Keeping employees motivated can be tricky for leaders and managers, especially when there are challenging times. Motivated employees are more productive as well as happier, so it is an essential thing for businesses to consider.
Now, remote or hybrid working has become the norm in many businesses, and it is vital to ensure you are offering remote employees just as much support and help as office-based staff.
Motivated staff leads to a more productive and enthusiastic working environment for everyone. It helps create a more committed and passionate workforce and results in a more energetic atmosphere – in short, it makes a workplace a better place. Ensuring employees feel motivated and fulfilled at all times will have many business benefits, including a lower staff turnover rate, a higher quality of work and generally better staff performance – resulting in better company performance and a more profitable business.
Here, with some insights from Dominic Fitch, Head of Creative Change at executive coaching specialist, Impact International, we explore some different ways to motivate staff.
1. Provide Praise and Offer Regular Feedback to Employees
It is no secret that employees like hearing when they are doing well, and as a manager, it is important to give feedback to your staff. Being told they are doing a good job is morale boosting for staff, making them feel valued and appreciated by the organisation. Remote working should be no barrier to praising an employee for a job well done. Regular catch-ups, either in person or virtually if remote working is permanent, are a good way for a manager to check in with staff members, offer praise and constructive feedback and generally see how they are doing on a personal level. A quick Teams message, a video call or an email circulated are all easy, low-cost options that make an employee feel good about themselves. Feedback of all types is essential, however, as helping an employee improve and learn from any mistakes or setbacks can also improve their motivation.
2. Ensure a Work-Life Balance
This is something critical and must be in place if you want a truly motivated, passionate, and dedicated workforce. No matter how much an individual loves their job, it is vital to ensure that they are getting enough of a balance between working and having time away from the job. There are a few ways managers can help with the work-life balance of staff, and they are simpler than you may think. Simply encouraging people to take breaks away from their computers, desks, or whatever it is they may do more than a good start. The work-life balance for remote workers can seem trickier to implement. Often, the difference between ‘work’ and ‘home’ is the closing of a laptop or the hanging up of a phone. Try and encourage these staff members to take walks, get fresh air at lunch break, and if possible, to set aside an area of the home for working that is away from the areas where they mainly chill out and relax. Inversely, managers should consider offering flexible working and remote working to office-based staff if this is something that will work for the business. Even just a couple of days of this can help balance work and life – cutting down on commuting time, saving money on travel, and just allowing the person to spend more time at home.
3. Provide Opportunities for Career Progression
An employee that can see a clear route to progressing their career within an organisation is likely to be a motivated employee. Like offering regular feedback, this is something managers can implement into their management style. Looking at options such as recruiting for senior positions from within the company is noticed by staff and gives them something to aim for moving forwards.
4. Ensure Clear Communication with Employees
Communication in many aspects of business is critical, and this is no different when it comes to motivating a workforce. Regularly informing your workforce of any updates or changes to the business is vital, and it is important to let staff know how about overall performance. Ultimately, they are coming to work each day to make the company a success so they should be kept up to date with happenings in the wider business and any external issues. This creates a more invested workforce who can see the overall picture and see how they play a part as a member of one big team.
5. Make Roles Purposeful and Assign Meaningful Tasks
An employee wants to really feel part of an organisation and that they are really playing a vital role in the success of a business. Employers should, where possible, ensure that tasks are interesting and engaging. This, coupled with feedback and regular communication, can help staff members feel connected to the company and that they are making a valuable contribution to the overall business success. This can boost morale around the work place make everyone feel like one big team and that they have something to strive towards.
Also relating to this, is the issue of job roles. Naturally, different people in the organisation carry out different roles – but everyone’s overall role is the same, to contribute to the overall success of the business. Ensure this is clear to the employee so that they know how their role, regardless of the pay grade level, is contributing to the wider business. As mentioned, regular company updates, business-wide meetings and team days to update everyone of company plans and performance can also help with this and ultimately create a happier and more passionate workforce.
6. Offer Employee Incentives and Bonuses
An employee incentive programme is something that will directly reward employees for their accomplishments. It is a good way to keep employees focused on achieving goals and gives them something to strive for, whether it be a financial reward or otherwise. Bonuses, team days out, vouchers and extra time off are all great ways to keep people engaged and motivated, particularly in more challenging times.
Motivating employees is something we have seen can be achieved by taking some simple steps and focusing on your staff. Incentivising and rewarding staff go a long way to making them feel appreciated within the organisation. Benefits are also felt by the business, with staff less likely to leave, feeling part of the company and as if they are working towards an overall goal. Staff retention reduces costs, as well as potential downtime with staff numbers being down, and having a motivated, invested workforce generally will benefit a company in the long term.