Keeping your employees motivated is fundamental in order to achieve your company’s goals. Employees will be more productive if they are happy with their jobs; they will take better advantage of their time and their resources and invest all their efforts to contribute in reaching the organization’s objectives. Also, since the costs of hiring and training new staff are often higher than the costs of maintaining your current workers, it’s more beneficial to develop strategies to keep them satisfied.
Most organizations use economic stimuli as their main motivation strategy. It isn’t a secret that, although economic compensation is a great incentive for workers, it can fall short in keeping them motivated and happy at the company. More than extra cash, they want their jobs to be meaningful in their lives; they want to feel valued and appreciated.
Fostering a pleasant work environment, recognizing and celebrating the achievements of the team, or being flexible with schedules are some of the keys that can make the difference in having a motivated workforce; which in turn will guarantee, to a great extent, the success of the organization through its performance.
These five strategies can help you keep your employees motivated and improve your company’s productivity.
- Make them part of the course of the company
Giving your employees the possibility to participate and be part of some of the important decisions of the company is a great way to keep them motivated. When someone realizes that a community is taking their thoughts and opinions into account, they become interested in the success of the company and the common benefit. They may start working to improve their abilities and expand their knowledge on their particular job, and they will be motivated to work and participate through their work.
Even though most of your employees may not be qualified to make important decisions regarding areas such as investments, for example, or to find the most effective way to solve problems; their insight is something you must definitely value, it will provide a new, much needed perspective and the thoughts and ideas that come up with chatting with your employees, can actually help you make important decisions.
- Connect with your employees
There’s a stigma that boss-employee relationships should be serious and distant. It’s true that there has to be a certain formality, but showing that you care about their personal life can make the office feel like a second home to them, one where they’re appreciated not only as a worker but as a person as well.
Communicate straightforwardly, genuinely and frequently. Hold entire staff meetings periodically and interact with your employees by wandering around work zones and showing interest in what they’re working on. Congratulate staff members on important life events such as marriages or new babies, ask about their vacation trips, express your concern when they’re sick… Employees will respond positively to the support and it will increase their sense of belonging to the company.
- Contextualize their job
Everyone wants to make a difference in the world, but it is common to find workers who see their jobs as mechanical tasks whose only purpose is to meet a requirement. However, when a leader gives context to an employee’s job and shows them that what they’re doing is important and somehow making a difference in the world (no matter how small it may be), they will feel different about what their doing and start seeing it as something more meaningful.
A lot of employees work long hours in monotonous jobs, and maybe that’s why they don’t realize the importance of what they do. Once you make them aware of the value of their job, they will become motivated to do it, thus increasing satisfaction and productivity.
- Recognize effort and praise it
People want to be respected and valued for their contributions. A simple “thank you” or “great job” can be enough for an employee to feel like their hard work is being acknowledged. Meaningful words like these can build loyalty and encourage people to work harder, since it shows them their efforts and abilities are valuable to the company. Small gestures such as writing them a personal note or giving them a corporate gift like a business journal or notebook when they do a good work can make a difference in how happy they are when they arrive to work.
This increases individual productivity, since praising a good behavior increases its repetition, and therefore the productivity behind it. This can make employees feel more satisfied with their job and also make them start enjoying it.
- Implement flexible policies
Having flexible work policies can contribute to higher productivity and lower costs for absenteeism and staff rotation. It also helps to create happier and more committed employees.
In order to be able to motivate your employees with flexible policies, you need to personally know them and their individual situation, so you can offer them flexibility where they most need it, whether it is their work schedule, job sharing, rest days, shorter times, being able to work from places other than the office, etc. You need to be creative to find the policies that better work for your team.
Behind every great organization there is an outstanding workforce who are passionate about their job and willing to put in their best efforts in making their company succeed. Keeping your employees motivated can be as simple as making them feel valuable as workers and as persons, recognizing their efforts, helping them meet their personal needs, and taking into account their thoughts and ideas. Having a team of happy, motivated employees means more efficiency, creativity and overall profitability and productivity.
What do you think are the best ways to motivate your employees? If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave a comment below.