Employee motivation is an essential driver for improving engagement and productivity in the workplace. If your workers aren’t motivated enough, performance can drop in numerous areas. So, here’s how to improve employee motivation in eleven, easy ways.
What is Employee Motivation?
So, what exactly is employee motivation? It comes down to the level of enthusiasm, creativity, and overall commitment your employees bring to the company. We can look at employee motivation on a daily basis, but its long-term impact is often the focus for organisations.
As the focus on employee motivation has increased in the recruitment space, it has become clear that many companies would benefit from improving it. In fact, research from CV-Library found that 56% of UK professionals reported that they aren’t happy in their current role. This of course impacts the levels of enthusiasm, and ultimately performance in the role.
Why is Employee Motivation Important?
Having a motivated workforce has a wide range of benefits, from improved worker performance to higher retention.
- Higher retention levels: Employees are more likely to remain part of your business if they are happy and motivated. This will help avoid the cost of recruitment as staff leave, and the need to frequently train new employees.
- Improved performance: Research has shown that motivated employees tend to work harder, and dedicate more time and effort into their role.
- Improved employee satisfaction: Motivation often feeds into improved satisfaction. This is great from a company-wide perspective, as one discontented employee can impact your team as a whole.
How to Improve Employee Motivation
1. Set Small Goals
Setting out to achieve huge, lengthy goals can feel overwhelming and unattainable. Instead, try to start out small and take baby steps. You don’t need to demand a lot from your employees all at once, but rather, suggest they move at a steady pace.
Motivation often stems from the feeling of happiness your employees get when they’re successful at doing something. This is why small goals work better than bigger ones. Using a project management tool like Asana or Trello can really help with setting these small goals as part of larger projects, as well as giving great visibility on more collaborative projects.
2. Encourage Teamwork
Teamwork makes the dream work! By encouraging teamwork, you prompt your employees to collaborate on a single task and complete it together as one whole rather than individually. This can help relieve stress partially, as a single person will not have to be entirely responsible for something too major.
When your employees work as a team, they divide tasks among themselves and work more efficiently, which leads to faster completion of the project. Your team members will be motivated and inspired to continue working together on new projects and will be more confident in their abilities.
3. Continue Learning
We continue to learn throughout our whole lives, and this of course remains the case in the workplace. When your employees are continually learning, it can help them feel more motivated to complete more difficult or complicated tasks that require advanced skills.
In fact, the NHS actually recommends that learning new skills can improve your mental wellbeing by boosting your self confidence and helping build a sense of purpose.
You can hold regular lectures and workshops inviting experts from your field to train your workers. When it comes to new employees, make sure to provide them with a training course that will prepare them for their position in your company.
4. Change the Scenery
Sometimes the problem lies not within but without, and changing the scenery in your office space can help a lot. If your organisation has stayed in one office for a decade, it’s probably time to change the design or even move to a different location. Additionally, ensuring your office has the correct amount of light and splashes of colour is thought to reduce eyestrain, headaches, and increase productivity and employee happiness.
You could also consider offering remote working. Giving employees the option to work from home a day or two a week can not only help break up the week, but also provide a welcome change of scenery.
Alternatively, if you want to change everything entirely, you can take your team to a local café or public workspace. This is especially great for those who only require a laptop to complete their work, so they can sit in such places while still continuing doing their tasks. It may sound insane at first, but it actually depends on what kind of company you have and who your employees are.
5. Celebrate Success
“Our team always celebrates success. I think that this is the fun part of my job because this is the time when I feel like I’ve done something very important and I can finally appreciate my hard work along with my colleagues,” says Kristin Savage, writer at Studicus.
Indeed, celebrating success is crucial for keeping your employees motivated. Show them that you appreciate what they do and want to see more of it. After all, working together for a common aim is great, but achieving it and celebrating this feels even better.
6. Reward Achievements
This one is directly related to the previous point. By rewarding achievements, you not only show your appreciation, but also make them matter in a way that gives your employees actual materialistic benefits.
For example, you could give out rewards in the form of gift cards to different shops your employees like visiting. Or you could take everyone out to a restaurant. Alternatively, consider allowing your best workers to get more vacation days. Anything works as long as it has value for your employees and they are happy about getting it.
7. Provide Security
Everyone wants to have a stable life and feel like they can rely on what they have at the moment. This is why providing your employees with a sense of security will make them more motivated to work harder and better.
Try to show them that they don’t need to worry about minor issues and can focus on the matter at hand. This will keep them more dedicated to their job and loyal to your company. However, keep in mind that security may come in different forms so you can try and experiment with this and that until you find something suitable.
8. Stay Positive
Staying positive is the definition of motivation. Make sure that your employees feel happy and satisfied to keep them motivated. A good way to find out your employee satisfaction levels is to do employee reviews asking various questions about how they feel in the company, and if they think anything could be improved. These reviews could be done anonymously to encourage honest responses.
9. Find Purpose
One of the reasons why your employees may be unhappy is because they don’t have a purpose either in life or at work. They go to their job just for the money or to kill time. Sometimes this lack of motivation occurs because they don’t understand the mission of your organisation.
You may benefit from explaining your organisation’s mission, and clearly defining your goals and purpose. This could be done via monthly team meetings, and ensuring each new employee is given a clear introduction to the business.
10. Exercise & Take Breaks
Last but not least, make sure that your employees take regular breaks and exercise (even next to their workstation). Exercising helps your workers stay healthy and improves their mood which, in turn, improves their motivation.
Also, make sure that the breaks your workers take are truly regular, as nobody would want to overwork themselves. If there are any workaholics in your team, encourage them rest once in a while or they can get exhausted easily.
11. Set a clear career path
It can feel quite de-motivating to employees if they don’t see their role in the business progressing anywhere. No one wants to feel like their career is at a standstill. A way to change this is to make the next steps in their career path clear.
These can be discussed with the employee themselves, asking where they want their career to go, and how you can work together to get them there. Setting clear pathways with promotional opportunities, performance metrics, and frequent check-ins has the power to motivate your team members, and help them feel like they have a future to strive for within the company.
All in all, when considering how to improve employee motivation, it doesn’t need to be complicated. Once you highlight areas that could use improvement based on this list, implementing small changes into the daily life and workflow of your employees can work wonders.
Employee motivation is just one part of the puzzle in forming a great working culture in your business. For tips on how to effectively create a culture that performs well, watch our webinar on this topic!