The secrets to employee motivation have been baffling employers for years. Why is it that some employees come into work each day completely ready to do their best, while others consistently try to get away with doing the bare minimum? What makes some employees exemplary? Is it all about making better hiring decisions? Or are there things that employers can do to motivate even the least motivated employees?
Numerous books have been written about how to motivate employees. Articles have been written on employee motivation. All of the insights gleaned from these publications have led to some very actionable ways that every business owner can use to motivate employees. Here are some of the most proven strategies.
- Let Them Know They’re Valued
One thing that employees most often complain about is not feeling valued in the workplace. Over time, a jaded manager may forget to let employees know that their daily contributions make a big impact on the success of the company. To put this into action, simply make a habit of verbally praising employees on a daily basis. Thank them for their hard work and let them know when they’ve made a measurable difference.
- Offer Family-Oriented Perks
What is the thing that people value most? It’s their families. When the boss makes a point of acknowledging the importance of an employee’s family, that employee is more likely to be motivated to please their boss. To implement this, offer employment perks that benefit the families of your employees. Ideas include:
- supplement daycare expenses
- have a bring your child to work day
- give out free passes to local children’s entertainment events occasionally
- provide maternity leave to new fathers as well as new mothers
- host a couple of family-oriented company picnics each spring and fall
- Give Goal-Oriented Incentives
Employees often respond to goal setting. Sometimes it can be hard for an employee to motivate themselves if they aren’t sure why they’re doing something. Goal-oriented incentives are used by sales companies all the time. One way to implement goal-oriented incentives and motivate your employees is to:
- create a company goal
- divide employees into teams; even just two teams will work
- challenge teams to compete against each other to reach the goal first
- offer an incentive to the winning team such as two paid days off, a weekend at a cabin, or something similar
- Give Routine Performance Reviews
Companies that only hold annual reviews may have a hard time motivating employees. Instead have routine reviews every three or six months. Be clear whether or not you’ll be offering pay increases at the reviews. A raise isn’t essential to motivate employees, but the formal recognition from a boss during a performance review just might do the trick.
These four ways to motivate employees can be used no matter what sized company you have. When you let employees know they’re valued, recognize the importance of family, offer perks, incentives and regular reviews, you’ll soon start to see an increase in employee motivation.
“Remember, wealth has nothing to do with money, success has everything to do with failure and life is as simple as you make it!” – John Dessauer