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How to Motivate Employees

You will know what to expect from a highly motivated employee, they’re more productive and they go the extra mile. But why?

The most basic answer is because they want to. The majority of employees want to be inspired by their work, to believe in your organisation and feel connected to achievements. A business where each employee feels inspired every day is the dream, but is it possible?

Unfortunately, it isn’t always the case. Not through choice but because we’re human. Motivation can drop for many reasons – lack of challenge, working environment or lack of support. As a business owner or manager, it’s your job to inspire and motivate your staff.

eCard Shack is here to help you, so read on to find out how to motivate your employees…

Set Goals

Setting goals gives employees meaning and challenge in their roles. If you bring employees along on your company’s goal-setting journey, they are more likely to be engaged.

Read more: What makes a good boss?

To do this, you need to lay out three core points for setting goals. The first thing you need to do is establish what’s expected of them as part of the business. Second, help them visualise what success in their role will look like. Finally, and most importantly, explain how their contribution will make a difference to the business.

Creating the connection between employees’ personal objectives and your business goals is particularly important for motivation. You need to understand that each team member has different sources of motivation. So you need to link these back company’s goals. Meaningful work is one of the biggest motivators.

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You will no doubt want lofty ambitions for your business, but you also need to set-up smaller goals to keep staff engaged. These can be weekly or monthly but should always be realistic, otherwise, motivation could drop as a result of failing to meet unrealistic targets. You can then reward the team for achieving the goal and working hard.

Recognise Achievements

Sometimes, all people want is some recognition for a job well done and that they’ve put the effort in. Validation goes a long way.

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If an employee has been putting in a lot of time on a project or even if they went out of their way to help a colleague, praise them. Don’t wait to do it, either – it will show a lack of caring. This form of motivation is more than simply giving recognition, but it’s about the principle. If employees feel that their efforts are appreciated, they will feel motivated to work hard.

If you praise achievements and hard work, it’s possible your staff will have higher levels of enjoyment at work and out of the tasks they do. However, if they feel like their long hours of work and sacrifices count for nothing, they are less likely to go out of their way for the business.

Read more: How to improve employee morale & job satisfaction

Recognising achievement and hard work will be reflected in job satisfaction and company reputation. It also helps to build a strong culture at your company. This all forms part of motivating your employees, having a nice place to work. You want to have a workplace that staff want to come to each day and highlighting achievements is part of that.

Follow Through

If you have made promises to your employees about ideas, plans, goals and improvements to the workplace, follow through on them.

Read more: How to improve employee retention

One of the best ways to keep employees motivated is by establishing a culture of trust and consistency from the top-down. You need to come good on the promises you make. These promises can directly impact employee motivation because why would they give up time or put trust in your business if you don’t back-up your pledges?

You do need to be aware that employees may not distinguish between the promises made by their manager and the company. Therefore, it could mean a loss of trust in a manager will result in losing trust in the company. When you hire an employee, not only is there a tangible contract to sign but an implied contract of expectations, too.

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Going back on a promise violates these unwritten contracts that form an employment relationship. They are a two-way exchange. For example, in return for hard work an employee gets a promotion or learning opportunities. If this isn’t met, it’s not just motivation that suffers. It may lead to increased employee turnover.

Make your business a nice place to be

No one wants to spend most of their week surrounded by a boring office space that’s from the olden days with little natural light, for example.

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Your business should be providing a well-lit, functional and fun space that makes work a lot more pleasant. It needs to be a place that employees are happy to come to. A workplace such as this not only benefits motivation but it can help mental and physical wellbeing. Another step is to make sure things are well-kept with updated working equipment.

No one will want to sit somewhere that looks dirty or in need of a major overhaul. Sprucing up your office space doesn’t have to be expensive. You can pick up interesting furniture pieces at most shops as well as signage or wall prints. Remember to add greenery, which is proven to help mental health. It all contributes to greater motivation.

Empower Employees

You should always encourage your employees to think for themselves and make suggestions for your business.

Read more: Employee Reward & Recognition Schemes

Empower them to give feedback on company ideas, potential clients, management or business decisions. Get them involved in the business process from strategy to priorities – build relationships with them. This is all about creating an inclusive workplace. You need to involve your staff in decisions so they feel a part of what they are working towards.

Where possible, you should also make space for your team to solve their own problems. You can provide support and guidance, but it’s important to let employees lead with their own ideas and solutions. By doing so, they’ll know their skills and perspectives are valued in your business. You should always make good use of their skills and abilities, nurturing a learning culture.

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