Employees are the most valuable asset organizations have. People make the work happen, regardless of the type of business. Having highly motivated employees can make teams go from good to great; ensuring high productive productivity and commitment to the organization’s mission. It can feel overwhelming to consider how to keep employees motivated but building certain actions and routines into your management plan can help keep your team members interested and excited to work for and with you.
Get to know your employees. Different personalities require different types of motivation. While meeting and exceeding goals motivate some employees, others find working on complex issues or problem solving difficult situations fulfilling. Taking the time to ask your employees what excites them about their role and using that to tailor goals will help employees continue to feel engaged. You may not be able to structure their whole position around the exciting parts of the job, but having at least one task or project that really piques their interest will keep the job from feeling stale or boring.
Set ambitious but achievable expectations. Many people are excited by goals that allow them to “rise to the occasion.” Having high expectations shows employees that you believe in their ability to create meaningful work that will positively impact your organization. Make sure the goals are not completely overwhelming or completely outside of the employee’s skill level. Appropriate reach goals can make employees feel capable and proud of their work.
Provide professional development. Investing in your employee’s personal and professional growth will make them feel valued. Team members that feel like they can grow with the company often have a higher level of commitment. Knowing that they are learning and growing will translate into motivation, especially if they can apply their newly acquired skills directly to work and get rewarded.
Make rewards clear. Whether it’s promotions, raises, bonus, or any other kind of perk, being as clear as possible about the criteria. Rewards that feel elusive or unobtainable are not good motivators, in fact, they may make employees feeling like their dedication is not valued. If there’s some subjectivity to it, that’s fine, just be an honest as possible.
Encourage your employees along the way. It’s easy to get lost “in the weeds” at work. Most work environments are fast-paced with multiple projects and several looming deadlines. Giving your employees praise and letting them know that they are on the right track will provide the boost they need when challenges arise. Pull aside individuals and give them praise for their contribution. Also, let the whole team know that they are working well together. Make sure you are providing praise where praise is due. Praising employees when it’s not appropriate can lead to misunderstandings in the future.
Encourage a motivating culture. Organization culture is one of the most important ways to keep employees motivated. Creating a culture driven by positivity, hard work, and gratitude will yield a motivated team. Encourage employees to motivate each other and praise team members when you see them uplift another colleague. Help employees solve problems when they arise instead of just pointing out issues.
While good motivation takes a little bit of extra work and attention, the payoff can be noticeable. Having a motivated team will contribute positively to the overall organizational culture and allow for positive organizational outcomes.