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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

8 Tactics to Greatly Improve Motivation in the Workplace

8 Tactics to Greatly Improve Motivation in the Workplace

Why is it so challenging for modern managers and business owners to inspire their employees and improve motivation in the workplace?

Far too often, modern businesses are seeing productivity losses because of an unsatisfied, unmotivated workforce that has little to no incentive to take the day’s responsibilities seriously.

For many small business owners and HR managers, a lackluster workforce that can’t find the dedication to shoot for the stars is the beginning of the end of your prosperity.

You shouldn’t sit around and let your workers wallow in sadness but should instead, take extensive steps to bolster their wellbeing and improve motivation across the office.

Here are 8 tactics to improve motivation in the workplace, and what you should avoid if you don’t want to burn your employees out.

1. Foster Mindfulness Practice Across Your Workforce

Perhaps the most effective way that small business owners and corporate managers alike can bolster their employees’ motivation is by fostering mindfulness practices in the office.

Employee stress can gradually build up over time until your workers find it impossible to focus. So taking active measures to ensure that you have a tranquil office where everyone’s wellbeing is taken into consideration is crucial to improving motivation in the workplace.

According to the Center for Disease Control, mindfulness practices are also becoming widely embraced across the American workforce precisely because they generate such impressive results. A government survey of the prevalence in mindfulness practices across the U.S. workforce discovered some shocking facts;[1] namely, mindfulness practices have seen an explosion in popularity since 2002.

Businesses that fostered mindfulness practices across their workforce saw their employees report lower levels of stress, increased rates of satisfaction with their work, and overall better mental clarity.

Business owners who are fed up with an unhappy, disgruntled workforce need to take steps to learn about mindfulness practices and champion them in your office.

2. Make Sure Your Employees Are Hydrated

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the human body is up to 60% water,[2] yet few employers stop to consider how dehydration could be crippling their workforce and severely demotivating everyone.

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Crucial parts of the body that need water the most, like the brain and eyes, will also grow weak very quickly if your workforce is dehydrated; meaning your employees will find it hard to pay attention, stare at their computers, or conduct important business meetings.

Employers who want a more motivated workforce can’t satisfy themselves with a $20 water cooler they lug into the office over the weekend. You need to be taking active measures to ensure every worker in your facility has instant access to free, pure water and other basic necessitates if you want them to remain on their A-game from 9 to 5.

Without proper hydration, your employees will see their ability to focus diminish, their level of irritation increases, and a greater amount of stress in their everyday bodily functions.

Take steps to ensure employees are hydrated (and don’t be afraid to buy water bottles with the company logo) if you want your workforce to remain motivated and moving forward.

3. Encourage Your Employees to Have Sufficient Sleep

If you haven’t yet caught on, fostering employee health and wellness is one of the only surefire ways to actually improve motivation in the workplace, especially if your current workers are struggling to get the amount of sleep they need every night.

Insomnia is a sinister issue that plagues millions of Americans every year, with countless professionals dragging their feet into the office each morning because they didn’t get enough shuteye the night before.

Rather than having your employees fall asleep face-first into their keyboards, you want to ensure your workers are getting enough sleep and not being overworked.

You should be fostering a flexible scheduling system so that overworked employees can take a break and have a fresh, eager worker fill in their shoes while they recharge.

Taking steps to ensure that your managers and other senior employees aren’t asking too much of your junior workers is also important, as overworking your team is a guaranteed way to have them coming into the office sleepy.

4. Don’t Be Afraid of Vacations

Far too many business owners shy away from the idea of vacations, let alone company-sponsored getaways, largely because they fear such initiatives are lazy and expensive. In reality, though, rewarding your workers after they’ve achieved some notable business results is an important part of keeping everybody in the office motivated and ready to keep going.

Don’t always think about rewarding success, either, as sometimes you simply need to offer your workers a vacation to ensure they don’t suffer from burnout and become a mess.

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Employers who are skeptical about vacations should look to Germany, where an economic model that champions vacations because of the productivity boost they provide has become the norm. Germans work fewer hours yet produce more than their American counterparts largely because they report being happy at work and feeling recharged when they enter the office.[3]

By giving employees plenty of time away from the office to recharge, pursue their private interests, and take care of themselves in general, German firms discovered that workers were ready and eager to get back to work and put in a greater effort than ever before.

Business owners struggling with an unmotivated workforce, more fixated on the bitcoin price than their work, would do well to ask themselves why their employees don’t feel rewarded or appreciated enough.

Financial incentives can get the gears moving at any company but having a solid vacation regime is a great way to attract the best talent around while ensuring your existing employees are happy and motivated to keep working.

