Look around at the successful businesses in your area or anywhere in the world. What made them successful? Reasons for business success are many and complex but one of the underlying reasons for success in most businesses is employee motivation.
If your employees are not motivated, your business will suffer from the inside out and it could begin to crumble one employee at a time. Soon, you’ll be surrounded by poor, dissatisfied employees with the good ones gone seeking job fulfillment.
Without question, people work to make money, to make a living and support their family and the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed or would like to achieve. But, if your business strives to maintain a healthy environment it must go beyond monetary reward. If we fail to gain fulfillment in our work and feel needed then the paycheck becomes secondary and may not be worth it at all.
- Treat your employees with respect. If possible, learn their names and address them as such each time you see them. If their job gives them no dignity they will dread coming to work and want to leave as soon as possible. Without respect, there is no company loyalty and they will undermine you each chance they get.
- Earn your employees trust. Make them feel an important part of the company’s success. Share with them company plans for change and expansion. Communicate with employees individually and as a group.
If they hear about a change in their company from an outsider or on the news, they feel left out and even betrayed. Be generous with inter office memos to be followed with meetings in person. Lack of communication with employees is one of the chief reasons for inter office turmoil. When the truth is not shared, false rumors can triumph.
- Listen to what your employees have to say. In many cases, your employees are closer to the job than you are. They have a feel for what’s right and what’s wrong and will be willing to share this information with their employer if they’ll listen. You may not want to take action on all their suggestions, but give them an opportunity to vent. You may be surprised at what’s going on right under your nose.
- Show your appreciation. Merit raises are nice but sometimes not feasible. Schedule an appreciation day with a small party or get together. Perhaps name an employee of the month.
Present them with small tokens of your gratitude such as a bonus, employee pin or a coupon for dinner. Your appreciation should be spread throughout the year, not just at an annual meeting. Frequent boosts of employee morale are essential.
- Provide employees incentives for advancement. No one wants to work in a dead end job. Find out what each employee wants in the job and in life in general and express an interest in helping him or her to fulfill those desires. Many times you’ll learn they want nothing more than to love what they do and feel they’re contributing to the overall effort.
Your employees deserve to have your respect, trust and appreciation. Communicate with them and provide work incentives and your employee motivation skills will greatly improve. So will your business.