5 Tips To Better Employee Motivation

blog052714Motivated employees are productive employees. An engaged employee works harder because they believe in what they do and end up producing amazing results. A motivated employee believes they are at the right company, at the right time, in the right assignment. There is real positive energy and a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves. It’s contagious.

I have several questions for you? As a leader, whether you have a title or not or managing a team, how are you motivating others? Are you the one who gets it and understands there is a lot of psychology involved in keeping employees motivated and reads up and studies and then implements what you have learned? Or are you the one who doesn’t seem to care or understand the relevance and importance of engaged and motivated employees? You are either one or the other. You can’t wimp out on this by telling yourself, ‘yes, it is important, but I just don’t have the time!’ That’s NO excuse and it is not acceptable behavior either.

Get up out of your chair and start treating your employees with authentic respect, and showing them that you trust them, and care about them. It is about dyadic communication, open, honest and engaging communication.

Employees understand how in demand they are, and can afford to act like divas. If they don’t like where they are, they’ll end up leaving, and it will be a nightmare for your company. Besides the financial damage that an employee that leaves does, it has a major effect on morale. All of the other employees become demotivated, start to question their own careers, and feel pressured about their own job security.

So…take a leap of faith and commit to improving motivation in your area, division or company. To get you started, here are 5 little, but critical tips for better employee motivation:

1. Collect Their Feedback

Where do you start? This is probably the best way to motivate employeesbecause it shows them that you value their opinion, and they start to feel important. You will also get a sense of what motivates the group and each individual. That will give them the confidence they need to produce incredible results.

To collect feedback from your employees there are several easy tools to use: Survey Monkey, Kindling, IDoneThis, IdeaScale. Employee Motivation Tip: Make sure to give them credit for the idea. There’s nothing more demotivating than having a manager take credit for one of their employees ideas. Got it? Next!

2. Delegate Tasks

Delegating is another great way to motivate employees, because again, you’re showing them that you trust them and respect them enough to complete the task at hand. This does not mean assigning a task to someone and then micromanaging them to death. That will guarantee a very demotivated employee and the incident will spread like wildfire throughout the ranks.

When you’re delegating a task to someone, you have to give them very clear instructions about how you want the task completed, otherwise they might not perform as well as you’d like. It’s okay to check in every now and then and ask if they need any guidance. Sometimes an employee might be too shy to ask or think asking will make them look vulnerable, so make sure to let them know that you’re open and willing to help.

And when they are done, give them the authentic praise they deserve, because it will make them feel proud of his work, very special and will lead to higher motivation. This is getting good…

3. Embrace Failure

This one is so important not only to do, but to reiterate over and over so the employee knows that failing is okay. There was a survey done recently about how much fear employees have, and the numbers are kind of scary.

Most employees live in fear. The 2 biggest things employees were scared of were fear of making mistakes, and fear of being fired. This has a huge effect on productivity because employees spend half their day worrying and stressing. As a manager, one of the easiest and smartest things you could do is to remove that element of fear.

Remind them that it is okay to make mistakes and that we all make them. You can learn from your mistakes, and only by doing will you ever grow. Managers should not only be encouraging and embracing failure, but encouraging personal growth, and linking these 2 together.

Make sure to communicate this to them so that they feel as if they work in a safe environment. Once that stress and pressure is gone, employees will be more motivated to work harder.

4. Encourage Collaboration

Working alone can be lonely. You must encourage team building and collaboration to motivate employees to get them helping each other out.

You want a team that is cohesive, and feeds off of each other’s strengths. This is when great work will be done, and when great work is done, employees will be proud, and that will lead to higher motivation.

Collaboration also helps motivation in the sense that it helps reinforce the bigger picture to everyone.

Here are some tools that can be used internally for collaboration, as there are literally hundreds of tools you could use: Sqwiggle – used to chat and share notes within a team environment; Yammer – used as a way to share articles, plan events, or share funny videos; Trello – used for task management.

5. Give Praise Like You Mean It and Do It A Lot!

Everyone loves praise and wants to feel they are valued. As a manager, it’s important for you to give it continuously. There are a few really important things to remember when giving praise though.

  • Do it often – It seems weird that some people will wait until the annual performance review to give out praise. Do it right away!
  • Be specific – Instead of saying “good job”, say something like “great job on that powerpoint you put together for our sales presentation. I especially like what you did on slide 15 with those images”. It shows that you’re really attentive, and that you’re not giving praise just for the sake of giving praise.
  • Give constructive feedback – You can slip in some feedback in your praise to make your feedback less negative. For example, say something like “great job on that powerpoint you made, it really helped us close that deal, the only thing you might think of trying next time is more images.”

What are your thoughts on employee motivation? We would love to hear from you with questions or comments. Tweet us @abetterleader.

Chris Craddock

As the leader of Projections' production team, Chris loves to inspire others to perform at the highest levels! From the most challenging leadership opportunities to brainstorming the latest topics leaders want to learn about, Chris provides clear direction and vision.