5. Root out Office Bullies

Many business owners, including Franklin Hatchett of Ecomelites, pride themselves on running a clean ship and refuse to consider the idea that some of their workers may be bullies who are being cruel to other employees in the office.

Office bullies can and do spring up at any business sooner or later, so it’s important to take steps to ensure that you’re not allowing a hostile work environment to ruin your employee’s potential.

Workplace bullying can take shape in many forms; whether it’s aggressive yelling, the use of crude or discriminatory language, or even physical abuse, workplace bullying could be mentally draining your workforce of their motivation by the day.

Compassionate, authoritative managers are needed to guarantee that everyone in the office feels safe and welcomed at all times if you want to maintain a positive-minded workforce for long.

According to information compiled by Lexisnexis, as many as half of all American workers could be the victim or witness to office bullying in their careers.[4] This absurd figure demonstrates how important it is that business owners step up to rid themselves of hostile work environments that prevent their employees from achieving their full potential.

Make sure that workers have an anonymous way to tip off their manager when something has gone horribly wrong. Also, foster a clear and open culture of office communication to ensure people’s problems are brought to light before they boil over into chaos.

6. Clamp down on Employees’ Use of Social Media

One of the best ways to improve motivation in the workplace is to clamp down on worker use of social media, as modern social media platforms are proven to generate depression in those using them. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are immensely popular, so much so that some employees won’t hesitate to spend a few minutes of their day browsing their feeds instead of attending to their work responsibilities.

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If your company is struggling with a lackluster workforce incapable of drumming up the motivation needed to succeed, you may need to take steps to ensure your workers aren’t wallowing away on social media.

It’s problematic to figure out an appropriate amount of time that adults should be spending on such websites, but it’s important that your company makes it clear that no personal social media use will be tolerated during working hours.

Social media feeds make you unhappy and thereby serve to diminish workplace motivation.[5] So don’t tolerate your employees tapping away at their phones all day while they browse someone else’s user feed.

7. Help Workers Live a Healthy Lifestyle

You may think what your workers do in their free time is none of your business, but many company owners are starting to help their workers outside of the office when it comes to aiding them in living a healthier lifestyle.

By providing employees with grocery stipends for healthy foods and by enabling them to enjoy frequent exercise, companies are bolstering the physical health of their workforce, which in turn generates fantastic results for workplace motivation and health.

Those who regularly exercise and eat healthy foods will find it easier to handle mental tasks, grapple with difficult customers, and deal with the stress that naturally occurs over a long day of work.

It’s immensely hard to generate and sustain major lifestyle changes, though, as many of your employees will soon discover. That’s why it’s important that they have some company assistance when it comes to being the best person they can be; a company gym or corporate-sponsored fun runs can go a long way towards helping your workers reach new physical limits.

Business owners who are struggling in this regard should take some time to read up on the advice of medical experts. Harvard Medical School has issued some handy information to the public when it comes to the immense benefits of a healthier lifestyle,[6] so don’t think it’s a waste of time and money to invest in the long-term physical wellbeing of your workers.

Mental health and physical health go hand in hand, too, so every dollar you spend on employee diets will also help bolster their cognitive abilities.

8. Be Aware of Employees’ Grief

Employers who are worried about an unmotivated workforce should consider the way that employees’ grief could be hampering your business and their personal lives.

Everybody experiences a loss sooner or later, after all; and if you’re not there to help your workers through the tough times in their lives, they’ll never be able to recover from a tragic accident or the loss of a close friend.

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An ancient motto reminds us to “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,” and business owners would be wise to remember this when it comes to analyzing why some workers have been having a rough go of things lately.

Paying for therapy sessions and workplace counselling when the need arises is a good way to improve motivation in your office while simultaneously demonstrating to your employees that you have a dedicated interest in keeping them healthy and happy.

When workers feel as if management or the business owner are disengaged and unmoored from their personal wellbeing, they’ll seldom be able to summon up the motivation needed to earn you record profits or lure in new customers.

The Bottom Line

More small business owners and corporate titans alike are focusing on improving motivation in the workplace for a good reason – employees who aren’t committed to success can never help you dominate the market.

It’s important that business owners and HR officials understand that they can’t just let this knowledge swirl around in the back of their heads, but rather must take active steps to ensure that motivation is being improved across the workforce.

If you start to leave your employees behind and seldom pay attention to their needs, they’ll notice and quickly become demotivated and incapable of achieving your commercial goals.

Always have an open door policy where employees can come in and discuss their issues with managers or the business owner; and don’t be afraid to spend money on their wellbeing both inside and outside of the office.

Before long, you’ll come to realize that bolstering morale and motivation in the workplace simply takes a dedication to the wellbeing of the people who help make your business ambitions into a reality.

