Tag Archives: employee motivation

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Getting Back to Work After the Holidays

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The holidays and New Year countdown are exciting times; there are lights and decorations, presents, vacation days and, for some, new and unfamiliar places. In lieu of that, January may seem a little dull to employees who are dragging their feet about getting back to work. Remedy the lingering “vacation mode” by engaging employees at the workplace. Managers and HR can do this a number of ways, such as…

  • Have your holiday party after the holidays. December is a busy month, especially in retail, so it’s perfectly acceptable to tell employees to push the party to January when they return. It won’t necessarily remove the feeling of being on vacation, but it’s a clear indication that vacation is over and work is resuming after the party.
  • Hold a strategy meeting with your key employees and get them thinking about how to improve the company this year. Plan out the coming year’s events and have them each disperse the information among their own departments, so everyone has strategy on their minds.
  • Use employee training to prepare them with key skills needed for their jobs and the coming year. Discuss how the next year will be different from the last, and what to focus on when training for the job.
  • Have teamwork training that encourages healthy teamwork and cooperation. The activities are typically engaging and hands on to inspire cooperation, and will actively get your employees’ focus back on the office and their peers.
  • Teach your employees something new to start off the new year. Emphasize learning and development in your company, and keep minds sharp to tackle anything the new year could bring.
  • Switch up the previous “norm.” The beginning of a new year is a great time to shake things up. Rearrange the office for productivity, paint it a new color, or start a new exercise program for employees. Have you been considering a “casual Friday” dress code for a while now? Start it this year!
  • Last but not least, continue to be a good leader and motivator. It’s a simple task that should go without saying, but it will be your greatest tool in keeping employees engaged, loyal, and ready to do their jobs.
  • P.S. It wouldn’t hurt to offer free coffee in the mornings, at least for the first few weeks back.

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Encourage Your Way to Motivated Employees

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Most managers have methods of dealing with poor employees, but the best managers should also have strategies to encourage their top performers, in order to guide their workforce. Ignoring employees may confuse them; your best employees won’t know they are doing well and your poor employees won’t know they need to change. Punishing or criticizing poor employees may also ineffective because although employees know they did something wrong, they may not have been told how to improve. Praising your best performers offers guidance for all employees, because they see what they should be doing, and what standard of work is rewarded in your company.

In 1925, Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock measured different types of feedback given to fourth- and sixth-grade students in a math class. She divided the classes into four groups; one was praised, another was criticized, the third was ignored, and the fourth was used as the control group.

At the end of only five days, the group that was praised for their work showed a 71 percent improvement in their work. The group that was criticized showed a 19 percent improvement, and the group that was ignored only a 5 percent improvement. The experiment showed that praise works better than criticism, and ignoring wasn’t as effective as either praise or criticism.

Generally, it isn’t advisable to give false praise, but managers should learn to give praise when an employee does well. Managers should also prioritize praise over criticism, and always give some form of feedback to avoid confusion and offer guidance. They may start to see the results pretty quickly!


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The Value of Loyal Talent

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Image from www.growthengineering.co.uk

Image from www.growthengineering.co.uk

Companies invest a lot in employees, whether intentionally or not. According to Columbia University, replacing a lost employee can cost 150% of that person’s annual salary, showing the high cost of employee turnover and the monetary savings of loyal employees. The value of employee retention also reaches beyond finances into intangible benefits. Often, employee development that encourages employee loyalty also yields amazing return-on-investment. From regular training to leadership workshops, employees who are engaged in their jobs often remain satisfied and are more likely to work harder to give customers a good experience, encouraging customer satisfaction and return business. Loyal employees are also likely to be more devoted to their jobs, and therefore more productive.

Companies can encourage employee loyalty through a number of ways. For example, an employee who feels his or her company is invested in their employees’ development is more likely to stay with the company, even when looking for opportunities for advancement. Companies that encourage passion often breed innovative and dedicated workers, and employees who feel secure and valued in their positions are more likely to stay.

“Research shows that emotionally connected employees are the best employees because they are engaged and productive, and they feel validated and appreciated.” – Kyle LaMalfa, Top 11 Ways to Increase Your Employee Loyalty

Since employing a loyal workforce is beneficial to the company’s reputation and efficiency, and losing employees hurts a company’s bottom line, it is important to hire individuals that your company is willing to invest in. Cultivate loyalty and hire selectively for positions and company fit, instead of just hiring bodies to fill chairs.


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