In the workplace, finding ways to keep your employees motivated can be on the surface, a daunting task. You’ve brought your vision to fruition, and you are moving forward and building a strong business. You need positive, forward-thinking employees that are bringing a high level of excitement into the workplace. I’m sure you are already running through the list of company team-building activities that human resources put together, but I can assure you that motivating your employees on a daily basis is a much more achievable and maintainable goal.
As a leader, staying aware of your employees’ state of mind is a continuous challenge. While there isn’t a way to read the minds of your staff (besides hanging out in the company Slack), there are ways that you can get pretty close. At the same time, you can’t expect your employees to always be at the very top of their game. Patience and the understanding that not everyone is having the best day of their working lives every day will give you better insight into how much motivation each employee might need at any given time.
Outside of the one-on-one motivational conversations, there are five simple ways that you can motivate your staff on a near-daily basis. I find that keeping these ideals in the back of your mind when interacting with employees will help maintain a fresh and motivational working environment.
Lead by example.
Start by behaving and operating in a way that is consistent with the company values that you stand behind. Follow that up by encouraging your employees to find their own personal leadership styles. Your next team leaders are watching you for clues on how to succeed in business. Show them that you not only believe in the business you are building with them but believe in their ability to contribute to growth.
The future is possible.
Employees become stagnant in their jobs a lot quicker if they believe that there is nowhere to go from where they sit now. This is more than giving them hope that they might get promoted, or there is something more. Ask for and accept their feedback on where they see themselves in one, five or ten years. Create opportunities for advancement from within and promote from within wherever possible. This will motivate your employees to be more dedicated to your company and its mission.
It’s the small things.
A reward doesn’t have to be just a promotion. Small rewards like extra paid days off, gift cards for completing a large report or even stocking the best coffee in the breakroom are small, inexpensive ways to keep your employees motivated. The key here is not being a daily Santa Claus, but just providing enough incentive to show that you notice and appreciate their hard work without promoting everyone all the time.
Share the power.
You might be the boss, but you’d be nothing without your staff. While you can make company-changing decisions unilaterally, it behooves a manager to seek input from their staff on a day-to-day operational basis. I often seek out employee input on not only company-wide initiatives but also on how to perform their jobs at a more efficient level. They know what they need to do, so asking them how they can do it better seems like a no-brainer.
Communication is always, always key.
The last point here is the most important. I know this seems like a given, but so many leaders simply do not talk to their employees daily. They seal themselves in their offices and operate without company-wide input.
Just talking to your employees gives you a window into the minutia of operating your business. This is a value-added activity. Keeping an open line of communication with your employees is one of the best ways to motivate them because they feel heard. Motivating employees shouldn’t be a feared task, because it is as simple as just talking to them.