Now that the excitement from the holiday season has officially died down and that wintery feeling of dreariness has set in, I keep getting asked about good ways to kick-start motivation in employees. Since I’ve talked a lot about employee motivation in the past, I thought that I would put together a short, condensed list of a few easy ways to improve productivity and energize your workers..
(1) A Pat on the Back Goes a Long Way
We all have a tendency to point out the negative- the problems, the mistakes and the poorly executed tasks. While it is important for employees to know when they’re doing something wrong, it’s equally important that they hear positive reinforcement when they are doing a good job too. Sincere and authentic praise (don’t just throw undeserved compliments around!) makes employees feel valued, which in turn, motivates and inspires better job performance. And a figurative pat on the back before pointing out a mistake can often lessen the sting of your criticism, making your employee feel less defensive and more likely to correct the issue.
(2) Show Me the Money- Incentivize Them
While we would all like to think that all it takes to inspire great work performance is a kind word, let’s face it, it’s not always that simple. The reality is that most employees are more motivated by incentives, which can be anything from company specific perks like a reserved primo parking spot, extra vacation days or a pizza party to universal perks like iPads, trips or cold, hard cash. Providing tangible, pre-arranged rewards for hitting certain work-related milestones can exponentially increase your employees’ productivity and performance.
(3) Wage a Friendly War
Most humans are inherently competitive, so there’s nothing like a friendly performance-based competition to spark your employees’ productivity. This makes work performance feel like more of a game and allows for a fun and energized work environment. And since performance rates can be easily compared, it motivates your employees to work even harder to one-up their co-workers for recognition and bragging rights. This works even better if you tie in performance incentives as mentioned in point number 2 above, for first, second, and third place, etc. Knowing how and when to motivate your employees through competition is a sign of a good leader. As mentioned above, it encourages productivity and hard work.
(4) Empower Them
When you own a business, you feel a sense of pride and motivation above and beyond what someone who is employed by you feels. So, to make your employees feel more vested in your company’s success, ask for their input and empower them to bring ideas, comments and suggestions to you. Allow them to have control, to take charge of a special project or task, and “own their work”. Implementing their ideas and giving them more of a sense of ownership over their work will make them feel like a partner in your company and will ensure that they work harder to make it a success.
Utilizing these 4 motivation strategies will definitely ignite a fire of productivity amongst your employees.
What other ways can fuel motivation in employees?
Thanks to Peter Geisheker of The Geisheker Group Marketing Firm, Leonard Scott of Leonard Scott & Company, Henri Schauffler of Marketing With Henri.com, and K.L. Alston of K.L. Alston Enterprises for the inspiration behind some of these ideas.