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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 September 18, 2018

    17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

    17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

    Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

    Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

    Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

    After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

    Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

    1. Show your appreciation

    In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

    The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

    Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

    2. Communicate effectively

    Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

    Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

    3. Be open to dialogue

    Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

    New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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    In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

    For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

    4. Provide constructive criticism

    Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

    So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

    Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

    Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

    Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

    5. Conduct one-on-ones

    Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

    While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

    Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

    More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

    6. Build training programs

    In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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    From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

    While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

    7. Offer growth opportunities

    Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

    Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

    Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

    8. Reward them

    Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

    If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

    Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

    9. Encourage team outings

    Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

    From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

    10. Involve them

    Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

    Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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    11. Set meaningful goals

    In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

    Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

    12. Empower them

    You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

    Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

    Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

    13. Deal with conflict

    A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

    How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

    As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

    14. Implement a flexible work culture

    Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

    Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

    It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

    15. Host engaging activities

    All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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    From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

    16. Maintain a positive work space

    Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

    Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

    These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

    17. Avoid discrimination

    Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

    In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

    The bottom line

    Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

    It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

    This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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