Employee motivation is the key to a happy, productive workforce. Take a look at some businesses, and it seems to be ingrained within the very fabric of the building. Everyone looks happy, seems to have been in their post for a long time and the business goes from strength to strength.
Attitude has a lot to do with how employees react and respond to the culture within a workplace. If there is an air of trust, employees tend to respond better. But when the environment is tainted with doubt, mistrust and suspicion, employees tend to vote with their feet. When they are ready to move up, they may well move out.
For anyone completing a Human Resources Management course, they will know that losing staff could spell disaster for a company. The skill set that the person has will be removed from the company. This means a business can be left relying on someone else to deliver the same level of service and skill, but they may struggle to do so. And the downward spiral continues.
As a business, you need to maximise revenue and increase productivity with staff working as efficiently as possible, but without team members struggling or feeling over worked. In fact, to get the best out of people, you need to put the best in.
How to motivate employees – three essential aspects
1. Communicate. And communicate better
A common gripe from disgruntled employees is that they don’t know what is happening. If you know there is a strong rumour mill at work within your business; you need to counteract its negativity – and start now.
If there are changes afoot – and which business doesn’t go through periods of flux and improvement? – then tell your people. You can do this in all kinds of ways – call a meeting, send out an email or create a monthly newsletter that highlights some of the great stuff that has been happening in recent weeks.
When it comes to employee motivation, the smallest of things can make a huge difference. The bigger a company gets, the further apart management and shop floor staff seem to become. If you are part of the management team, why not take some time out of your busy schedule to go and say ‘hi’ to people?
This sounds like a soft touch that will hardly have an impact but when staff members are made to feel that they are important, it will make a huge impact to their underlying motivation for working for the company. Effective human resources management is about communicating with employees to making HR the go-to people when it comes to motivating staff.
2. Listen and empower
Just as important as management talking to staff is listening to what they have got to say too.
When someone is completing a certain set of tasks on a regular basis, they can sometimes see a different way of doing things. As management, you may want something completing in a certain way because… well, you just do.
But why? Imagine the boost to team or to an individual’s motivation if they had a say in how things are done, in how their job is completed and how they think better results can be achieved?
This is just as much about empowering staff as it is about listening to them. Many employees will have ideas and responses to how efficiency can be improved. They may also be able to tell you what skills they lack, and how they can go about improving their own skill set.
This benefits a business enormously and seeing as every business wants maximum, efficiency, productivity and financial return it makes sense to listen to everyone with an input.
3. Provide incentives
Providing an employee incentive programme is a common tip that many people when it comes to employee motivation but, use wisely as it can be a double-edged sword.
On one hand, it can seem like ‘buying off’ staff but when used as part of a wider setting, staff incentives can be a great way of firing up staff motivation. We are not, however, talking about a Christmas party:
- Opportunities for advancement/trying something new – when you offer a new product or service, it makes sense to roll it out. This is a gradual introduction of something new to your customers. Why not operate in the same way when it comes to offering new opportunities to staff? If you have a new project in mind, why not ask staff to become involved in a pilot project as a means of expanding their skills?
- Personal incentives – from having your birthday off work, to gift cards, cinema tickets and other low-cost ways of showing your appreciation are just some of the ways you can motivate staff.
Successful completion of a Human Resource Management course can open many doors. For any business, looking after their most valuable assets – people – is a sure fire way of maintaining a strong presence in the marketplace. Motivating staff is crucial to retaining the right people in the right places.