Whether you are in charge of a small business or perhaps only a leader of a small team, you are aware of how connected motivation and productivity are. Providing your employees with the basics such as competitive salaries and benefit packages is very important for their motivation. Besides this, there are other strategies that will help with how motivated your employees feel day-to-day. You don’t have to take it as far as introducing 5-hour days (which research shows lead to spikes in productivity). There are many simple ways to increase motivation in the workplace that are easy to apply.
Six ways to drive employee performance and motivation
In 2013, Gallup published the results of a poll on the state of the global workplace. They polled employees in 142 countries and determined that only 13 percent reported feeling actively engaged in their job. Around 60 percent reported the opposite, with the remaining quarter of respondents reporting feeling actively disengaged. This didn’t paint a pretty picture. If you are noticing this kind of spread in your own office, there are things you can do to increase motivation in the workplace.
The strength of every relationship depends on how well those involved are able to communicate. As an effective business leader, the clearer you are when communicating, the clearer your expectations will be. It is very difficult for employees to feel disengaged if they have clearly set goals. In addition, you can easily increase motivation in the workplace if you practice face-to-face communication with your employees as often as you can. Obviously, there is convenience involved with email. However, speaking to your employees or team members every day will make them feel more involved and motivated.
Once- or twice-a-year reviews are useful in limited ways. Your team needs continuous feedback to know where they are at. Setting clear goals is great for motivation. So is providing feedback on where your employees are relative to those goals.
Besides providing feedback often, you also want to be very specific. Generic praise is not necessarily bad. However, telling your employees what exactly they did right will both keep them motivated and aware of their strengths. Be sure to relate your feedback to performance versus their personal goals and objectives as feedback needs to be based in their value system, not that of the person giving the feedback. So, instead of just saying “good job,” you can highlight the specific thing they did. It can be the way they organized their presentation, how generous they were in their communication with a client, etc.
Public praise, private corrections
Receiving negative feedback is stressful for most employees, but can be even more exacerbated if done in front of others. As a rule, you should make sure that any corrections you want to suggest to your employee will be suggested in the privacy of your own or their office.
On the other hand, public praise can work as a great motivator. If you can, make sure that you tie in a reward with public praise. This can act as an incentive for other employees. Some people, however, will feel very uncomfortable if praised publicly, so always check before doing anything.
This may sound a little out-of-the-box. However, exercise has proven to be great for our overall levels of motivation. Obviously, not all workplaces can accommodate facilities for regular workouts (if yours can, though – great!). You can always find a simple exercise everyone can do at the office without it disturbing your work flow.
If your workplace consists of mostly people sitting in chairs all day long, introducing standing desks and active workstations could do wonders for their physical health and improve their at-work motivation. You can let them alternate between standing desks and different sitting options.
Finally, one of the simplest ways how to increase motivation at the workplace through exercise is to provide ample break time. This should be coupled with a space that is conducive to movement and exercise. Creating a green space where people can walk around will get their blood flowing and provide them with more positivity and motivation.
Depending on whether or not this is possible to enforce in your business, being flexible with the hours your employees keep can be a great and fairly easy way to increase motivation in the workplace. There are so many ways to go about this.
Flex-time is the one that is perhaps the easiest to put into work, with employees choosing when they will come in within the agreed limits. This can be a good way to make life easier for some of your employees, especially if they have small children or are taking care of an elderly relative. Other options include telecommuting and job-sharing. The COVID pandemic has given most companies experience with working from home and our clients are creating permanent telecommuting policies.
All of these will help you retain hardworking employees even as their private circumstances change. More importantly, your flexibility and openness to change will help them feel appreciated and motivated to keep doing good work.
Allowing your employees to take on more responsibilities will make them feel more ownership over the work and the business that you do. This, in turn, will help increase motivation in the workplace. They will feel more consequential to your business’ success and incentivized to work harder. It will also help them work on their personal productivity.
Of course, you should try to offer a material incentive for taking on more responsibilities. If their efforts are not being rewarded appropriately, your employees might read your delegating as overworking or taking advantage of them.
Not taking your team’s productivity for granted is key to running a successful business. Choosing even one of these six simple ways to increase motivation in the workplace could work wonders for your employees. Not only will they feel moved to try harder, but you will be able to build an office culture wherein employees can take pleasure in their work.