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When employee motivation is low, businesses can have a difficult time. Unhappiness on the job can lead to low production, poor behavior, frequent absences, and less than sterling customer service. Many believe that the only way to truly increase employee motivation is through financial incentive, and while this is certainly an important factor, it isn’t the only thing that can work. There are numerous ways to help employees be more excited about their work.
One way to increase employee motivation is to give employees feedback on their performances. This isn’t simply about pointing out when a worker is doing something wrong. In fact, some managers only give out feedback to correct mistakes. Instead, catching people doing something right can be intensely fulfilling. Employees do need to know that their efforts are appreciated and praise can go a long way toward making that statement.
In this vein, some companies have “worker of the week” or month contests where employees can be publicly recognized for their excellence. Source of pride in doing a job typically creates employee motivation, but this should not be the only time positive feedback is given. In general, try to make positive and appreciative comments on a regular basis.
Companies that give workers legitimate and fair means to move up have built in motivation. When there are employees who are in higher-level positions because they have been promoted to them, there is clear evidence that working hard can have rewards. Promotions should not mean extra responsibility and no extra compensation. True promotions should recognize continuing commitment to work, experience gained and greater worth to a business, and should be compensated accordingly.
When employees invest in their business or have opportunities to partly own their businesses they have an additional reason to be better at their work. When possible, allow employees to purchase company stock or to receive stock as part of a compensation package. This means that the employee is truly invested in the work he or she produces, and rewards to the company are also rewards to the worker.
Smaller things that make work fun can increase employee motivation. These include having chances to celebrate as company, offering bonuses or incentives for certain types of work, rewarding employees who recruit others to work at the company, and allowing for some relaxed or themed days at work. Some employees may truly enjoy casual Friday or getting to dress up on Halloween.
Low employee motivation can occur when management is not clear and consistent in its goals. Managers and owners of a company must keep promises because employees soon learn if they don’t and tend to resent this fact. Managers should clearly and seamlessly administer a company without contradicting each other, especially when they supervise the same employee.
Perhaps the single greatest motivator to employees is respect, no matter what the title of an employee. Companies should not allow any employee to be yelled at, belittled or in any way mistreated by a manager or a fellow employee. These behaviors are usually legal, but they do nothing for morale. When companies regularly allow poor managerial behavior, there is little incentive to succeed and workers quickly learn that they are not worthwhile.