Motivation can be hard to muster as an individual and even harder to instil it in someone else. Leaders and bosses face this problem all the time and if you’re not sure of the tactics you would use on yourself then finding what will work for others can seem like a lost cause. Don’t despair however as we’ve got a few easy ways how to motivate employees and make them want to dig in at work.
Make your workplace work well
One of the most basic ways how to motivate your employees is to give them an environment that they actually want to work in. Being in a boring office confined to a cubicle for 8 hours a day would send anyone running for the hills, so invest in making a comfortable and pleasant workspace. Don’t use old equipment that breaks constantly or is complicated to work with, modern computers are quicker to use and means your employees can get their tasks done with ease.
Try adding some colourful artwork or comfy furniture in a break out space so people feel like they’ve got somewhere to relax over lunch and you’ll find that this builds motivation, or if you can, offer incentives like a work from home day each week to give people some respite from the commute.
Give goals to reach for
If someone spends their time at a job where it feels like they’re not achieving anything specific or don’t have targets to hit, it can feel monotonous and stagnant quickly. According to a performance management report on Gallup, employees who felt they were involved in the goals process were 3.6x more likely to be engaged at work than other employees. Tell your employees what you expect of them, set them targets whether these are hitting monthly KPI’s or just completing a certain task by the end of the day so people know what they are working towards.
Now that you’ve established targets, making sure to reward your team is one of the top ways how to motivate employees. Recognise when a staff member has brought in a big client, when the marketing team have gained impressive results from a marketing strategy or when you’ve had a great quarter. Showing people that their hard work is appreciated will not only make you be viewed as the best boss, but it will encourage them to keep striving for the next big thing.
You should also remember to celebrate milestones that aren’t work focussed, such as office birthdays, work anniversaries or even just the end of the week by rewarding everyone with an early finish or a free lunch. This reminds people that you value them personally and they aren’t just cogs in the corporate machine.
Similar to rewarding successes, employees value honest feedback, especially if it involves being praised for something. You should also make sure that the feedback you give is detailed and not just empty and meaningless. Telling someone they were a great project manager is all well and good, but telling them why they were great gives them insight into which aspects of their style work well and should be repeated in the future.
Don’t make empty promises
It’s easy to promise people the world, but it’s hard to deal with the same people who are angry that it was never followed through. No one feels motivated if their boss says they can have a raise or bonus at the end of the year and then back tracks and takes the offer off the table. These sort of scenarios can not only annoy employees in the short term, but can cause long-term feelings of resentment and lead to people quitting because they felt they couldn’t trust the boss.
Sometimes plans do change, such as saying that there’s a chance at an early finish before a problem arises meaning that someone has to stay later, but in these instances you should assure your employees that the promise will be reinstated at the earliest opportunity and make sure it actually happens.
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