Employee motivation is the key to a happy, productive workforce. Look at some businesses, and it’s easy to see that they must use strong techniques to motivate team members. 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. You need good techniques to motivate team members! By providing a happy, healthy workplace for your employees, you will see a boost in productivity, efficiency and overall happiness – so let’s start right now!
5 techniques to motivate team members
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 within your business; you need to counteract its negativity. And now is the best time to start!
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
One of the most important techniques to motivate team members is to simply listen to them. Taking the time to hear and understand what your staff have to say is just as essential to a smooth business as management talking to them.
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 you can improve the businesses efficiency. 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 – Your staff will greatly appreciate personal incentives. Having your birthday off, providing gift cards, cinema tickets are just some of the ways you can motivate staff. Of course, there are plenty of other low-cost ways of showing your appreciation. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, simply ask your staff!
4. Allow your employees to demonstrate autonomy in the workplace
Providing your employees with autonomy, or a bit of independence, goes a long way. Those who are less dependent on their managers, colleagues or workplace demonstrate higher levels of work productivity. Providing the opportunity to do so allows your staff to feel trusted and more in control of what they do during a workday, allowing them to work harder in their own interests.
There are plenty of ways to give your employees more autonomy in the workplace. For example, you could provide flexible/hybrid working, where your staff can work from home for a certain amount of time per week if they would like to. Or, you could give them more choice over their schedule, work pace and the order in which they complete their tasks every day. Finding ways to give your employees a certain amount of dependence, however this will work for your business and workplace, is essential to their motivation and overall happiness.
However, it isn’t the best idea to jump from dependent staff to complete autonomy. So, try to integrate certain autonomous aspects slowly to allow your employers to adapt to the new ways and really come into their own.
Helping Boost Employee Motivation
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.
What are your favourite techniques to motivate team members? Give us your suggestions below!