Our business transcription company is well aware that one of the key challenges companies face is motivating their staff. This would be easier if the triggers are known. It takes more than just money to keep your employees motivated.
Here are ten effective ways to improve your staff’s engagement level and build a more motivated, higher performing workforce.
- Build trust: It’s important that employees know they can be trusted to do the best possible job and to praise their work when they succeed. As a Forbes article notes, “People are inspired when they know that their leaders believe in their capabilities to deliver”. A healthy work culture is also one that promotes trust and caring among the staff and management. Cultivating a workplace where people trust each other can offer immense benefits in terms of productivity and performance. According to a 2016 Towers Watson study, the ability to trust in senior leadership is one of the top drivers of employee retention.
- Set realistic, SMART goals: Set SMART – Specific, Measurable, Aggressive, Realistic and Time-bound – goals to motivate employees and build connection to their work, their coworkers, and to the organization’s mission. Goals help employees find meaning and purpose. According to Gallup, managers should have conversations with employees about their team’s goals as well as individual goals and how to achieve them. Mckinsey offers three tips to set goals to motivate employees: involve employees from start to finish, link individual goals to business objectives, and adapt goals in real-time.
- Build personal rapport with employees: As a leader, you need to spend time with your employees and get to know them. The best leaders understand and care their staff – their behavior, aptitudes, and tendencies. This is important to understand what motivates them as not all employees will value the same thing. Employees are motivated when the management takes the time to know them and shows that they have their best interests at heart, according to a Forbes article.
- Build a challenging work environment: Every company, new or established, needs challenges to grow and high performers thrive in a challenging environment. The market is dynamic and companies must continuously strive to improve their products or services or current results. Without challenges, employees can become bored and start looking for another job. Building a positive, challenging work environment is necessary to motivate and retain your best employees. Fortune cites an employee of IT major Mars as saying, “People are what make a difference at Mars, not processes. It is an open place to work, and has a relaxed but challenging environment, and excellent balance between personal and work life.”
- Use meetings to build motivation: Meetings can be used to motivate and inspire employees. Discussing and setting goals at a meeting can motivate employees to work towards achieving them. A bizfluent article points out that meetings offer the opportunity to remind employees of the company’s past achievements, which can motivate them to do their best to achieve current goals. Meetings are also a good platform to read out customer testimonials, announce an incentive and share a success story, all of which can excite employees and encourage them to give their best. Meeting transcription services can ensure documentation of the session for review and action.
- Make staff feel valued: To build motivation, companies need to take deliberate steps to make their employees feel valued. The hard work they do should be openly recognized and successes should be celebrated. Explain how their contributions add value, help the company solve problems, and move forward. A recent BQ article cites research from McKinsey which suggested that, in a corporate setting, non-financial rewards can have a greater effect than financial rewards. Small gestures in the form of surprise gifts can also make staff feel valued and appreciated.
- Provide the right tools and support: According to a Gallup poll, people who don’t believe they have the resources needed to achieve their goals tend to quickly get frustrated. So provide your staff with the materials, equipment and training to help them carry out their roles and responsibilities as well as to be innovative in their work.
- Encourage employees to take the lead: Making employees feel valued is about letting them take the lead. Recognize individual strengths and let each one share their opinions at meetings. Give them responsibility and allow them to make important decisions – this will motivate them to work towards making things happen. Respect, praise and appreciate their efforts. This is also a great way to build good leaders.
- Be transparent: Difficult as it may seem, it is important for leaders to be transparent about the company’s current situation as well as future growth plans. Transparency builds trust, fosters collaboration at work, and enhances employee empowerment. When employees feel included in important decisions, they are likely to be more committed to work towards the company’s goals.
- Take corporate social responsibility (CSR) seriously: Organizations’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts have been found to be positively associated with employee motivation. When a business behaves ethically and takes steps to contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the local community, it builds a positive image of the company. As a Forbes article notes, employees will be happy to be working with leaders who are looking to create wider reaching impact that extends into the community and influences social causes. Employees will be motivated when they know that their hard work “makes a difference beyond profitability. IKEA set an example in 1995 by taking a decision never to sell IKEA products created by manufacturers that exploited children. IKEA took this step after they discovered that some factories that sold carpets to them were exploiting child labor, according to the Forbes report.
Forbes lists Google, GE Capital, Unisys and SuperMedia and Ernst & Young among the companies that have the happiest and most motivated employees in the US. According to the report, these companies were dedicated to cultivating and advancing aspects first-rate employee incentive programs, ample benefits, career advancement programs, and great work-life balance. This proves that “fat paychecks, light workloads, and countless vacation days” don’t necessarily produce happy employees.