice huge benefits coming your way. Productivity equates to profits, it’s really that simple, and in order to be productive, you first need to have a team of happy, healthy, and motivated staff.
To really highlight why motivation is important, a study by USA company Interact showed that employers make an effort to really recognize the work of employees and their contribution to the business, productivity and engagement increases by a huge 60%. Can you imagine how much profits an extra 60% of engagement could bring to your business? That’s huge!
To help you learn how to motivate your existing employees, I’m going to cover several different methods you can try as a business. It’s important to remember that every single employee you have on your books is different, so certain employees might respond better to other tactics, compared to another employee. In that case, you need to identify their existing needs and tailor your approach accordingly. Before we move onto the practical things you can try, let’s talk about why motivation is important and the benefits overall.
What Motivated Employees Can do For a Company
I’ve already mentioned that motivation increases productivity, and productivity means more profits. That’s a given, but what else can a motivated employee bring to a company?
- Employees will go the extra mile – An employee who is motivated enjoys the work they are doing, and they feel valued enough to know that what they do is appreciated. In that case, they’re not going to mind working an extra half an hour, or really putting their all into a project, because they’ll be so absorbed in what they’re doing.
- Less mistakes – Motivated employees are engaged and focused, and this means they are less likely to make mistakes which could lead to problems. Of course, everyone makes the odd mistake now and again, we’re all human after all, but motivated employees are much less likely to make huge mistakes.
- Higher morale in the organisation – If your employees are motivated in their work, they are going to feel uplifted and positive too. This adds to overall morale, and creates a great place to work. Morale is one of the biggest contributors to productivity, with motivation being a sub-section which falls within that bracket.
- New ideas and collaboration – When staff feel motivated they want to share that feeling, and as a result, collaboration between employees is much more likely, and much smoother. When someone feels motivated, they come up with new ideas, and creative ways to solve problems. These ideas could be fantastic for your business, and could lead to new overall opportunities.
- Job satisfaction and pride – If someone feels motivated, they enjoy their job, and job satisfaction is vital for a happy and healthy workforce. Feeling proud of the job you do, and proud of the organisation you work for, again means that you’re going to go the extra mile.
These benefits are fantastic for any business, be it a start-up, small business, or a huge corporation. It doesn’t matter what line of business you’re in, or the size of your overall company, it’s about the people who work for you, and how they feel about their work.
How Motivation Contributes to Staff Retention
I’m going to talk about how motivation ensures that staff stick with you, rather than moving to another company now. You might wonder why this is important, because if one member of staff leaves, surely that’s up to them? Well yes, but wouldn’t you rather keep your highly trained staff, rather than them leaving and moving to a competitor, possibly taking your company secrets and training with them? Training up a new member of staff takes time, and even then they’re unlikely to fit into the role within a day or two. Retaining your existing members of staff is something every business should focus on.
So, how does motivation ensure staff retention? I’m going to talk about the ways to motivate your staff a little later in this article, and one of those methods is about incentive programs. A study by the Bersin Group in the USA showed that businesses which have incentive programs in place can look forward to a 31% drop in staff turnover. This shows that motivating your staff has a huge influence on whether they stick with you and put their attention and efforts into making your business a success, or whether they take that expert knowledge and skills elsewhere, e.g. your main competitor.
A member of staff is much more likely to stay loyal to a company if they feel valued and motivated in their role. That means giving them plenty of reasons to stay, e.g. job satisfaction, room to grow within their current role and possible opportunities for future promotion. Helping your staff to feel challenged will keep them engaged and focused on the task at hand. This breeds a sense of excitement and growth within the entire company.
The Detrimental Effects of a Workforce Lacking in Motivation
I’ve talked about the positive effects of motivation, but for completeness’ sake, what about when employees lack motivation? There may be times when you have one single employee who is simply unmotivated, and in this case you would need to try and focus on them on an individual basis, to work out what the problem is. It could be something person going on in their life, or it could be that they feel excluded. Whatever the issue is, you can easily deal with that without making sweeping changes.
When it is your entire workforce that is lacking in motivation, that’s when the problems start.
Think about it from a personal point of view. Would you want to go to work every day if the feel of the office was negative? Doom and gloom isn’t a pleasant environment in which to work, and it doesn’t make people want to get up in the morning and actually go there. An organisation which has unmotivated employees is bound to notice a high amount of employee sick days, as well as more mistakes overall. Staff turnover will also be high, plus it’s likely that word will get out that your organisation isn’t the best to work for, and you might notice that you find it hard to attract new talent to work for you in the future.