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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Chris Porteous

The CEO of Grey Smoke Media / My SEO Sucks, helping entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

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Last Updated on November 5, 2019

5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

Businesses rely on talent to generate and sell value. Without skilled people to create its products, manage its operations and execute its strategies, a business would inevitably fizzle out of the game and leave better-staffed competitors to take the field.

This is the reason why ambitious companies go great lengths to attract top talent,[1] shelling out millions of dollars in the process and bending traditional work policies just to bring highly skilled but demanding candidates into the fold.

Clearly, the contours of business are changing. But so are the demographics of work.

Millennials have become the dominant generation in the job market in terms of population, and some have already transitioned into leadership roles. Most millennials consider opportunity to learn and grow more important than overall compensation.[2]

Companies also today expect employees to come equipped with razor sharp business acumen.[3] Unfortunately, there is an alarming discrepancy between the actual skills businesses need and those currently possessed by job candidates.

To stay in the game, employers need to continually upgrade their training and skills development strategies to cover the entire employee lifecycle.

What are Learning Management Systems (LMS)?

Learning management systems are software-based solutions for authoring, presenting, consuming, storing, and tracking educational content and training materials. These systems aim to centralize all instructional content (e.g., lessons, training modules, instructional videos, presentation slides, worksheets, online quizzes, ebooks, takeaway notes, etc.) in one place.

LMS enable instructors to design and deliver learning experiences to students, with the added capability of evaluating the effectiveness of the instructional materials and grading the learning progress of students.

On the other side of the equation, learners use LMS to develop skills and acquire new knowledge virtually anytime and anywhere via the different channels and content formats made possible by digital technology.

Over the years, a wide range of features and technologies have been integrated into learning management systems to help enhance the experience of training designers, instructors, and learners. These include cloud and mobile technology, artificial intelligence, responsive design, scheduling, gamification, data analytics, and interoperability with other applications.

5 Best All-Purpose Learning Management Systems

There are dozens of LMS vendors catering to the general market or to specific segments such as K-12 learning, higher education, and corporate training.

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With so many options available, selecting the right LMS solution for your needs can be complicated and costly, especially when you end up adopting a platform that doesn’t exactly match your goals or requirements.

Short of conducting a comprehensive audit of your needs and finalizing a learning roadmap, the safest bet would be to adopt full-featured but affordable LMS solutions.

Based on user reviews, here are the 5 best LMS to help people gain knowledge, build skills, and achieve mastery:

1. Canvas Network

Launched by Instructure as an open source software in 2011, Canvas is an end-to-end cloud-based service originally engineered for the education sector.

Widely adopted for K-12 and Higher Ed learning, Canvas can be repurposed for anything that involves an instructor, a subject matter, and a student.

Used around the world by people of all ages and organizations of all types, Canvas arguably has the largest learning and support community in its class. It works on desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.

To get a glimpse of the platform’s fresh interfaces, you can visit the Canvas Network, a learning community that provides educational and instructional materials created by colleges, universities, corporate businesses, independent course developers, and other knowledge-sharing entities around the world.

Hosting hundreds of interesting topics from data science to horticulture, the learning network also serves as evidence to the scope, capabilities, and popularity of the Canvas LMS platform.

Canvas is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure, which enhances the platform’s reliability, speed, scalability, and overall online performance.

Additionally, platform adopters enjoy a low-risk environment since cloud-based solutions require no hard stops for version updates, upgrades, or system migrations.

The Canvas website does not show a price matrix but says the service adopts a simple formula for computing fees: a one-time implementation fee and an annual subscription fee based on total number of users. It also promises free basic services for teachers who want to use the platform.

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In addition to Canvas, Instructure also offers Bridge (an LMS designed for corporate environments), Arc (a video platform for online learning), and Gauge (an assessment management system).

Check out this video if you want to learn more about Canvas Network:

2. Google Classroom

This free service from Google aims to improve the teaching and learning process using cloud technology, web apps, workflow simplification, and seamless communication between students and instructors.

Using Classroom, educators can easily create and schedule classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and grade quizzes all in one place. By streamlining processes, Classroom helps teachers save time and organize classes more effectively. Both students and teachers can also work using any device anytime and anywhere.

Classroom works perfectly with other Google tools, having been launched initially as part of Google’s G Suite for Education. This LMS solution taps Google Drive for content storage and distribution, as well as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for the creation and sharing of instructional materials. Meanwhile it integrates Google Calendar for scheduling and Gmail for communication.

With G Suite, other communication channels such as chat messaging, video conferencing, and a dedicated website are enabled.

Easy to set up and manage, Google Classroom is free to use. One of my very first courses was actually hosted on Google Classroom.

