Employee motivation is one of the single most important factors driving profit, yet it can seem so difficult to control. Humans, after all, are not like lines on a spreadsheet; they cannot be controlled or calculated in the way you would other factors. Your employees require a special touch, a deft manner of approach that combines encouragement, reward and empowerment.
In this article, let’s run through a few ways to keep your employees performing at their peak. Even in the first months of the year, when the hectic holiday season has threatened to burn out your employees, these approaches will work surprising wonders on employee motivation.
The first thing you can do, especially if you are attempting to drum up motivation around the beginning of the calendar or fiscal year, is give out meaningful awards. Employees need to know that they are working toward a tangible goal, and while you can’t always guarantee a pay raise or year-end bonus, you can dispense with symbolic tokens of gratitude by handing out awards.
This could mean a trophy, a gift certificate, or even the iconic “employee of the year” plaque. Not only will this give the winners a sense of accomplishment, but it will also create an incentive for the entire employee body to work harder for next year.
The next thing that any savvy leader should do, if he/she wants to keep employees motivated, is to lead by example. You cannot expect employees to come to work motivated when you, yourself, are slouched in your chair, counting down the hours on the clock. “Be the change you want to see in the world”, Gandhi famously said, and the same applies to the workplace.
But it’s often not enough to just drum up motivation at the office. To truly get your employees excited and motivated, try fun team building exercises that get everyone out of the office, engaging in something as a team. But don’t fall into the same trap as many other managers, and book a boring or otherwise annoying team building exercise.
You want the team building retreat to also function as employee appreciation, so make it fun. Axe throwing is a popular choice these days – you can click here for more information on the sport – because it has all the typical teamwork elements you want in an employee event, but it’s also exciting and engaging. The key here is to shake up your employees’ typical workday, to get them out of their office routine and engaging with one another as a unit.
Finally, to encourage motivation, a manager has to offer feedback, support and empowerment to employees. Allow your employees to come to you with questions, concerns and requests for feedback, and be candid but supportive about what areas they need to improve. Feedback doesn’t always need to be positive, but it should always be bolstered by supportive tips.
By offering supportive feedback, leading by example, going on fun team building excursions and giving out token awards, you can keep your employees motivated regardless of the time of year. And with employee motivation, you should see a sharp upswing in profits.