How to Motivate Your Employees in Nine Easy Steps
Anyone who’s ever been in charge of a group of people knows how hard it can be to keep things running smoothly. At the end of the day, there’s really only so much you can do by yourself. That’s why a successful small business lives and dies based on the strength of its team. If you can keep your team motivated and productive, you’re already well on your way to becoming the rich and successful business owner you’ve always wanted to be.
Of course, that’s all easier said than done. Having trouble keeping your employees motivated? Here are a few tips and tricks to help you empower your team and make sure they stay happy and productive.
This is a huge one. Being an effective communicator means more than just writing up memos. You need to make sure that all your employees fully understand what’s going on with their work. Your team is much more likely to feel valued and work hard if they know what their effort is going towards. The goal is to get them to feel invested in the outcome of what they’re doing. So talk to them! Explain why what they’re doing is important to the company, and it’ll feel important to them too.
Don’t Forget To Listen
Effective communication also goes both ways. Remember, your job isn’t just to tell your team what to do, it’s also important to listen. It’s vital that your team feels like they can talk to management and feel heard. Listening to their concerns makes them feel like they’re valued members of the team. Plus, you might learn something! It’s important to consider multiple points of view on all your decisions. An employee might have some insight that you hadn’t thought of yourself.
Focus On The Individual
It’s important to keep in mind that your workers aren’t just faceless members of a team. They’re all individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses and should be recognized individually as well. If you notice a certain person who’s been doing good work, let them know! Personal attention is a great way to motivate your employees. If they feel that their individual contributions are being noticed, they’re more likely to work hard. On the flip side, this also goes a long way to prevent slacking.
Consider The Human Side
When you’re interacting with your team, try not to forget that they’re more than just your employees. They’re human beings too! Even if being friends with your workers isn’t your personal management style, being a little personable can go a long way towards improving motivation and creating loyalty. Find out what your employees like to do, and what they can spend hours talking about. Make sure they feel like you know who they are and value them as people. This probably goes without saying, but definitely make sure you know everybody’s name! Nobody likes to feel like a faceless cog, and an unhappy worker is an unproductive worker.
Set Individual Strength-Based Goals
Aside from the larger, company-wide goals, try to give your employees individual objectives that they can meet. The best way to do this is to make sure you’re matching their goals to their strengths. An employee is much more likely to feel valued and stick around if they feel that you’re recognizing and taking advantage of what they can bring to your company as an individual. If you can, try to set a mix of long-term goals, which encourage growth, and short-term goals that are easily achievable. It can be difficult for a worker to stay motivated if they’re only being given difficult challenges.
Create A Positive Work Environment
Building off the last tip, try to think about other ways to create a positive work environment where your employees can be happy. Remember, you and your employees are spending the majority of most days at work. It doesn’t take much for that life to become miserable if your work environment is poor, and miserable employees aren’t going to stick around long. Try asking your workers for ideas on how to improve the conditions. You can also put up a suggestion box, but be sure to actually read through it. It’s important that your employees feel like they’re being listened to.
Set Top-Level Goals
Some of the other tips in this article have been focused on worker morale, but this one is purely motivational. Establishing a company or department goals is a great way to keep your team focused on what’s important. The top-level goals you set will trickle down to your lower management and employees. This makes sure that everybody is on the same page and aligned towards the same ends. Once you’ve set your objectives, try to find metrics you can use to track the success of those goals. The less vague things are, the easier it is for your employees to see how well they’re doing. This goes a long way towards motivating them to do even better.
Utilize One-On-One Meetings
Individual, one-on-one check-ins with your team members are one of your greatest tools as a manager. They’re a great way for you to keep track of what’s going on, provide feedback as needed, and hear any concerns that your employees might have. One-on-one meetings are preferable to group ones because of that personalized touch. They help you get a handle on your workers individually, while also giving them each some important face time so they feel valued. One-on-one meetings have been called the greatest single management technique of all time, so make sure that you’re making full use of them!
Discover Your Team’s Motivators
Finally, once you’ve gotten to know your team a little better, it can be helpful to figure out exactly what motivates them. Every group is different, so you’ll have to genuinely engage with your workers to discover what drives them. Once you have that figured out, you may want to utilize expert conference speakers as a motivational tool. Motivational speakers can help drive home some of the things you’re using to improve morale. There are three main categories of needs that speakers can help you address: sustainable needs, like wages and benefits, relatability needs, which have to do with employee recognition and enthusiasm, and growth needs, which relates to learning new skills and furthering their careers. You’ll want to figure out what exactly is driving your particular team before you know how to find the conference speakers that are best for your situation.
Employee motivation may seem like a difficult thing for you to control, but it’s absolutely vital to the success of your business. Hopefully, these tips have given you some ideas on how to relate to your team. Ultimately, it’s all going to come down to your individual management strategies as a leader.