Encouraging people to be their best
Are your employees motivated and enthusiastic about coming into work every day? Are they aligned with the business goals and objectives?
If not, then you should consider a variety of techniques aimed at improving workplace engagement in order to benefit from a knock-on effect on motivation levels. Here we've pulled together 25 ways you can implement engagement-boosting initiatives in your organisation motivate your employees.
1. Share crucial company information
Don’t keep your employees in the dark about the business’s goals, objectives, strategic direction and financial performance. If you take the time to explain what it means for them and their jobs, then they will feel involved in the business and its goals.
2. Clearly define what’s expected of your employees
Ensure your employees understand what's expected of them, both as a team and individually. This includes letting employees know what is expected of them as part of their day-to-day role, and on individual projects and tasks.
3. Don’t sugar-coat bad news
Sometimes you need to communicate bad news. When this happens, be upfront and honest, and explain why this is happening. By doing so you’ll build trust.
4. Be consistent with your employees
You still need to treat your employees as individuals, but don’t play favourites - make sure you treat all your employees in a consistent manner.
5. Walk the walk
Set a good example and live up to the standards you ask your employees to achieve. Be willing to pitch in and help, own up to mistakes, and be on time - by doing so you’ll encourage the same behaviour from your employees.
6. Seek feedback
Make it easy for your employees to give you feedback and share their ideas by having an open door and an open mind. Encourage your employees, especially the less confident indivduals, to offer feedback and allow them to make it anonymous if they wish.
7. Get to know your team
Talk to your employees individually and get to know them, so that you can relate to them and identify what motivates them. As well as talking about work, make an effort to find out about their personal interests and commitments.
8. Don’t play the blame game
Let your employees know that it’s encouraged to try new ideas. But, if it doesn’t go as well as planned, don’t start pointing fingers - instead work with them to find out what went wrong, and what can be learned for next time.
9. Talk about their career aspirations
Find out what your individual employees want to achieve in their career, and then work together on a plan that will help them achieve their ambitions.
10. Encourage your employees to challenge themselves
Don’t let your employees get stuck in their comfort zone, encourage them to take on new responsibilities outside of their usual role, to help them develop new-found skills and confidence.
11. Offer training and development
Encourage your employees to keep learning and developing new skills through a workplace scheme that offers training, help with tuition fees, and mentoring.
12. Promote from within first
Always try to promote from within before you advertise a job externally. Your employees will see that there are opportunities to advance with the organisation, and they’ll work hard to achieve that.
13. Take a break
Encourage your employees to take their full lunch break, and all their annual leave. It can help them come back to work with a fresh perspective on problems, prevent employee burnout, and reduce stress and stress-related absences.
14. Make it OK to ask for help
All too often, employees will keep quiet if they’re feeling overwhelmed, so regularly check in with people on an individual basis to see if their workload is manageable, and that they don’t have any problems. Let your employees know that it's OK to ask for help, and that you will do what you can to ease any excess workloads.
15. Make criticism constructive
If you need to talk to your employees about their poor performance, then do it in private and make it about the performance, rather than the individual. Show them specific issues, and work out together how your employee can improve by asking them to come up with ideas to better their performance.
16. Have an employee reward and recognition scheme
Incentives and reward can improve employee engagement and performance. Implement an employee reward and recognition scheme to really motivate your employees.
17. Appreciate your employees
Employees perform better when their efforts are appreciated, so make the time to say thank you for their efforts. Encourage all the team to say thank you to their co-workers for their help and assistance – appreciation shouldn’t just come from the team manager.
18. Be tactful with your employees
Whether it’s a flexible working request, a holiday request, or something entirely, sometimes you need to say no. Treat your employee with the respect they deserve, and don’t embarrass them by failing to explain why you’ve refused their request.
19. Benchmark your salaries
Salary might not be the main motivator for most of your employees, but it’s good business sense to regularly benchmark the salaries you offer against your industry, and similar roles outside of your industry. If you’re offering significantly lower salaries, you will struggle to retain your employees.
20. Help your employees get the right work-life balance for them
Everyone’s idea of work-life balance is different, so find out what would make life easier for your employees. Does starting and finishing 30 minutes later mean they avoid the worst of the traffic? Can they work from home occasionally? Can you offer on-site services, such as accepting private deliveries for employees, or having a dry cleaning collection and delivery service?
21. Create the right working environment
Create a working environment that your employees want to come to work in. This can include how the workspace is laid out and decorated, the behaviour of employees, having proper coffee and-tea making facilities, and comfortable chairs to work in.
22. Cut down on meetings
The more time you and your employees spend in meetings, the more you all become distracted from the work that needs to be done, which can contribute to feelings of being overwhelmed. Only arrange a meeting if it’s absolutely necessary, and keep them focused and to the point when they do happen.
23. Get out of the office occasionally
Arrange events for your employees outside of the office, so that they can switch off occasionally, and get to know each other on a personal basis. You could organise a lunch in a local restaurant, after-work social activity, or an off-site team-building day.
24. Learn to recognise the signs of low morale
Learn to recognise the signs of low morale – such as high absenteeism, team conflict, poor performance, and high levels of customer complaints – so that they can be addressed sooner rather than later.
25. Conduct exit interviews
Arrange an exit interview with all your outgoing employees, conducted by someone other than the employee’s manager, so that you can find out what caused them to leave, and what the business could do to improve things.