How to Keep Your Employees Motivated and At Their Best
When he was asked about his greatest fears in war, Alexander the Great said: “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion”. This goes to show that even a team without any outstanding ability, but with a leader who gives them the right motivation can be a significant force that will achieve unexpected results.
So then as a manager, business owner or leader, how do you keep your team members motivated and at their best, not just for themselves, but for the overall results of the organization?
The Impact of Motivation on Employee Performance
Motivation is generally reflected in the performance of employees and is closely linked to their how they feel at work. In particular, when workers feel that their work has been appreciated, they almost always perform better. Some of the impacts of boosting employee motivation are:
- Increased Productivity: Unsurprisingly, motivated employees work harder and are more productive.
- Organizational Development: motivated employees are driven to improve the wider processes and systems in an organization, and this is positively reflected in the operations of the company.
- Improved Morale: employees will feel that they are valued in the company, and that they have an important role in its success.
- Career Advancement For Employees: motivating your employees encourages them to develop their skills and advance their career, which can also benefit the organization by raising the in-house skill set.
- More Creativity: by providing the right environment for employees, they are encouraged to work on a range of new professional innovations that contribute to the development of the organization.
- Improved Employee Self-Esteem: this, in turn, will increase their interest in professional growth.
10 Practical Ways to Motivate Your Employees
Firstly, it is important to realize that some motivation methods will work with some employees but not all of them; some of them could be motivated by money increases, others by promotions, and others by less traditional motivations. Therefore, it is critical to include different tactics as part of your overall strategy to capture every type of employee. People development specialists like InspireMe can help you come up innovative and creative strategies which will suit your entire team. But to get you started, here some tips for you to motivate your team in order to encourage them to be their best.
1 – Say Thank you Every Chance You Get
One thing that can have a great impact on employees is the simple word “thank you” when it comes from the boss. Sometimes we think that when it comes to the regular work of our employees, then there is no need to thank them for their good work. However, this small word has a big influence on the employee and their enthusiasm towards work.
2 – Arrange Fun Activities
Your staff are not machines: they need some fun and variety in order to do their best to work. There is a range of ways to inject an element of fun into the workplace: such as creative team building activities or even organizing a scavenger hunt. Whether weekly, fortnightly or less frequent, having regular, fun activities as part of the work routine is very important, and it is important to keep thing fresh by mixing things up.
3 – Ask Your Employees about Their Interests
Take an interest: ask your staff about their families, hobbies, or what they got up to on the weekend. Taking a genuine interest makes your employees feel appreciated.
4 – Flexible Leave Schedules
Giving employees more control over when they can take leave and vacation will help keep them motivated when they are at work. If work coverage is critical, set up a leave calendar so that people can coordinate vacation time with their co-workers.
5 – Give Rewards
Whether an end of year bonus, commissions, or a personal gift, financial or physical gifts are a great way to show appreciation and encourage motivation.
6 – Almost Everyone Appreciates Food
Take employees out for lunch for a birthday, special occasion or for whatever reason. Let your guest choose the restaurant or order local takeaway to be delivered to the office. A nice lunch for a team that has reached a goal or delivered a project on time can also be a great motivator.
7 – Give Plenty of Opportunities
Employees are always looking for opportunities to develop professionally or learn new skills. Give your team as many opportunities for training and development as possible – this will benefit your business too. Using the latest, most efficient technology will also help to keep things running smoothly and keep motivation high.
8 – Give Them a Challenge
Smart and ambitious employees need constant mental stimulation. If they feel bored, they will start looking for different opportunities. Give your best employees every opportunity to access training, experiment with new techniques, and apply new skills.
9 – Empower Them Through Participation
Empower your best employees by giving them access to resources and delegating tasks that are important to them. Resist the temptation to intervene and micro manage: strong employees will learn from their mistakes and come up with creative solutions to solve problems.
10 – Recognize Performers Through Promotion
Your best staff will eventually get bored and want to move on if they don’t feel like they have opportunities to progress within your organization. Be sure to recognize and retain your best performers by giving them career advancement opportunities within your company whenever possible.
There are many good reasons for keeping your employees motivated: for their own benefit, and to encourage better results for your business. Motivated employees will be happier in their work, they will perform better, and they are more likely to stay with your company for the long term. Make a deliberate effort to keep your employees motivated through fun activities, strong recognition, and by giving them the opportunity to grow.