You want your employees to feel as motivated as possible while they’re on the job, right? You want them bright-eyed and bushy-tailed so they can be happy and productive.
But how do you do that? What’s the best way to motivate employees?
There are plenty of ways to motivate employees and some of them are easy enough to start today. Keep reading for a few top employee motivation tips.
Start With Good Onboarding
Did you know that you should start trying to motivate your employees from their first day on the job? It’s true! It all starts with successful and effective onboarding practices.
Onboarding is the first thing that your employee will encounter when they start working for you. It starts before they even meet their first client (and sometimes before they even step through the door of their new workplace.
Here are a few ways to amp up motivation during the onboarding process.
Send an Initial Email
Before your employee enters their first day of work, make sure that you’ve sent them a friendly and professional onboarding email. You want to make sure that this email is motivating and that it makes them feel excited to come to work rather than nervous. No one wants those first-day jitters!
In the email, be sure to explain how excited you are to have the employee on your team. Mention one of their special qualities that landed them the job and how they could apply it to the first day.
You should also make sure that they have any information that they need for their first day. Is there a dress code? Do they know where they should park and where they can enter?
By preparing your new employee with all of this information, you’re getting them excited for their first day of work.
It’s also helpful to set them up with a “buddy” via email as well. Their “buddy” is another person from their workplace who they can use as a secondary resource. When you find a buddy, include their contact information in the email as well and consider CC-ing them.
The First-Day Tour
Meet your employee at the door when they arrive. You’re going to give them the grand tour.
Show them everything that they need to know. Even if there are departments that they’ll likely never engage with, show them around anyway. You want them to feel comfortable with the entire building.
Make sure that you show them break areas and restrooms, as well as where your office is so they know where to find you. If there are any fun “extra” features, show them those as well.
When it’s time for them to get back to their own desk, give them some time to acclimate themself. Then, take them into a private area to go through any necessary paperwork, let them ask you questions, and go through the onboarding process with onboarding software from WorkBright.com.
By the time they’re ready to go home after the first day at work, they should feel motivated and excited!
Motivational Benefits and Rewards
If you want to keep your employees motivated, you need to make sure that your benefits and rewards are up to par. Would you feel motivated to continue working if your employer didn’t make you feel valuable?
Benefits and rewards vary. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Here are a few examples of motivational benefits and rewards that you can offer to your employees.
Employee Health Benefits
Health benefits are everything when it comes to employee happiness and motivation. If you want motivated employees, show them that you value them by offering competitive health plans.
If you already have healthcare plans, or if those aren’t an option for your business, there are other fun benefits that you can offer that are less traditional, but still health-related.
Consider health and fitness vouchers. This is a small stipend that goes to employees that they can use for things like gym memberships or subscriptions to fitness apps. You could also send them healthy food subscription boxes.
Consider starting a group fitness activity. Make sure that it’s optional. Even brief pre-work yoga or aerobics sessions are great for improving your employees’ moods and keeping the workplace fun and motivating.
Remember: healthy employees are happy employees. Happy employees are productive employees.
Many employers forget the importance of raises when it comes to employee happiness and motivation. If you want your employees to continue working for you, show them that you value their contributions by offering raises.
Remember that the cost of living goes up every year. If you aren’t paying your employees more, you’re actually paying them less.
Employees who feel as though they’re receiving fair pay are more likely to feel productive and happy.
Frequent Positive Feedback
Benefits and monetary feedback are certainly nice, but don’t underestimate the importance of verbal feedback and praise.
Remember that your employees are working hard, even if that just means that they’re meeting their goals. If an employee is doing a good job (or better yet, going above and beyond) make sure that you recognize that behavior and offer praise.
If employees are comfortable with it, you could have digital signs showing “employees of the week” or send out newsletters with praise for certain employees every week.
Make sure that you praise all of your employees rather than favoring the same one every week. Even if someone is struggling, a bit of positive feedback can be exactly what they need to get back on track.
Incentives and Challenges
Employee incentives and challenges are a fun way to motivate your team. Everyone loves a bit of friendly competition.
It’s helpful if the competition pits employees against themselves rather than against each other. You don’t want employees to build any bad blood in the workplace.
For example, you could set a challenge for employees to go beyond their top sales record.
