Your employees are important to your business. They should feel motivated and inspired by what they do there each day. Motivation sharpens that drive and increases performance. It might not always be easy to get that spark going, but there are several things you can do to encourage the best in your team.
Here are 10 effective ways to motivate your staff:
- Share the vision
Giving your team a vision will give them something to work toward and rally around. There isn’t just one way to share a vision. It might be a mission statement, or it could be as simple as an email to everyone on your team explaining what you want everyone’s focus to be on over the next few weeks. Regardless of how you share it, giving your staff a goal that they can see will help them feel like they are working towards something important and keep their eyes on that finish line.
- Use recognition as motivation
Recognition is the easiest way to motivate your staff. Recognition can come in several forms, but the result is a positive affirmation that you’ve done a stellar job. This can include:
- Verbal recognition in front of peers
- Awards for outstanding achievements
- Competitions between teams and individuals
- Keeping track of small wins and celebrating them (for example, if an employee has submitted five successful proposals, congratulate them with a custom letter.)
- Hiring from within
- Offer benefits
Another way to motivate your staff is by offering them benefits. Employees are likely to be more motivated if they feel they’re being treated well. Benefits can help with this, as they make employees feel valued by the company and show that you’re willing to invest in them. They also vary depending on your business and industry, but usually include things like paid time off, professional development opportunities, healthcare coverage or health insurance contributions, pension plans, flexible working hours, and remote working opportunities.
When deciding which benefits you should offer your employees, think about the factors that might be important to them. For instance, younger workers may value things like workplace social events or a free gym membership more than extra vacation days or tax-free travel concessions.
- Create a friendly and fun environment
Getting to know one another outside of work is important to building relationships. Organize some team-building activities and events. You should also consider taking your team out to lunch or dinner sometimes, just as a way of saying thank you for their hard work. You can even order takeout at the office and have an impromptu potluck.
Creating a comfortable and friendly working area will motivate the staff. Encourage them to express themselves freely and feel comfortable about going about their daily tasks, because when people are happy where they are, they’re much more productive.
- Develop strategic plans with your staff
Such plans will help guide your organization’s operations, activities, and strategic direction. They also should cover the steps you’ll take to achieve these goals. While it’s important for you to consult with your senior managers when developing a strategic plan, it’s also worthwhile involving other employees as well. Staff members who are involved in the planning process may be more likely to work toward their objectives because they have helped develop them.
- Teach them new skills and give them opportunities to learn
Opportunities for education and training are a great way to motivate your staff. You can give them the opportunity to learn new skills or improve their current ones. There are many ways that this can happen, such as going on courses with other employees or having someone come into the office that specializes in training people from different companies on topics like customer service skills development.
This will keep them engaged while also improving their value to you as an employee. If you train your staff in a new area, they will feel more confident in themselves and be more motivated to work harder for you.
- Provide constructive feedback to help your staff see it’s possible to improve their performance
As the boss, you’re responsible for ensuring your team is performing at its best. If they’re not, it reflects badly on you. If a staffer is underperforming or their performance slips, they may need encouragement or additional training. You can provide that encouragement by giving constructive feedback and positive reinforcement. Provide specific examples of what they’ve done well and how they can improve–show them something concrete to try if their performance has slipped.
- Help your staff prioritize tasks
- Give your staff a list of the company’s top five priorities for the next year and ask them what their roles are in achieving those goals.
- Invite them to prioritize the tasks that need to be completed, and then schedule a meeting to review all items on their lists.
- Help them organize all tasks into four groups: critical and urgent, critical but not time-sensitive, noncritical but urgent, and noncritical and not time-sensitive.
- Explain that they should focus on the first two groups while delegating the last two groups.
- Give your staff room to be creative
You could, for example:
- Give your staff time to experiment with new ideas and processes.
- Set aside a regular slot in team meetings for staff to share their ideas.
- Give your staff some time each week to develop their skills (for instance, by reading articles or watching videos).
- Support them when they want to take on new projects or work on aspects of the job that interest them more than others.
- Encourage them to take risks and try out new ways of working.
- Communicate in all directions
When you are communicating with your team, make sure you are doing it in all directions. That means keeping them updated on what’s going on with the business but also being open to hearing what they have to say. When you do this, not only will you be able to provide meaningful updates that keep your team’s morale high, but you will also be responsive to their needs, which is critical for retaining top talent. So, keep your staff informed about the big picture so they know how their work fits into it. This will help create a sense of belonging that can increase motivation.
It’s crucial that you make your workforce feel wanted and valued. Pay them well and offer excellent benefits. And create a culture where passion and the possibility of advancement are the norm at work, even if you are the boss.
When working on your motivation plan, also look at which parts of your business need the most assistance in order for you to improve sales, increase revenue, and improve any struggles you might be experiencing. And be sure to motivate yourself along with your team.