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10 Ways to Accelerate Employee Motivation

10 Ways to Accelerate Employee Motivation

It's simple maths that you can't continue to grow a business and achieve greater results year on year, quarter on quarter and week on week without a great team. But once you have that team, the challenge can be how to keep them motivated.

Motivated employees are our most engaged employees, and we know that an engaged team can be 17% more productive and lead to a whopping 21% increase in business profitability, according to a study conducted by Gallup.

So keeping motivation high, and ultimately increasing engagement is like your secret weapon that can really differentiate you from your competitors. Motivated and engaged teams attract the best and brightest, and foster environments which encourage productivity, creativity and best practice at every level.

So what can we as employers proactively do to maintain and improve our teams motivation at work?

1) Operate from a Place of Purpose
Employees thrive in businesses which are driven towards a clear purpose. Be clear on your purpose, they 'why' for your business and your vision for how this will be achieved.

Empower employees to strive towards this purpose in every task they do, alignment with this purpose is gold standard in keeping people motivated. When employees feel connected with this sense of purpose they tend to go that little bit further for you, especially if it on some level aligns with their core values, they love being part of something bigger.

2) Create Challenge Through Goals
Providing positive challenges for employees to extend their skills, thinking and responsibility can be an awesome way to motivate, develop and retain staff. Challenge your people to think differently, grow themselves and develop their skills.

This can often be achieved within the context of their roles, but also could be done by setting stretch goals, or aspirational goals which will really stretch them individually, and encourage them to work collaboratively as a team.

The key here is to have everyone on board with these organisation wide stretch goals, as they'll need the support of their peer group to keep motivation high.

3) Opportunity to Have Small Wins
Once you have big juicy goals set, you can keep the motivation up towards achieving these by breaking it down into smaller milestones. This allows both individuals and teams to celebrate small wins along the way to the big goal. This sense of achievement allows the momentum and motivation to build.

This could be done in the way of weekly, monthly and quarterly objectives, projects or tasks, all aligned to the ultimate achievement of the big goal. Importantly you as the leader need to lead the way in celebrating these milestone achievements.

4) Incentivise Individually
This can be a hard one for many business owners to appreciate and implement, but it's so, so important. Not all people are motivated by the same things. To really benefit from incentivising staff you must know what they aspire towards and are motivated by, and build incentives to help them move towards that vision.
To do this you may like to utilise tools to better understand what motivates your employees, like a personality profile or psychometric assessments, which in themselves can be a fun team building exercise. Or, to state the obvious, you can ask them directly, or using a simple survey, what they are motivated by and how they like to be incentivised and rewarded.
Recognise and reward them in ways which they value most. For some it's about time with family, for others it's monetary, for some it might be public recognition and for others it's a quiet thank you behind closed doors. The only way to find out is to be speaking with your team members individually, getting to know them and what's most important to them.

5) Create a Sense of Belonging
Now here you can let your creative juices flow a little, but back to my earlier point, as human beings we all have a desire to feel like we belong, to find our tribe, to feel safe and secure that the people around us will look after us, that they are 'our people'. Often people find this connection outside of work, either with their social group, family or a sporting team. But how great would the motivation level be if you could create this feeling at work?

You could start with something as visually simple as matching merchandise. Not a uniform, but matching items which can be worn or displayed that are either branded, or represent your team in some way.

6) Recognise a Job Well Done
Sounds simple but it's one thing that is often forgotten. The simple act of a thank you, or recognising when an employee has done a great job goes such a long way. This recognition creates an emotional connection between the employer and the employee, which is a foundational human need of feeling like they belong as part of your tribe.

7) Communicate 
Strong internal communication within your business leaves your employees feeling informed, empowered, secure and most importantly engaged with the vision and goals of the business.

Communicate openly, authentically and with transparency. At the core your people want to know what's expected of them, they need some sense of boundaries and structure to make them feel safe and secure to get on and do their job the best they can. Leaving them guessing means they are spending time and energy with uncertainty front of mind.

8) Encourage Creativity
Humans are curious creatures, we love to explore and solve problems and find new, better, different ways of doing this. Encourage your people to tap into their curious nature and allow creative ideas to be explored.

To achieve this staff need to know that asking questions is always ok, and that possibilities will and can be explored when they have merit. Sometimes you also have to let your employees try and 'fail' here because it's the creative process that's most important, and the environment to do this in, not always the end result.

9) Create an Amazing Work Space
This doesn't mean bean bags and table tennis tables, although it might if that works for you. An amazing work space is somewhere people want to come to work, a space that reflects the brand, it's values and the tone of the culture. A space that is safe (no boxes in the hallways), a space that is comfortable and makes productive work easier to achieve.
Studies have shown that our work environments directly impact our mood and mood obviously impacts motivation, so there is real science to the concept that creating the right workspace has a direct correlation to motivation.

In the new world of hybrid working arrangements, which include working from home arrangements, this can still be achieved, you just need to get creative on how you can do this.

10) Involvement
Involving employees in decision making allows them to feel empowered in the process and desired outcome, taking ownership for the decision and the end goal. It encourages your people to have a voice and know that it will be heard. They will feel more motivated towards achieving a goal that they had involvement in setting.

Involve and engage your staff in decision which impact them and let them be a voice for the direction and achievement of business success.

Want to get an understanding of how motivated and engaged your team are? Download our Employee Engagement Survey here. This brief survey allows your team to anonymously give you the answers you need about how they feel about their work, which will give you an indication how motivated and engaged they currently are.

Download your Employee Engagement Survey here.

Author:Kristy-Lee Billett
About: Kristy-Lee has worked in the field of HR and recruitment since 1999. She holds undergraduate qualifications in Psychology, a Masters in Human Resource Management, is an Professional Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute.
Connect via:LinkedIn

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