1. Open Communication Should Be Encouraged
Having open communication with your staff is the secret to maintaining employee motivation. Nobody likes working under a boss he/she doesn’t feel comfortable approaching. Applying methods of effective communication with your team can do a lot for your staff’s motivation.
Show That You Care
Staff members invested in their work will naturally have concerns, comments, or questions. Having an open-door policy and having easily accessible communication lines will allow your staff to feel as though their input is valued.
If it isn’t realistic for you to have an open-door policy, it can be just as impactful to dedicate some time during staff meetings for people to express their concerns for a group discussion either in writing or verbally. See here an article that will help you to encourage open lines of communication.
Always Follow Up
Following up with employees regarding their input is just as important as asking them for it. While you might not be able to answer all questions or fix all problems, following up at least shows employees that you took time to consider their remarks as opposed to either ignoring them or forwarding them to another person.
Your staff will know that you do listen to them and they will not be afraid to come to you again in the future.
2. Create an Agile Work Environment
Creating an agile work environment is another very powerful way to uphold employee engagement as well as motivation. An “agile work environment” here refers to the fast-paced project management techniques that highly value constant change and adjustments over adhering to a rigid structure. While this technique is often used in software development, the principles behind it can be effective in just about any industry.
Pick Up the Pace
The “Pleasure Principle” is a concept in psychology that predisposes us as human beings to want instant gratification rather than long term rewards. Managers in agile work environments can take advantage of this aspect of human nature by getting employees to work on projects with the goal being to deliver results as quickly and efficiently as possible.
A fast-paced environment is inspiring and exciting and employees will naturally be far more engaged in projects that fulfill their psychological desire for gratification sooner rather than later.
Producing both high-quality and high quantity work within an agile work environment requires a lot of creative thinking. You should motivate staff to be innovative and take risks, even if that means making mistakes every once in a while.
One of the virtues of having an agile work environment is that if employees are not afraid to fail, they will become more daring, which makes them more apt to generate work that may potentially set your organization apart from its competitors.
3. Be Someone That You Would Want to Work For
Whether it is unapproachability, constant grumpiness, or unrealistic expectations, just about everyone has had that one manager that made work a constant nightmare. Even if you’re passionate about what you do, having a miserable manager can quickly ruin a dream job. That’s why being someone that you would want to work for is key to keeping staff motivated.
Smiles are said to be contagious, which means that if you stay positive and enthused to be at work each day, your staff will likely follow your lead. People don’t want to please a seemingly unpleasable person, which is why it is so important to be passionate about the work done in your organization.
If you are happy at work, your staff will also be happy to work for you and will be motivated to keep the good vibes coming.
We occasionally fall short of expectations in spite of our best efforts. As a manager, appreciating the fact that employees are still human beings and not programmable robots is key to ensuring that they stay motivated.
Employees that are afraid to report to their manager when they make mistakes won’t be comfortable in their position. On the other hand, if those same employees know that their manager will likely be sympathetic to their situation, they will be happy to get work done, knowing that somebody is there to offer support whenever they need it.
As a manager, being understanding is an important aspect of motivating your employees.
Get to Know the Team
Having a one-on-one relationship with staff members will make you more personable in their eyes and will allow you to have a better understanding of your team to discover what it is that actually motivates each person individually.
Having individual relationships with members of staff can also help dissolve the barrier in their minds separating you from them. If staff members feel that they have a personal connection with you, they will be motivated to avoid letting you down.
According to a study by Stefan Stürmer of the University, people are more likely to help out those they consider to be “like them”, which is why trying to show that you are as much a part of the team as the people you manage will have a profound psychological effect on how they view the work they are doing for you.
4. Incentivize Your Workplace
Offering rewards or incentives for completing certain goals can be an excellent way to get your staff to go above and beyond in their work. Making their jobs both fun and gratifying is a guaranteed way to boost employee motivation.
Make Work Fun
Employers regularly implement a strategy known as “gamification” that involves the application of game-like concepts to ordinary work tasks thereby creating friendly competition and generating enthusiasm in the workplace.
Google implemented a perfect example of such a strategy through what is referred to as the “Google Code Jam”, where the company organizes a coding competition with the intention of fishing out potential hires.
While not all organizations can or even need to gamify something like the process of hiring, things as simple as a game of bingo for sales representatives to motivate them to sell bigger ticket items will make work feel more like play. You might be surprised at just how competitive staff members can become over a reward as simple as an afternoon off or a $10 gift card.
Offer Rewards for Hard Work
Rewarding employees for hard work will determine just how motivated they will be. It can also be cost effective to recognize them for their achievements – you don’t need to spend money on a prize or even use monetary rewards.
Deloitte turned to a software that’s used for incentivizing workplace tasks by giving employees the chance to be featured on leadership boards or earning badges in exchange for completing a task. If you provide your staff with ongoing opportunities for recognition for their onerous efforts, you will likely keep them motivated for longer periods of time.
5. Encourage Workplace Camaraderie
The average full-time adult employee spends about 40 hours each week in the same office with the same individuals. As a manager, ensuring that employees are happy with those they work with is key to keeping them motivated and on task.
Focus on Team Building
Team building exercises can help foster positive employee experiences, whether it is starting off each day with a staff meeting or planning a bowling night once each month. Focusing on ensuring that employees are friendly with each other makes them better at communicating, and therefore better at resolving matters without your help.
Manage Employee Conflicts Personally
It is not always possible to avoid conflict in the workplace. If an issue arises between staff members, you should be available to them so that they can bring it to your attention without delay. Being fair and unbiased when dealing with 2 employees can help you resolve the matter quickly and will help staff shift their focus away from the drama and back to what really matters.