Are your employees as motivated as you would like?
Probably not. According to Gallup, only 36 percent of working people are engaged with their work.
Motivated employees are more engaged, more invested, and more loyal than employees who have lost that spark.
But it’s possible to inspire employees who were feeling lackluster about their jobs or your management.
It may take a revamp of your management style, but it can be done. Here’s what you need to know to light a fire of inspiration in each of your workers.
Respect Goes a Long Way
Bad management is one of the primary reasons why employees lose their feelings of engagement and motivation, and often the issue is that they just don’t feel respected by management.
It’s important to treat employees with honesty, integrity, and respect.
Take the time to connect with them as people – ask about their families, learn their children’s names, and get to know some of their hobbies and interests.
When you’re a good, respectful person to work for, your team will be willing to work harder for you and will be more loyal.
Don’t Wait for Performance Reviews to Give Feedback
Ninety-one percent of employees use some form of performance review to appraise their employees’ work performance.
There’s nothing wrong with giving performance reviews, but there is something wrong with saving up all your praise and feedback for a yearly review process.
Making your employees wait a whole year to get feedback can leave them wondering if their efforts are even noticed throughout the year, and that can drain away their motivation.
You should be giving praise and feedback all the time, when it’s relevant to employee performance, and not just when it’s time for an annual review.
Regular praise will keep employee motivation and engagement high, reassure them that they’re doing well, and let them know what behaviors are desirable in your organization.
Regular Recognition Keeps Engagement High
Just as employees need praise and gratitude regularly, they also need regular recognition, and it needs to go beyond an Employee of the Month award.
Shout out to those employees who are performing in ways that deserve recognition, whether it’s never being late, helping coworkers solve problems, going out of their way to provide exemplary customer service, making the most sales, or something else.
Everyone is doing something that deserves recognition, and it can be as simple as sending out a group email inviting everyone to thank Jim for his customer service skills or April for her problem-solving capabilities.
If you can’t find anything else to recognize an employee for, you can at least do the basics like employee anniversary recognition, birthday recognition, and recognition of life events like births, deaths, graduations, and weddings.
You can also give them a gift or a gift card like 750 shein.
Problem Employees Need More Understanding
Chances are you have some employees who are tapped into their intrinsic motivation and don’t need much from you in the way of pep talks, and some other employees who could be doing a lot better but simply don’t seem to have the motivation to do so.
It can be hard to motivate problem employees because it’s not something you can force on someone – motivation, like change, comes from within.
However, you can inspire both change and motivation in problem employees if you come to them in a spirit of resolving any conflicts you might have and gaining a deeper understanding of what might lie behind their motivation problems.
Maybe they don’t feel respected at work, and therefore don’t see the need to put in their best effort.
Maybe they’re bitter about having been passed over for a promotion or not receiving a promised reward or perk.
Maybe they have something serious going on in their personal lives that is draining their engagement and motivation, like an illness, a new baby, a house under construction, or a death in the family.
Knowing that everyone has an intrinsic need to do a good job, take the time to find out what’s blocking their motivation and what can be done to remove that block, whether it’s offering some scheduling flexibility, changing their role, or redelegating some of their responsibilities for a while.
Give Employees a Pleasant Work Environment
Employees won’t be motivated to do their best work in a dingy, dirty, unpleasant environment.
Make sure your workplace is clean and well-lit, with new (or newish) furniture and modern amenities.
Updated equipment is a must – if your employees are working on antiquated computer systems, for example, they may end up spending more time getting frustrated than actually working – and frustrated employees are less engaged and a lot more likely to jump ship than contented ones.
Let Your Workers Have Some Autonomy
You shouldn’t have to hover over your workers to get good performance out of them – in fact, hovering might actually hurt their performance.
People get nervous when management is breathing down their necks all the time, and that hampers their ability to do their best work.
Besides, most people would rather have some autonomy in their daily roles.
They’d like to decide for themselves what order to perform tasks in, what processes to use when performing tasks, how long to spend on each task, and so forth.
Trust your employees to get the job done right, and step back. They’ll do just fine.
Flexibility Is a Must in a Post-COVID World
Now that so many people have gotten a taste of what it’s like to work from home, many don’t want to go back to full-time on-site work.
That’s especially true if you’re the kind of employer who expects employees to take work home with them.
If they’re answering emails and finishing up projects at home, they will probably want you to show the same commitment to flexibility.
Give your employees the option to work from home at least sometimes, and to flex their schedules to achieve better work-life balance.
They’ll appreciate that you’re willing to work with them to meet their needs, and will reward you with more loyalty and greater engagement.
When your employees seem to be lacking motivation, it can be easy to write them all off.
But it’s almost definitely worth taking steps to increase the motivation levels of the crew you have, rather than hiring a new team, because often the problem is with the employer, not the employees.
Work with your team to increase their motivation, and start getting the most out of the people you already have.