Keeping your employees happy and productive is a challenge for a business owner. Many factors can impact your team’s overall motivation, and it’s your job to counteract these things as much as possible. Setting unrealistic goals, failing to recognise quality work, and not addressing poor performance are just a few things that can drop motivation levels within your company. Showing a lack of trust in your employees and micromanaging them will also hurt motivation and also negatively impact your working relationship with them. As well as avoiding these issues, there are additional steps you can take to raise their motivation instead. Here are some of our best suggestions.
Explain The Reasons For Certain Tasks
One way in which employees can feel demotivated is simply not understanding the reasons for doing particular jobs. When that job is one that is repetitive and laborious, it can feel frustrating and tiring to do, and when you also don’t understand why you’re doing that job, it can reduce your productivity and desire to complete the task promptly or to a high standard. This is why it’s important to give some insight into why employees are taking on certain tasks rather than merely assigning them the job and expecting them to get on with it. Explaining the reasons for doing these jobs may also improve the quality simply by them having more knowledge of the topic.
Recognise Hard Work
Doing a task, especially to a higher standard than expected, should be cause for praise. Recognising when an employee is going above and beyond their responsibilities within their role is important. It will also encourage other employees to do the same. This is simply because you’ll be keeping their motivation high. If someone were to put a huge amount of effort into doing something that goes further than their role dictates, and you don’t acknowledge this, they may start to wonder why they should bother.
Set Regular Targets
It’s generally accepted that removing a goalpost or target, such as a deadline, takes the pressure off your team to promptly complete their work. If there is no set deadline, your employees will likely not assign any urgency to the task. Set and regularly update targets so that your employees have something to work towards. However, you should also be wary not to set targets that are unobtainable as this may tip the scales the other way and demotivate them due to not being able to reach their assigned goals.
Consider Sustainable Practices
Working to improve society and reduce your company’s negative impact on the environment are both respectable goals, and your employees will generally respond positively to this. If you work to ensure that your company strives to contribute to making the world a better place, your team’s motivation will increase as they’ll be proud to work for your business. You can also consider training your employees or encouraging them to take an online sustainability leadership course. There are plenty of courses that can help you and your team develop skills and knowledge relating to sustainability. For example, these online short courses offered by the University of Cambridge Institute For Sustainability Leadership teaches a range of skills such as sustainable finance, supply chain management, and general business sustainability management.
Trust Your Team And Allow Autonomy
If you want your team to develop and provide you with quality work, you’ll have to provide them with some free rein at times. Autonomy is crucial if you want your team to know you trust them to do the right thing. Having managers in place that can report back to you on important matters is crucial, of course, but so is allowing people to work without you looking over their shoulders. Having a level of trust like this will become evident to your team and can significantly improve their motivation and the overall quality of their work.
Offer Benefits To Your Employees
The job market continues to be incredibly competitive on both sides. Employee turnover can be a real problem for certain businesses, with individuals searching for better opportunities at other businesses. However, these opportunities don’t necessarily mean a significant pay increase. In fact, it’s the overall benefits that a company offers their employees that can attract more people to apply for jobs at that particular company and discourage current employees from leaving. You could offer your employees many different types of benefits, ranging from company cars and fuel allowances to private health care and investment opportunities.
Develop A Positive Work Environment
The overall culture and work environment of your business will significantly impact the motivation and morale of your employees. This is why it’s important to try to cultivate a positive environment for your team to work in, and there are a number of ways in which you can do this. Ultimately, offering your team respect is the best starting point for this and making sure you treat them as human beings rather than simply your employees. Offering flexibility to your team to help them nurture a healthy balance between work and their personal lives is a great way to do this.
Reduce Stagnation Risks
Stagnation is a huge threat to businesses, but it’s something that can be avoided. When working in a particular role, it’s naturally going to be preferable to any other role if you’re furthering your career by developing new skills and gaining useful experience. This then allows you to move on to better roles in the future and reduces your desire to find a new role. Naturally, this benefits both the employee and the employer as turnover will be reduced, and motivation will be increased, keeping employees working in their current roles for longer periods of time.
Throughout recent history, competition has been something that many business owners have subtly promoted with the aim of encouraging greater productivity and drive among their employees. While healthy competition can be beneficial in the workplace, it can easily get out of hand and develop into something that your employees aren’t happy with. Ideally, you should be encouraging teamwork as a part of this competitiveness. This competitiveness should never be done to belittle others and make them feel ostracised from the rest of your team. This will understandably harm the work environment and the positive company culture you may have worked hard to cultivate, demotivating your team and even making them consider leaving.
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