Staff Motivation – What’s the Secret?
There’s some bad news when it comes to motivating your staff. You’ve heard the phrase, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” right? And so it goes with your team. The best you can do as a leader is put all the elements in place that should create an inspiring work environment. It’s then up to each team member to decide how they’ll respond to your efforts. Now the good news is there are some incredibly easy and effective ways to motivate your employees but your work begins much sooner than you might think.
Hire the right people
Depending on your industry, this may be a tough one, but it is arguably the most important. If you want your company to operate effectively and efficiently, you have to hire the right people. For some managers, this may mean creating a longer than normal application and interview process. You can throw in a personality assessment or offer a shadow day to allow the candidate to watch your team and interact with them, thus giving you an opportunity to gage how well the candidate fits in with your crew and understands the work. When hiring, make sure to ask yourself, how do you want your employees to feel when they step into the office each day? Answer that question and then concentrate on hiring people who you think will evoke that feeling from others. New hires should also be people who motivate coworkers to rise to meet tough challenges.
Stay engaged with your team
A recent Gallup poll suggests engagement is highest among employees who meet with their manager at least once per week. The new generation of workers wants feedback – good or bad. They want to feel their work is recognized and they want clear direction on how to improve. Gallup estimates that only 33% of employees are truly engaged with their work – that means two-thirds of your staff is just going through the motions. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to meet with each employee once a week, seek different routes of regular engagement. A simple acknowledgement – hello, good morning, nice job – can make your employees feel appreciated. Utilize an online employee rewards program in between your meetings with workers. With Reward Geek, you can send a personalized badge or reward points to an employee to recognize their work, letting them know you see how hard they’re trying. Employees will value the fact that you’re taking the time to say thank you.
Stick to your word
If you say you’re going to do it – get it done. Cancelled meetings (or the ones that start late because you’re “running behind”) are a sure sign of how you prioritize your day and your team. Whether it’s amending an outdated company policy, making a much-needed new hire to take the extra weight off your team, or bringing in pizza during a late night work session, be a manager of your word. Working for a trustworthy leader is rare and good employees know it.
Make sure what you ask of employees is something you embody yourself. You can’t force employees to stay motivated, but you can certainly create an environment that feeds your team members’ need for recognition and appreciation. Hire the right people from the start, stay engaged through personal interaction, utilize an employee rewards program, and do what you say you will do.