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How To Inspire And Motivate Your Employees

How To Inspire And Motivate Your Employees

These days it has become more important than ever to know about motivating, inspiring, and building a network of productive employees. Everyone likes to feel valued and appreciated. Employers benefit from lower turnover rates and a more pleasant work environment, as do employers and supervisors. These “incentives” don’t have to be costly, but a shift in company values or how employees are viewed is very valuable. If not for a company’s employees, there is no opportunity for success; motivated employees can drive a business to broader heights of success.

1. Offer flexible hours

Life is hectic and lives outside of work can quickly become difficult and unmanageable when work becomes all-consuming to an employee. Flexible hours in a very real sense are an acknowledgement by the employer that employees need time to conduct personal business outside of the workplace. This option also saves employees money and time through lower fuel and commute costs. For parents, additional savings are gained through reduced child care costs. One option is to provide an extra day off by having employees work ten hour shifts over four days. Another is to incorporate telecommute options into an employee schedule when possible.

Employers benefit in having happier, more productive employees. Employees return to work ready to work and tackle the tasks of the workplace. Surprisingly, employees with flexible schedules are less likely to be late or miss work hours, benefiting the employer in increased and more steady productivity.

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2. Make Paid Time Off Banks Available

A paid time off bank allows an employee to combine paid sick, vacation, or personal days and to take a day without specifying a reason. Some employers allow employees to “donate” paid time off to other employees. Days build up throughout the year and are rolled over or disappear at the end of the year. The benefit here is that employees can take time as they need it, without needing to explain the reason behind taking the leave. For example, a sick day may be taken as a personal day for employees who rarely get sick; otherwise the day would be lost to the employee. This option is gaining popularity among employers, who benefit from not having to track different types of leave. The option relates to higher job satisfaction and retention.

Employers gain through having more motivated employees who are better able to use their paid time off as they see fit. Another advantage is that rather than a sudden sick day, paid time off may be scheduled.

3. Keep Work Meaningful and Interesting

No one enjoys a repetitive and boring workplace. Keep work interesting through clarifying work purpose and vision. Employees who share in the vision of the workplace are more likely to be involved, alert, and productive. Work in and of itself should, and does, have a purpose beyond the simple fear of not eating, lack of funds, or becoming homeless. In fact, this may be one of the leading factors among dissatisfaction for employees engaged in low level work. Simply working for a paycheck, in many cases, is very unsatisfying. Even the lowest-level employee should know that there contribution is important to company success. Employees stay committed and are driven toward meeting company goals.

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Employers benefit through greater productivity, as employees grow in their sense of satisfaction in the workplace. Rather than being treated as only “cogs in a wheel,” employees gain a sense of personal satisfaction from being a part of something outside and beyond themselves.

4. Create a Sense of Belonging

Belonging drives the sense of purpose in meaningful work for employees. Often this sense of belonging begins in a company’s core value and mission statement. If a business or company does not have these, it is time to start putting these ideas to paper and incorporating them into the workplace. Avoid cliquish behaviors. Some ways to build cooperation are through team exercises or building a buddy or mentoring system. Get to know the person behind the work; no one is exclusively the work that they do. Learn to appreciate people for who they are, rather than what they do. Sharing the goals and objectives of the organization enhances everyone’s sense of belonging and purpose to the organization. Listen to the ideas and contributions of all employees to add to this sense of workplace belonging.

Employers benefit through a continuous cycle of listening to employees’ ideas and contributions to the workplace. In doing so, redundant processes may be eliminated or innovative methods of doing business may be explored and implemented.

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5. Implement Safety in the Workplace

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    Besides implementing federal guidelines for preventing death, accidents, and the like, safety rules add to a sense of worker belonging and purpose. When the employer sincerely enforces safety, the employee feels there is a real sense of caring that goes beyond simple policy. Sincere efforts to care about the health and welfare of employees, as well as their safety, have a tremendous impact. In come cases, local governments have had to implement regulations or force businesses to regard the safety and health of their workers. Businesses that are proactive in these areas increase workers’ belief that they are more than a means to an end. Implementation of health and safety policies increases workers’ job satisfaction, which in turn improves productivity.

    Building an image of a safe and healthy environment benefits the company through increased sales and a more active role in the community, as a trustworthy organization. Staff morale is improved, while the company saves money on costly accidents that may shut down production.

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    6. Provide Company Perks

    How great would it be to work for a company that regularly provides exclusive perks? Pretty darn, I’d say. Employees could be rewarded through receiving a company product or service or gift cards to local business. Hot Topic, for example, reimburses employees for concert tickets. In return, employees report on the fashions the band and fans were wearing along with merchandising ideas. Include family with a company picnics held annually, and give away business samples or low-cost merchandising items such as pens or notepads. Give tickets to local sports events, the movies, or other local events. Not only are these fun ways to share in the business, but such perks add to an employee sense of belonging.

    Employers benefit from the workplace projecting a fun, caring, and involved image. This image will help attract better employees while encouraging company retention. A sense of teamwork and camaraderie leads to a greater sense of employee job satisfaction.

    7. Open The Door to Greater Opportunities

    One of the more common reasons for employee flight and turnover is reduced opportunities to learn and advance. When career stagnation sets in, employees get bored and look for better employment options. Teach new skills or enhance old ones through ongoing training opportunities. Training is also a kind of “day off” from the workaday grind. Both employees and employers benefit as employees grow in their potential. Make a point to promote from within first, rather than seeking talent from outside the company. Employees who have been with the company for some time have the opportunity to move upward, while new employees have more of a reason to remain with the company. Employees will come to appreciate and understand their intrinsic value to the company.

    Employers benefit from hiring within by having an employee already familiar with company procedures and culture. Companies can also benefit from offering cash incentive to employees who bring in new business.

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    Published on March 25, 2019

    How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

    How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

    Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

    But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

    Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

    “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

    It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

    Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

    As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

    As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

    Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

    Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

    1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

    When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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    Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

    2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

    Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

    But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

    If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

    3. Go to All Office Networking Events

    Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

    If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

    Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

    Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

    The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

    Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

    4. Show Initiative

    Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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    Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

    Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

    5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

    Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

    Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

    6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

    A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

    Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

    Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

    A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

    Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

    Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

    These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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    Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

    7. Find a Mentor

    With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

    Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

    Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

    8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

    After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

    What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

    Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

    Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

    You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

    9. Set Your Professional Bar High

    Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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    Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

    Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

    Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

    The Bottom Line

    Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

    “Half of life is showing up.”

    The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

    Remember, your career is your business!

    More Resources About Ever-Growing

    Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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