20 Ideas to Motivate Your Employees

When your employees are in the office from 9am to 6pm (or later), a lot of work can get done…or not. You know you didn’t hire slackers, and you’ve seen them perform better in the past – but they’ve lost motivation. The whole team seems to be stuck in a rut, and you need to start cutting costs soon, which means you’ll have to lay some people off.

Except you don’t! Not yet, anyway. You can still motivate your team and bring back the spark, the hunger, and the drive. Here’s what you can do.

1. Find out what your team needs

Every member of your team is different – from gender, to age, to personality type, to aspirations. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy that will work for all your employees. Take the time to get to know your team and find out what they need. Sometimes, if you just ask them directly, they might even be able to tell you.

2. Inspire

When your employees are not motivated, you need to give them something to work towards. Have a vision for your company and inspire your employees to believe in it too. When your company stands for something meaningful, your employees will want to be a part of that. People can be incredibly driven, you just need to give them a reason to be.

3. Trust your team

Micromanaging is the enemy of motivation. It stifles creativity and turns your employees off from going the extra mile. Give your employees the autonomy to do the jobs you hired them to do, and trust them to seek assistance and guidance if they need it.

4. Transparency

Transparency is about letting your employees know important information that is directly related to the effort they put in everyday. While there are some things you should keep  private, highlighting success can be a powerful motivator, and sharing failure can rally the team around. Giving quarterly overviews of the company’s progress shows your employees that you trust them, and can even benefit their performance.

5. Intrinsic motivation

There comes a point where external motivators, like money and status, don’t really produce results. Intrinsic motivations are a lot more effective because they come from a person’s values and personal goals. When these align with the company’s, they’re willing to put in the extra effort to contribute and see the company succeed.

6. Encourage explanations

If your employees feel like they’re working aimlessly, or that their work isn’t good enough, they’ll lose motivation. Consider being upfront about your reasoning and expectations. This allows them to work with greater awareness of the parameters, and shows them that you respect their time and energy.

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7. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Everyone has had experiences with good bosses and bad bosses. Try to emulate what you found refreshing in your managers and avoid what made you lose respect for them. A good manager can really retain talent and help them thrive.

8. Use gamification

Human beings are naturally competitive, and the element of gamification plays on that. Gamify some of your company’s processes such that your employees can track their own progress and see where they stand compared to others. You also need to make sure that the reward is worthwhile and relevant to the context.

9. Friendly, healthy competition

When there is friendly, healthy competition, your company benefits from everyone upping their game. However, it’s important that you engage everyone and not just your top performers. The challenge should be for everyone to be motivated and focused.

10. Minimise harmful competition

The danger is that those who aren’t “winning” can end up feeling jaded and this discourages future effort. Place emphasis on personal improvement, rather than cut-throat comparison among employers.

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11. Team celebration

One person’s win is a win for the whole team. Get everyone together to celebrate. This is a direct commendation to those who have made successes, but also includes everyone else in the celebration. This can be very uplifting and motivate everyone to continue working hard.

12. Acknowledge the process

If you really want to go above and beyond, then it’s time to start acknowledging effort. While it seems like praise should only be given for results, it’s actually really important to encourage consistent effort.

13. Self praise

Sometimes in order to avoid arrogance, people become too humble. It’s important that your employees (and you!) are proud of themselves and their work. Encourage a culture of self-praise, so that your employees have a greater awareness of their skill level and are confident of their ability to succeed in future.

14. Be ambitious

Set targets that are just beyond your team’s current capability, and make let this target evolve constantly. Your team should constantly strive for a small growth in productivity or sales, but they should not feel discouraged if they fall short.

15. Be realistic

The purpose of setting goals is to achieve them. Make sure that you use the SMART framework, so that employees know the specific tasks and steps they have to do and take. They should not feel overwhelmed or like they’re working aimlessly.

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16. Help with career planning

If your employees feel like they’re stagnating in their careers, they won’t feel motivated to improve. Sit down with them and establish professional goals and a time-specific plan to get them there. Even if they end up moving on from the department or company in the future, you’ll at least get some good work from them before they go. If not, they might already be writing their resignation letter.

17. Give your employees shares

One of the most direct ways to get employees to be mentally invested in the company’s success is to get them financially invested. This will make them want to go above and beyond to ensure that the company grows.

18. Office design

Your boring office could be stifling motivation and creativity. For younger workers who want more excitement or older workers who are already looking forward to retirement, having a fun and vibrant office can make a world of difference. If your employees can find fun and peace in the workplace, you’ve done a good job.

19. Change of scenery

Bring your team out of the office once in a while. A change in scenery could break the monotony and decline in productivity. Even if you can’t afford a retreat for everyone, simply moving from a city to a more pastoral space (or vice versa) can foster more dynamic thinking and results.

20. Switch things up

If your teams aren’t really making any headway on their projects, consider allowing them to trade off and work on something different. Fresh eyes and new perspectives could be the key to some exciting advancements. Your team could also benefit from trying something different for a change.

The crux of the issue is creating a working environment that makes your employees excited and proud to come to work and give their best everyday.

Here at boxgreen we want to help progressive companies take care of their employees. Get in touch with us for one-stop office pantry management solutions to keep your employees healthy and happy.

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