Going beyond the classroom environment, Google offers G Suite Enterprise for Education for large institutions. This suite provides enhanced search and analytics capabilities as well as advanced tools for enterprise communications.

3. Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment)

If budget and capability equally top your list of LMS adoption criteria, then Moodle might just fit the bill. Which is to say there’s none (i.e., bill).

Moodle is a free and open-source learning solution for distance education, workplace training, flipped classrooms, and other pedagogical environments.

It is also a full-featured LMS supported by a robust community and a thriving developer ecosystem. Not surprisingly, Moodle is used in more than 15 million courses by more than 130 million users in 230+ countries.

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Among other things, Moodle enables administrators and educators to create a dynamic and dedicated website to host organic, easily accessible, and highly customizable courses that can be experienced on desktops and mobile devices anytime and anywhere.

Moodle provides a personalized and intuitive dashboard as well as a host of collaboration tools for content designers, teachers, and learners. A universal calendar, an efficient file management system, an automatic notification system, multimedia integration, and a progress tracking tool all come with the package.

Check out this video if you want to learn more about Moodle:

4. Absorb

This platform recently bagged PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award for Best LMS.

Co-designed and built by former course authors, Absorb takes learning experience to the next level. This turnkey LMS solution is responsive, full-featured, and highly customizable for maximum impact.

Course developers can orchestrate a wide range of experiences depending on audience or learning situation. In addition to surveys, polls, and e-commerce integration, Absorb supports formal online learning and certifications standards such as AICC, SCORM, and Tin Can.

The user interface can also be modified to match the learner’s location, group, or department, allowing for a different look and feel for customers, channel partners, management trainees, and newly hired employees.

Absorb supports all personal computing devices from desktops to mobile phones. There are also native or hybrid apps for iOS and Android.

The only possible drawback to the platform’s powerful feature set is its pricing. The service reportedly implements a flat, one-time setup fee depending on your business and training requirements. According to the site, any plan comes with a dedicated success team for your account.

Although small companies are welcome to try, midsize to enterprise-scale organizations are probably the best segment to readily adopt this LMS solution.

Take a look at some examples of Absorb in this video:

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5. Watershed Collaborative

Created by a group of educators, this nonprofit rethinks the priorities of an LMS, asserting that too many systems miss the most essential elements of what makes learning stick. They promise a better user experience – emphasizing Learning before Management and System.

Watershed aims to support an inquiry-based learning experience through an integrated mix of online and in-person learning strategies and interactions designed expressly for teams – including collaboration, reflection, and dialogue.

While Watershed was founded initially to serve the K-12 education market, the company has since expanded its scope to cater to all types of teachers and learners with its video-rich, state-of-the-art platform.

If you’re a mission-driven educator, content creator, institution, or business, this LMS may be the one for you.

Watershed specializes in assisting you with the instructional design of courses and provides content production services to ensure top-quality video assets with lasting value. Their LMS makes it easy for course creators to continuously update and tailor content to support small and large groups, while ensuring the technology and instructional strategy supports communities of learners.

Pricing varies based on products and services, but revenues support the nonprofit’s ability to make its platform and courses available at little or no cost for high-need educators and educational settings.

Honorable Mentions

There are dozens of LMS vendors in this growing market and the brands included in foregoing list are by no means the only viable options for companies or learning institutions looking to upgrade their learning infrastructure.

Many other excellent services are worth checking out. These include:

  1. Docebo is an LMS designed for hyper-engaging students, employees, customers, and other learners. The system helps organizations identify and resolve competency gaps with strategic learning interventions.
  2. Cornerstone OnDemand is a talent, training, and performance management solution offered as an SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). This service enables learners to create personalized playlists of instructional content.
  3. Lessonly is an LMS solution that makes it easier to recall and reinforce whatever skills or knowledge you have learned through quizzes, coaching, and constant practice.
  4. Skillsoft is an online training and corporate learning platform developed by a two-decade old and billion-dollar company with the same name.
  5. D2L BrightSpace is a learning management system that has all the basics for delivering excellent, rich-media experiences for classroom or workplace training.

Conclusion

There are many ways to learn but some are more effective and meaningful than others. Whether you are a teacher looking to enhance classroom learning or an HR manager creating a long-term talent development plan for employees, the key to impactful learning is to understand and bridge the needs of learners, the goals of your institution, and the actual capabilities of the learning tools you are considering.

Note that using multiple LMS platforms is possible although not recommended. On the other hand, adopting other learning solutions beyond LMS (such as podcasts, mentoring, and onsite in-person workshops) may significantly improve learning outcomes. Always go for products and plugins that seamlessly integrate into your core LMS tool.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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