WANT TO KEEP YOUR EMPLOYEES MOTIVATED AND ENTHUSIASTIC?
You believe in your company wholeheartedly. There’s an entrepreneurial fire burning strong inside that motivates you to work harder each day. Unfortunately, the same cannot always be said about your employees. If you’ve tried a variety of incentives but are still seeing the negative side effects of low motivation, you’re not alone. Sometimes even the best managers have to think outside the box to find creative and reliable ways to motivate their employees.
Here are 13 unique motivational techniques from other entrepreneurs that you can try with your employees:
1) Make your business a pleasant place to be.
No one wants to stand around in a dingy, boring space for hours on end. Having an aesthetically pleasing, well-lit, functional and fun space makes work a lot more pleasant.
The first step is to make sure things are well-kept and that you have updated, working equipment. It means keeping things clean and nice looking. Sprucing up your space doesn’t have to be expensive. All these little touches will make things a lot more enjoyable for your employees (and by proxy, your customers).
2) Be a respectful, honest & supportive manager.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but bad management is one of the top reasons employees run for the hills. Things like respect, honesty, support and clear communication are the foundations here. But there’s a lot more you can do to be a great leader and mentor. If you’re new to this whole management thing, it’s worth reading some books on the subject — effective management, like any other skill, takes knowledge and practice. As a starting point, check out Amazon’s best-sellers on management, or check out the employee management section of Square’s blog. The long and short of it: if you’re a good person to work for, your employees will be more loyal.
3) Offer employee rewards.
People will stay with your business if they have a reason to. So, if you want to keep your good people and keep them motivated, it’s worth starting an incentive program. Maybe it’s a quarterly bonus. Maybe it’s private healthcare. Maybe it’s offering to foot the bill for additional credentials. Or maybe it’s even profit-sharing in your company. If people know they’ll be rewarded for a job well done, they’ll be 1) more likely to do a good job, and 2) stay to see things through.
4) Give them room to grow.
Especially if your business is rapidly expanding, giving your employees room to grow within the company is a huge motivator. There’s the dangling carrot of more money, yes, but there’s also the psychological factor of feeling like they’re trusted and respected for their work. If you’re opening a second location, think about which of your employees might be a good fit for a management role there. If there’s someone who’s doing a particularly good job with inventory, consider grooming that person to take over vendor relations completely. When you give your best employees growth opportunities, it shifts their thinking from “this is just a side job” to “this could be a full-fledged career.
5) Share positive feedback.
It’s great to feel fulfilled by your work. In fact, it’s one of the key job satisfaction factors. Satisfaction in your work can come from a variety of places — from knowing you made the perfect cup of coffee to saving the day of a mother by giving their child a haircut that doesn’t end in tears. And if your customers express appreciation for these things, be sure to share that feedback with your employees. Letting your employees know they made someone’s day makes them feel good — and gives them a deeper connection to your business.
6) Offer flexible scheduling.
Technology has changed the way businesses operate, and it has also changed the way we work–or the way we can work. If employees are able (and expected) to check work emails on their phones or finish projects on their laptops at home, it’s reasonable for them to want a similar flexibility from their employers when it comes to scheduling. And they do. In a Forbes study, 46% of respondents said that flexibility is the most important factor when it comes to job searching. And employers are paying attention: 86% of companies on Forbes 2014 “Best Companies to Work For” offered some type of flexible schedule. So, whether it’s a work-from-home opportunity or flexi time, offer various scheduling options if you want to be viewed as a progressive employer and attract top talent.
7) Offer food in the workplace.
Are good snacks the key to employee retention? Maybe. After all, nobody works well when they’re hungry. It seems so simple, but sometimes all you have to do to make people happy is to feed them. Obviously, it’s not that simple–employees also have to be reasonably satisfied with their jobs. Yet food does make an undeniable difference. In fact, a survey by Seamless found that 57% of employees say food-based perks would make them feel more valued and appreciated. It makes sense: When your employer pays attention to your physical needs, you get the impression that they care about you as a person–not just what you can do for the company. In the same survey, 38% said food perks would make them more likely to endorse their employer in a “best places to work for” survey, so not only will decent snacks help you keep your employees, it can also help you attract great new talent.
8) Recognise their achievements.
Sometimes all people want is some recognition for a job well done. If an employee has been putting in a lot of time working on a project, or they went out of their way to help out a colleague, do not hesitate to praise them. It’s not just about the act of recognition, but the principle: If people feel that their efforts are appreciated, they will feel compelled to continue working hard. Employees whose achievements were recognised also have reported that they experience higher levels of enjoyment out of the work they do. But if they feel like their long hours and personal sacrifices were for naught, it’s unlikely that they will go out of their way for the company again. So, whether it’s noting their contributions in a meeting, recognising them in a staff email or just thanking them privately, it’s imperative that you show hardworking employees your gratitude.
Having great employees who’ve been at your company for a while is a huge plus. Keeping employees motivated, especially during tough times is an important part of your business’ success. Long-time employees know the ins and outs of things, and they also make running your business a lot more enjoyable.
9) Ask them what they want.
Instead of trying guess what’s most important to them, actually sit down with them and find out what they value. Doing the unexpected might be the best thing you can do for your employees, and your company.
10) Let Them Know You Trust Them
If you let them know you trust and depend on them, they will fill those shoes sooner than you think. A vote of confidence can go a long way. Let them know you trust them to do the best job possible and they will rarely disappoint you. Try it. —Ayelet Noff, Blonde 2.0
11) Set Smaller Weekly Goals
You want lofty ambitions, but set up smaller goals along the way to keep people in it. Rather than make a billion this year, focus on getting 100 new customers this week-something that will get you to that billion. Then reward the team for achieving the goal with an afternoon off, a party, etc. They will see that your goals are realistic and everyone benefits from working hard.–Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net
12) Radiate Positivity
I’m always pumping energy through the office. I’m really enthusiastic and want my staff to feed off that positive energy. Because culture is so important to me, I play music, have fun, joke around, and play games. We work hard, but we play hard too. You have to be in the moment and high-energy all the time! –Josh York, GYMGUYZ
13) Have an Open-Door Policy
It’s amazing how a simple “please” and “thank you” fares with employees. We simply speak to staff the way we would want to be spoken to. We also have an open-door policy when it comes to suggestions and ideas. When employees feel that their voice matters, they in turn feel confident about their positions in the company and that they have more at stake than just a paycheck.–Justin Beegel, Infographic World, Inc.
We hope these tips help you keep your employees motivated and happy!