Unmotivated employees can lower company moral, decrease productivity, and ultimately undermine the mission of the company. Disengaged employees make up 67% of all employees and cost between $450 and $500 billion annually. Learning how to motivate employees in the workplace is essential to overall profitability.
Motivation drives employees to work their best. Setting goals and clear expectations increases workplace motivation as well as recognizing employees for a job well done. Here are some tips to help motivate your employees.
- Find out what your employees want. This seems simple enough but surprisingly, very few employers take the time to learn what drives their employees. Motivation is different for everyone, but there are often underlying themes. For example, some employees may prefer working from home, others may want a flexible schedule. The underlying theme is not working a traditional 9 to 5 Monday through Friday job.
- Set achievable goals. A quick way to lose motivation is to work towards a lofty, seemingly unattainable goal. One way to combat this is to set smaller achievable goals that, when accomplished as a whole, reach the lofty goal. Celebrating these milestones keeps employees focused and motivated.
- Recognize employees for a job well done. Public recognition for a job well done will motivate all of your employees. Recognition encourages employees to put in extra effort. It builds teamwork, loyalty, and job satisfaction. When you recognize your employees for a job well done, do so by using their name. Be instant in thanking them for a job well done – it’s not effective to say, “John did great last month reaching his sales goals.” This will feel after-the-fact and won’t have the same effect.
- Give your employees autonomy. Employees, especially millennials, what to feel involved. They want to believe they have the power to help, and that includes making decisions free from an overreaching manager. Empowering your employees gives them a voice. It builds motivation, leadership, creativity, and increases a company’s bottom line.
- Offer ongoing training and education opportunities. Millennials seek companies to work for that offer opportunities for professional growth. In fact, a Gallup poll found that to be one of the top three factors affecting employee retention. When you offer opportunities for professional development, you’re essentially telling your employees they’re worth it. And who doesn’t want to work for a company that invests in them personally?
- Foster creativity. Provide an environment that caters to creativity. Creativity leads to innovation. Employees feel more engaged when they feel like they’re bringing new ideas to life. Give employees the freedom to work during week or month on their own ideas as they relate to overall company goals.
- Include employees in the conversation. Millennials especially want to feel like they are contributing – and that means giving them a say. Instead of holding meetings only involving upper management, invite everyone. Encourage your team to speak up, present their own ideas, and make suggestions for company growth. This includes simple things like office layout, food vendors, and company parties. It also includes allowing employees to get a picture of company financials and growth goals. Bringing employees together at the head table is conducive to a collaborative effort towards reaching company goals.
Practice these seven tips for how to motivate employees in the workplace. As a business leader, it is up to you to create a company policy that creates a team of motivated workers. Motivation in the workplace will lead to innovation, productivity, and an increase in profit. Begin to implement what feels right for your company and your team. Take baby steps in the right direction.
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