Motivating your employees is not a one-off process. It should be a routine exercise as motivated employees are key to the success of your business. Even today, some businesses do not recognise the real importance of employee motivation, so only a small percentage of employees enjoy work.
Let’s try to understand why employee motivation is important.
The main reason to focus on employee motivation is that it allows management to meet the company’s goals. A company without a motivated workforce cannot go very far. In most cases, the employees would waste time doing non-productive tasks.
However, motivated employees can help achieve increased productivity and achieve higher levels of output, improving your SME’s margin.
Some other benefits of motivated employees include
- Improved employee commitment
- Higher employee satisfaction
- Continuing employee development
- Better employee efficiency
All of this translates into better results for your SME.
Let’s now look at some ways you can improve employee motivation.
1. Foster better communication
The simplest way to better employee motivation is by ensuring that you have a positive communication process at your workplace. Don’t always rely on emails and other virtual communication media to get in touch with your employees. Talk to them in person and on a personal level, wherever possible.
For example, you could set aside some time daily to talk with your employees by inviting them to join you during coffee breaks. It could do wonders. It fosters a great feeling of belonging and encourages team communication.
2. Appreciate individual contributions
Your employees feel better when you appreciate their efforts. It will motivate them to perform better the next time. Always appreciate your employees for their efforts and contribution.
If their work is appreciated, your employees will continue to be engaged in their work – no matter how big or small their contributions are. Many a time, an honest ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ would suffice.
3. Provide a positive workplace environment
It is important to provide your employees with a positive work environment. Post an inspiring quote or picture by the coffee machine, copier or notice board - where it is visible for everyone. Or provide an area to relax – a small garden area or game room where your employees can relax.
Go for an open workplace instead of tiny cubicles. Add a few plants in the workplace to improve the ambience and feel. You could also provide beanbags and pool tables to unwind.
4. Prioritise employee wellbeing
This is perhaps more relevant in today’s busy world. Happy, healthy employees are better motivated. There is nothing more harmful than employee burnout. So, irrespective of projects, make sure your employees get enough sleep, rest and time for themselves. Allow them to relax and refuel, and whenever they spend long hours at work, make sure there is a steady supply of water, food, healthy snacks, and other perks too.
Encourage them to take regular breaks. A few minutes of a break here and there can help the employees relax, and keep the creative juices flowing. So, set a healthy policy towards rest hours, arrange regular group social activities during office hours, etc to keep them happy and healthy.
5. Give trust and respect
Employees love some extent of autonomy and independence at work. It is a great feeling to be the master of your task and to be respected for that. An employee is then able to plan and structure work according to how he can work best.
Micromanaging is not a good option. Allow your employees to self-manage their workloads. That way, they can work according to their productive cycles with the knowledge that they have your trust and respect.
Motivated team is the defining factor that separates a successful business from a failed one. If you feel you are not getting the desired results, perhaps it is because your employees aren’t motivated enough.