As an employer, you should strive for motivated employees who are interested in their work. After all, happy employees equal great results.
However, some employers don’t think about employees’ needs. They look at the competition, come up with “Friday pizza day” or think that a fair salary is enough to keep someone enthusiastic about their job.
It’s true that people work for money – no one can deny that. But it takes more than that to turn your employees into true brand ambassadors that will be happy to stay with the company long-term.
And for that, one needs to know all the intricacies of motivating employees. Ready to learn how to create a healthy work environment and make people happy? Let’s start!
Explain why they matter
Nothing works better than recognition of achievements and success.
Employers should point out mistakes or things that can be improved, but how often do they thank their employees for work or recognize their contribution to the overall success?
Start by explaining how each individual task contributes to the success of an overall project and the company. When people know that they make a change with their work, they will be ready to go the extra mile to ensure everything is done.
Another important thing is recognizing achievements. Do you see that somebody on the team shows stellar results? Approach them and let them know you’ve noticed their hard work.
Why it works: appreciation helps employees understand their significance and role in a company. This, in turn, is the driving force behind exceeding the set goals.
Keep a positive attitude
One of the worst nightmares for the majority of the employees would be the failure of the project and the proceeding outrage from the employer’s side.
But we can understand the manager too. When you are responsible for the whole team of people and the whole project, you will be double-worried if anything goes wrong.
Critical situations show whether a person can be a good leader. When something bad happens, an efficient manager will keep up a positive attitude and focus on solving the problem instead of yelling or finding whom to blame. The employees, in turn, will feel that the situation can be fixed, stop panicking and come up with brilliant ideas.
Why it works: negative reinforcement simply doesn’t work. A poor attitude doubles the stress and spreads to employees. If people see that their manager is self-collected and calm, they will be able to problem-solve with a cool and collected mind.
You want people to ask questions, share their ideas, and freely talk about their thoughts and feelings. For that, you need to establish an atmosphere of trust in your company.
If a boss is too arrogant, cocky, or cannot listen, people will simply stop approaching him or her. Instead, they will avoid asking for advice and struggle to solve issues by themselves, which takes longer and is less efficient.
But you are here to help them. And how can one help if people are too afraid or hesitant to even say hello?
Analyze your behavior on whether you seem approachable or not. You could be sitting with an open door all the time and people still avoid it. So how do you fix that?
Show genuine interest for your employees and prove that you care by asking questions. Do not hesitate to share your past failures and mistakes – this will help them see you as a person who once stood in their place.
Why it works: people will trust you more if they see that you care about them and treat them as peers, not just as a valuable asset.
Ensure the matching of skills and tasks
About 70% of the employees do not feel very engaged at work, according to the study by the Achievers. While there may be different reasons for that, one of the most important ones is the mismatch between the person’s skills and the tasks assigned.
Each person has different talents. The task of a good manager is to recognize these talents and assign the tasks correspondingly.
For that, ask people how they feel about their current job, what kind of tasks they are most interested in, what do they think they can do the best. Proper task assignment will not only boost employees’ engagement but will also have a positive impact on work.
Tip: Using employee assessment tools help you match skills and talents to roles, before you even hire.
Why it works: when the person feels that they are making a difference with their work, this serves as an immense motivator and boosts self-confidence.
Always give constructive feedback
First, you should give both positive and negative feedback. Positive is needed to encourage people to keep up good work and negative can be used to learn on mistakes and point out the possible improvements.
Second, the feedback should never be vague. For example, you can say: “Great job with these presentations!” However, you can go a bit further and say: “Great job with these presentations. I especially liked how well you visualized the data and the way you formulated your arguments”.
Let people know about their strengths – they will be motivated to grow further!
As for the negative feedback, do not make it sound like blame. Just point out the specific moments that need improvement and advise on the best ways to fix them or offer help (i.e. an opportunity for learning).
Why it works: when people know about own strengths and weaknesses, they will better evaluate themselves and know what is needed for further growth, like getting a salary raise.
Establish transparent communication
It is crucial that you and your employees can efficiently communicate with each other. For that, follow these principles:
- Always keep in mind the goal of communication: to come up with the best solution, not to decide who is right and who is wrong,
- Everyone has a right for a voice and deserve to be heard,
- Even the craziest idea may turn out to be brilliant: encourage free sharing of thoughts,
- Do not punish the employees for saying something that you personally do not agree with,
- Respect each other and treat people the way you want to be treated,
- Take responsibility for the actions and never lie – teach your employees the same.
Though obvious, these principles are often neglected or forgotten.
Why it works: a lot of problems can be avoided by clearly communicating thoughts and ideas.
In 2019, we celebrate diversity, including the diversity of talent, skills, ideas, and mindsets.
For the employers, it’s time to change from being a boss to being an inspiring leader who understands this diversity. In order to achieve set goals, one should invest a considerable amount of effort to nurture a healthy work environment with an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.