Well-motivated employees can drive your business to achieve bigger and better things. According to a study by Gallup, organizations with high employee engagement were 18% more productive and 23% more profitable compared to less engaged workforces.
Yet, many businesses still struggle to keep workers motivated. Especially during uncertain times — when emotions such as fear and anxiety bring performance to a standstill — managers may find themselves bending over backward to sustain the interest and involvement of employees.
Fortunately, there are simple ways to create an environment where everyone feels engaged and motivated. The following are four strategies you can use to keep your workers inspired.
1. Set purposeful goals
Setting achievable goals and objectives is a powerful motivator — it provides direction and stimulates action toward achieving desirable outcomes. It allows your employees to work on something concrete, giving weight to their ideas and effort. If they have to perform the same menial tasks every day without a clear purpose, it’s easy for them to become demotivated.
As a business leader or manager, you can motivate your employees by:
- Clearly communicating what’s expected of them
- Helping them understand what success in their roles looks like
- Explaining to them how valuable their contributions are to the company’s success
By recognizing the role that each individual plays, you can better align corporate goals with employee objectives. When team members believe they’re accomplishing meaningful work, they tend to go the extra mile by working harder and performing better.
2. Recognize and reward accomplishments
Sometimes, it takes more than just a pat on the back to recognize employees going above and beyond. Giving simple incentives on top of recognition reminds employees that they are appreciated, and can encourage them to persevere even more. You can even develop a rewards program that recognizes individuals or teams whenever they achieve certain milestones in the workplace.
Aside from recognizing work-related accomplishments, you can motivate workers further by acknowledging their personal achievements. Receiving positive affirmation, feedback, and rewards helps workers develop a sense of security in their value to your company, motivating them to continue great work.
3. Provide supportive leadership
As a leader or manager, you need to do more than just recognize your employees’ capabilities — you need to trust them. When you show your employees that you believe in them, they’ll become more confident, productive, and committed to their work.
Supportive leadership is an important factor in increasing involvement and enhancing performance. It helps to actively approach your team members and offer them support whenever they need it. It’s also a good idea to encourage open lines of communication and regularly ask for feedback and input from your employees. That is how you will understand their concerns and expectations, giving you the ability to create a work environment that prioritizes employee morale and engagement.
Related reading: Productivity tips for hybrid workplaces
4. Offer constructive feedback
Constructive feedback is vital to any sort of progress and success. It’s also a great motivator and cornerstone for individual development. Instead of relying only on periodic performance reviews, it helps to offer feedback as often as possible.
Consider organizing weekly or biweekly one-on-one meetings with team members to get updates on ongoing projects and any issues they may be facing. These don’t have to be long conversations, even quick, five-minute chats can build strong working relationships.
You should also communicate to your employees if you feel like they aren’t putting in the right amount of effort, or correct them if they aren’t working in line with the organization’s objectives. It’s important to use positive body language and tone of voice when doing so to show that you are sincere rather than simply being critical. Don’t forget the primary purpose of offering constructive feedback is to encourage employees — you should show that you understand the reasons behind their shortcomings and offer clear suggestions as to how employees could do things differently.
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