27 March 2017

Seven Keys to Employee Motivation and Improved Productivity

Management Tips for Improving Employee Motivation

Managers the world over are keen to promote employee motivation. It’s known to have a direct connection to job satisfaction and improved productivity.  Here are some ways of lighting up the workplace and help your  employees look forward to Mondays (as well as Fridays):

1. Promote trust in management

Everybody loves being associated with someone who can be trusted. This applies equally at home and in the workplace. Promoting trust between employees and management leads to people feeling more at ease. This directly helps people adopt a more open mind and attitude, recognised as a key component of highly productive environments. People will have more confidence in speaking out and sharing their ideas. People whose ideas are listened to and respected are more motivated to come back to the work the next day.

2. Break down your goals into smaller packages

Working on long-term goals can be too exhausting and disheartening, as it’s difficult for people to feel the impact of their work immediately. Employee motivation can be improved by breaking down work packages into smaller chunks.

​Large projects are more prone to failure for a variety of reasons, however loosing track of one’s person impact is frequently a critical factor. The bigger a project is and the longer it runs, the greater the chance some team members will take a back seat and stop doing their part. Others may be promoted, moved, or even have retired. Breaking down long-term goals into smaller, short-term projects is a great way of putting big jobs on a human scale. Achieving smaller milestones will eventually add up to the ultimate goal.

3. Involve all your staff in decision making

Another good way to improve employee motivation is to clearly demonstrate that employee’s views are valued and acted on. For example, you can use a suggestion box to solicit new ideas and views regarding some sensitive issues which you cannot publicly discuss. Prior to the world moving online suggestion boxes were quite common and highly effective. People are more wary of being tracked in an online environment and nothing has quite managed to replace the simplicity and effectiveness of the old fashioned suggestion box.

Having staff peer review their work is also a great way of improving quality, trust, respect and also employee motivation.

4. Promote team-building activities

Sometimes we need to take a break from work and get to know each other better. Trust and motivation are both linked to productivity. The better work colleagues know one another, the easier it is for them to work together in a more productive way. Bosses are human too – involving them as part of the team helps break down any ‘us’ and ‘them’ attitude. The job of management is to provide workers with the resources they need to get their job effectively, os they truly are members of the team.

5. Encourage positivity

A little positive energy goes a long way. Make it a habit to encourage positivity throughout the workplace – it’s contagious. For example, it’s very difficult not to smile back after someone greets you with a smile. Create an environment full of positive energy, starting with the people around you and watch it radiate to everyone else. Positivity helps everyone stay positive despite the circumstances. When everyone feels happy at work, they do their part wholeheartedly and as a result productivity increases.

6. Focus on the individual and the the team

Much as it’s good to encourage teamwork and to work as a team, sometimes focusing on the whole group could be exactly what you’ve been doing wrong. Look at it this way; in a team, some individuals have stronger personalities than others. As a result, they will always stand out from the rest. However, the other individuals will always be in the shadows due to their quieter personalities. In the end, the full potential of each will not be utilized; some individuals will be overworked or given more roles and responsibilities than others. However, if you focus on the individuals, you will be able to see everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. This will make it easier to assign suitable roles and responsibilities – all of which links to greater employee motivation and satisfaction.

7. Respect your employees’ time off-work

Some employers have unhealthy egos and like to believe they own their employees. This leads to overwork and late hours without extra pay. This is surely one of the quickest ways to promote negative energy and demotivate your employees (as well as exhaust them). Be sure to respect the dignity of the individual.

Final Words

Employee motivation comes with a myriad of benefits. As an employer, it is your duty to make your employees look at the workplace from a whole different point of view. If they want a ‘casual Friday’, why not give it to them? Respect their lives out of work. Let them know that your door is always open in case they need to discuss new ideas or they have an issue bugging them. Know their interests and career goals, then find a way to merge them with the organization’s goals. Let them know that they matter. Encourage positivity and teamwork. Celebrate your achievements together. Let everyone know they can trust you and that you trust them. Engage them in the decision-making process. Create a system where they can give their feedback regarding various issues. All these will help improve employee satisfaction and productivity.

Additional references for employee motivation

  • http://www.inc.com/ilya-pozin/14-highly-effective-ways-to-motivate-employees.html
  • http://www.inc.com/ilya-pozin/9-things-that-motivate-employees-more-than-money.html
  • http://www.inc.com/ss/7-unusual-ways-motivate-employees
The ABC of Employee Engagement: the basis to greater success as an organisation.
The Benefits of Employee Engagement