If you want to keep things fair, set a specific number that you want employees to meet. It should be higher than average, but not so high that it’s unattainable.
Remember that if something is too challenging, it won’t be motivational anymore. It can’t be so hard that it’s no longer fun.
Offer small rewards for when employees meet those goals. Rewards can be monetary bonuses, gift cards, or even small gifts.
Are your employees functioning as a team? If not, consider trying some team-building activities to get everyone on the same page in a fun way.
When your employees are working as a team, they’ll be able to motivate themselves and each other. They’ll be happier, more productive, and better at collaborating. What’s not to love?
Here are a few ways that you can build teamwork both inside and outside of the office.
When it comes to out-of-work opportunities to focus on team-building, you have plenty of options. As long as you’re able to gather your employees together in one place, it should be fun to brainstorm activities.
Even simple work outings to restaurants are great for team-building. These outings give your employees the opportunity to “hang out” in a non-professional environment. They can really get to know each other in new ways.
Many employers like to introduce games when they’re trying to encourage employees to bond. Trivia nights at local bars or coffee shops are perfect for this purpose. Who doesn’t love bonding over a game of trivia?
You could also try escape rooms if your team is small enough. Escape rooms cause your employees to think on their feet and work together to solve problems. They’re also a lot of fun and they’re affordable enough for your business budget.
Making Work “Fun”
You can also do team-building activities while you and your employees are on the clock.
Make sure that employees are encouraged to work collaboratively, even if their jobs couldn’t necessarily require collaboration. Consider a flexible seating system so that employees can talk to or collaborate with whoever they please.
During meetings, consider adding small “fun” things that can keep employees feeling alert. For example, you can come up with a code word (such as “stapler”) that will trigger an action (like touching the floor).
When someone says the code word, the last person to touch the floor loses. There’s no penalty for this little game, it’s just a way to introduce healthy competition into the workplace.
Create small scavenger hunts, do icebreakers, and do everything you can to keep your employees engaged.
Your Own Behavior
Did you know that learning how to motivate employees often starts with modifying and monitoring your own behavior as an employer? It might seem easy to throw solutions at the “motivation problem,” but if you aren’t also making changes to yourself, employee motivation won’t rise.
But what should you do with your own behavior if you want to motivate employees to be their best selves? Here are a few tips.
Be a Leader, Not a Boss
As an employer, it’s your job to lead your employees. Many misguided employers try to be “bosses” rather than leaders, and this causes resentment to build within the workplace.
Remember that employees are working hard to help you make money. How can you lead them and encourage them to do their best?
Always lead by example. If you want employees to do something right, show them instead of just telling them. If an employee needs help, you should be there to provide that help even if it’s inconvenient to you.
If the workplace needs innovation, you should either be the innovator or encourage innovation within your employees. How are you encouraging them to go above and beyond?
If your employees aren’t living up to your expectations, the problem may be with you.
Stay Open to Feedback and Communication
Do you have an open-door policy? If not, you might be lowering your employees’ motivation. You always need to be open to feedback and communication.
If employees are having problems at work, you want them to be able to come to you. Whether it’s an interpersonal problem with another employee, a personal problem that’s impacting their ability to work, or something that they’re struggling with on the job, they need to know that you support them.
Make it known that you’re there to help.
You should also conduct routine polls or surveys so you can absorb feedback from employees. You won’t know if you’re doing everything in your power to keep your employees motivated if you don’t ask.
Keep yourself open to feedback and be flexible enough to make changes if necessary.
Be a Part of the Team
While it’s important that you keep your employees functioning as a team, you also can’t forget that you’re a part of the team as well. Are you acting like it?
Show your employees that you’re willing and able to put in work. If you spend all day in the office and don’t appear to be doing obvious work, your employees will feel less motivated to succeed.
Collaborate with your employees and only delegate tasks that you hired them for. You may be an employer, but you’re still a worker.
So What’s the Best Way to Motivate Employees at Your Workplace?
There’s no one true “best way to motivate employees.” Different methods will work for different employers. You may have to go through a trial and error process before you find the right solution for you and your employees.
Remember that you should make employees feel excited to work for you, so motivate them through positive methods rather than through threats. Use the carrot, not the stick.
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Interesting Related Article: “How to Keep Your Employees Happy“