Overall, a workforce lacking in motivation is not going to go the extra mile, they’re not going to care about the work they’re doing, or the results of the company, because they don’t feel challenged or appreciated. You know the score – they will spend most of the afternoon willing the clock to hit 5pm, so they can go home. Is that what you want for your business? In addition to this, a lack of motivation in your workforce ultimately hits profits.
How to Motivate Your Employees
I’ve talked at length now about why it’s important to motivate your employees, and now it’s time to talk about how to actually do it! Remember, your employees are all individuals, and everyone responds a certain way to certain methods, so it’s important to monitor the outcome of anything you do, and perhaps tweak it a little if you see it’s not working as well as you would like.
Be a Role Model For Your Employees
Your staff will respond better if you do exactly the same as you’re asking them to do. This means you need to be a role model. Be on time, get involved, speak to others in the same way you would want to be spoken to, work hard, etc. If you are a role model, you will inspire others to do the same. There is nothing more demotivating than having a manager who simply delegates everything, doesn’t treat others with respect, and does the opposite of what he or she expects their staff to do.
Show Staff That You Value Their Health And Wellbeing
Focusing on staff health and wellbeing has a myriad of benefits, and it is a motivating factor too. This means offering workshops related to smoking cessation, healthy eating, and perhaps offering discounts at local gyms, and having access to counseling services too. Healthy staff will always work harder, and there will be less sick days as a result. This also shows that you care about your staff, and everyone wants to try harder for a manager who cares about them.
Actively Ask For Opinions And Suggestions
Asking your employees for opinions and suggestions on large projects and on smaller areas will show them that you value their input, and that you are listening to what they have to say. This is about being valued, but it also affects motivation too. Your staff could also come up with some fantastic ideas that you hadn’t thought about, and as a result you could find a solution to a problem. In addition to asking, you also have to listen and take note. It’s no good asking for suggestions and then not implementing any of them.
Keep Staff Informed on Large Decisions
If there are large changes or decisions being made within your organisation, it’s vital to keep staff informed. There is nothing more demotivating than not knowing what is going on, and feeling like you’re not important enough to be told about it. Keep your staff informed at all times and they will feel more relaxed in their work.
Regularly Promote Staff Internally, Rather Than Always Recruiting Externally
Can you imagine how your staff will feel if you are always recruiting new staff from outside the organisation, and never promoting staff who have been there a while? They’re not going to be motivated to work hard, and they’re not going to see the point either. Would you want to give your all for a business which didn’t recognize your input? Of course not! A good answer to that problem is to regularly promote staff internally, rather than always recruiting from outside. That doesn’t mean never recruit externally, but make sure there is a good reason for doing so.
Create a Sense of Team Work And Collaboration
A business which encourages team work is a happier and more positive place to work. Whilst that doesn’t mean having team working a part of every single task, it means encouraging it to take place, and that also means encouraging collaboration. Staff will be inspired to come up with creative ideas and suggestions, and knowing that their ideas will be listened to is a huge motivator.
Incorporate Incentive Programs and Reward Schemes
Everyone loves to work towards an end reward, so why not incorporate a rewards scheme or an incentive program? I mentioned earlier that studies have shown an increase in staff retention when incentive programs are introduced, and this is something to pay attention to. This could mean end of year bonuses, rewards for milestones hit, and this could all work alongside team work and collaborative work. A little competition is never a bad thing, so pitting teams against each other could work in your favor!
Challenge Your Employees on a Regular Basis
Doing the same thing day in, day out is a boring way to work. Monotony isn’t motivating, so make sure that you challenge your employees regularly by giving them interesting and new tasks to do. Whenever a new tasks comes up, give it to someone different and allow them to really get their teeth into it, and develop new skills. This will benefit the business overall because new skills are never a bad thing, and it avoids having just one person know how to do a certain task.
Encourage Learning And Further Education
Investing in the development of your staff is a great way to show them that you value them and that in itself is motivating. You are arming them with new knowledge and skills, which they can use as they progress throughout your company. This means offering new training courses to staff members, perhaps having a learning zone within your office space, allowing staff to do online courses, and having a general encouragement of learning within your environment.
Now go get your team motivated
There is not one single downside to focusing on motivating your staff, not one. A business which invests its time and effort in those who do the work will reap major benefits, and of course these equate to profits in the long term.
By motivating your staff, you are showing them that you care about them, e.g. their health, their wellbeing, how they feel about their work, and how challenged they feel. When you feel that someone is concerned about you in this way, especially in a work setting, of course you are going to feel motivated to work harder, to go the extra mile, and to come up with new and interesting ideas.
Put simply, if you choose to motivate your employees, you will notice productivity and profits are on the rise.