It is no secret that a motivated workforce produces better results, sustains workplace morale and has a positive overall effect on the company.
So, with Employee Motivation Day taking place on 25th February, it is time to consider the best ways to motivate your team and why this should be at the forefront of business thinking. Here are some top tips to increase engagement, motivation and morale in the workplace:
Be mindful in the workplace
Mindfulness can be the key to building successful relationships at work which can in turn make a more productive team. Through being mindful that your employees may not always find a task simple and making tasks clear and easy to understand, you can build better relationships whilst simultaneously making employees feel valued by the business. This can increase engagement and productivity which will have a knock on effect on the success of the business. Moreover, it is important that managers are especially mindful in periods of change as employees are likely to need extra support and guidance. Philip Cox-Hynd, author of ‘Mindfulness and The Art of Change’ exclaims that the more time taken to explain, plan, delegate, coach, review progress in the short term equates to more time gained in the long term, demonstrating the importance of mindful management in building motivated teams.
Promote Diversity and Inclusion
It is important that employees feel comfortable in their own skin and don’t feel they have to hide their uniqueness in the workplace. This can give them assurance and make them feel part of a strong team which can in turn increase motivation. Through building inclusive environments that value all facets of diversity employees are encouraged to feel valued, listened to and respected which builds motivation. On top of this, businesses that actively practice D&I outperform peers by 31%, demonstrating the financial and ethical outcomes of becoming a more inclusive business. Isabelle Pujol, author of ‘Inclusion Around The Clock’, notes that D&I can bring positive change to both individuals and organisations, creating a happier work environment with motivated teams.
Give Employees a Voice
Being heard is being appreciated. Lack of input or opportunity to contribute can often result in employees feeling unimportant and unmotivated, as if it wouldn’t matter if they were there or not. So it is vital that employers make staff aware that they are always open to hearing employees’ thoughts and opinions and hold regular team meetings. Don’t just leave it to team managers or supervisors to feed back. Clayton John Ainger, motivational speaker and authoer of best-selling book The Ego’s Code highlights how important it is for employers to make it known that they can be counted on when issues arise and suggests that they should ask open-endedly how things are going when they speak to members of staff in person.
Ditch the dogma of Individual Rewards
More often, organisations aim for teamwork to improve and drive performances, yet employees are praised, given bonuses and promoted as individuals. Employees are commonly bought together to work on a new project as part of a team, but receive rewards on an individual basis. Changing the way employers reward members of staff is likely to vastly increase motivitation, employee satisfaction and efficiency. The Oxford Group, a global organisation providing management training, leadership development and executive coaching to the world’s leading companies, highlight that moving reward systems away from an individual focus and concentrate on complex behaviours such as efficiency rather than simply looking at targets and results will indirectly improve motivation and avoid burnout.
Help Employees Step Outside of their Comfort Zone
Every employee has their own routines and any new task causes fear to arise. Not wanting to feel this anxiety and uncertainty causes them to use it as an excuse and a reason to put the task off or ask someone else to complete it. Instead of employers not wanting to put employees in this potentially uncomfortable situation, developing employees’ skills will bring long term happiness and personal development. Stepping outside of the comfort zone is one of the most rewarding things you can do and from an employee point of view, it is reinforcing to see that an employer is pushing you to achieve your very best. Carla Watson and Shelley La Mancusa, authors of the newly published book ‘Getting Out Of A Rut’ express that both employees and employers should keep open minds when it comes to going beyond our comfort zones.
Give Employees Space to Explore the Four Keys to Personal Development
Above everything, employers need to allow members of staff space to develop themselves internally. Providing lots of restrictions on staff members often leads to them feeling trapped and unhappy. Carol Talbot, author of ‘You The Divine Genius’ proposes that there are four keys to personal development which each need to be carefully addressed to achieve true positivity and thus more productivity and efficiency at work. After analysing themselves and who they are, it is important for people to unlearn their behaviours and patterns in order to explore the wider world and search for happiness. This them creates a ‘new you’ with different perspectives on life.
Allow people to practice
During times of change or when there are new roles and responsibilities to take on, John McLachlan, Leadership expert and co-author of Real Leaders for the Real World says ‘employees will make more mistakes than normal, so it is important in a healthy culture to allow for this and provide plenty of safe opportunities for people to try out and test new processes or structures. At this stage in the process of change leaders need to be tolerant of errors and provide a forum for feedback on the change, give prompt feedback to people in their team, don’t assume they will just get used to it, take action on any unhelpful power dynamics emerging, be prepared to spend more time on people-issues and giving feedback and finally, manage feedback upward appropriately.’