Work is what defines us, it allows to give expression to who we really are, it helps us grow and discover more of ourselves, and of course, holds the opportunity to make our dreams come true. While all of this is true, the other side of the coin holds a different story. Most work places today struggle with employee retention, on keeping them meaningfully engaged at their jobs, and thus raising the importance of employee motivation and satisfaction at work. Here are some tips to do just that.
#1 The Work Environment:
If we are to come up with workable solutions and actionable ideas for keeping employees motivated and excited about their jobs and excelling at it, let’s first look at the employee mind set, the making of the person who walks into the office every day. It’s clear on the onset that with their arrival at work, they have brought with them the willing to do a good job. No one comes to work with the clear agenda to ruin things. But, to do that, to do a good job, one needs an environment of trust and camaderie. One has to understand that a lot of people feel stuck with the pressures at home, that a lot of people have come to work because they see it as a workable solution to solve their personal problems. And so, there is an inherent drive to do a good job, because if they don’t, they have the nagging insecurity that they will lose it. Now imagine, if they walk into a work environment which sometimes may be even more stressful than the environment at home, where they have no peace to be themselves and deliver at par with expectations; then everyone loses.
Give people a work environment which will nurture their trust, which allows them peace of mind, which allows them the basic facilities to do their job, which offers a set-up of focus and improvement. Do everything in your ability to protect these basics and you will see heightened morale and performance at work.
#2 The Human Touch:
Know that no matter what designation the work force holds, that behind the titles, they are still human beings. They have their insecurities and idiosyncrasies. They come with their inherent personality flaws. They may be super talented but it is their distinct character and personality make up that sometimes allows for misunderstandings, mis-emotions and as a result missed performances. It is the inability to understand people we are not familiar with, to tolerate their unique ways which are starkly different to our ways of functioning, to respect varying emotional make ups; it is this inability to deal with human interaction at a level of maturity and purpose that puts people at a back step, thus stealing their morale at work. It becomes not just an obligation but the moral duty of the leadership to ensure and enable healthy interaction and networking amongst their people, where they get to know each other. There must be a concrete attempt from the leadership to do everything they can to build a cordial connection and an environment of support and respect at work. It won’t happen by chance, it is something you intend, plan and make happen.
#3 Constant Appreciation and Recognition:
Work can get mundane and stressful and sometimes one may not be able to see the result or reward of their work and very quickly slip into the place, ‘what am I doing with my life?’ These are dangerous signs. Not everyone has the pleasure of an artist or athlete, where the end of the match or the performance brings them instant result and gratification. Some people have to wait for weeks and months and years to see the results that their work can bring, while others work and live in total oblivion about how their efforts even matter in the bigger picture. It is important to break down the vision down to an individual’s purpose, so every day at work he is reminded of his importance. It is also crucial to appreciate and recognize one’s work at regular intervals giving them access to the work satisfaction and gratification, which otherwise may never show up in their term with you. There is great power in acknowledgement and sometimes it works as a bigger force of motivation than bonuses and perks. And of course, the addition of bonuses and perks only adds the cherry on the cake, indulge and spoil your people on it whole heartedly.
#4 Work Out of The Box:
Every once in a while, challenge people to go out of the realm of their work. It is easy to say, think out of the box, and not possible while you hold the restrains strong. Allow people to venture out of their comfort zones and engage them in activities that will in real time challenge their creativity and true personalities. That is where engaging a third party such as a Motivational Speaker comes to your rescue. Ensure that you have such engagements at regular intervals, because after a certain point, you become like old furniture, where your words may have value to others but no longer serve as a source of influence for your team. Surprise them with off-sites. Get them out of the city. Tickle their imagination and push their comfort zone. This is why the MICE industry and the Motivational Industry are a billion-dollar business. It works wonders to bring your team back inspired and charged up until their next bout of slack.
#5 Keep the Eyes on the Future.
While the present pressures and demands may become taxing, keep the focus of your team on the future. The more they can connect with the vision, the more they will be immune to daily stress and setbacks. And while you do that, keep a close tab on their performance, making timely corrections. People appreciate feedback while they still have a chance to improve. Don’t pounce on them when the game is over, correct them timely and allow them a chance to win. Done in time, your intervention serves as great motivation.
#6 Be the Example:
One sure shot formula to motivate anyone is through personal example. Don’t be shy to share your journey, and the struggles you had to face and the hardships of your overcoming showing them the subsequent victory at where you stand today. There is immense power in that connection where your journey can bring peace in someone’s current struggles. It also creates a personal connection building a stronger environment of trust.
#7 Reinforcement is the trick:
Nature is a cycle and the wheels keep turning. In that exact manner, motivation needs constant reminders and reinforcements. Your job to motivate your team is a full-time job where you need to keep coming back with a nudge, a push and sometimes a hug, constantly leading people in the direction of their highest growth. Human emotions are unpredictable and erratic and you have to stand watch on help, using the above pointers to rescue them from their own mental demons.
And remember, performance is the final motivation. Allow people strong processes and policies that will keep them aligned to success if they comply. Push people to perform but also lay out the path for them to cover. Give them the next step and the next foothold to walk on, don’t push them into the sea and get them to figure to build a bridge. They might find another shore to work in. Be watchful in doing your duty to build the bridges for them to cross, to keep the ladder stable for them to climb on. And when done, you will not just build a highly motivated work force, but also a loyal one.
So, these were seven steps on how to keep your employees motivated at work. This is Priya Kumar signing off. Thank you for listening. Do connect with me on LinkedIn, Instagram Facebook, Twitter, I would be happy to interact with you.,