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How to Motivate your Employees

Repeating daily tasks in a workplace can lead to unmotivated employees including team managers. When recurrence occurs too often, a company can be affected by the employee engagement gap – the gap between what executives say they need and what is actually happening amongst their staff.

Gallup (which has been measuring employee engagement for 20 years) has shown that an estimated 70% of Americans are not engaged in the workplace, and the primary reasons for employee disengagement are mainly lead due to 1) the absence of purpose in a role 2) the company’s vision does not resonate with the employee 3) or employees could feel unheard or misunderstood.

“70% of Americans are not engaged in the workplace and the primary reasons for employee disengagement”

This is why employee motivation is a key for any successful business; without commitment and dynamism from employees, companies will be affected by reduced productivity and lower production levels. In monetary terms, between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion are wasted each year due to lost productivity in the US alone.

For these reasons, motivational techniques should be an essential part of your company’s culture. Once you understand what drives your employees, you will receive quality work, and your staff will feel a stronger bond with the company.

Below, we give a breakdown of the different types of motivations, the benefits of sparking up team motivation and 16 tips on how to do so:

  • Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation
  • Why motivation is important
  • Direct benefits of having motivated employees
  • Ways to motivate your employees
  • Summary

 

There are two types of motivation – Intrinsic and Extrinsic

A good leader finds techniques to uplift their employees, making their company THE company everyone wants to work for, and here are a few suggestions to do so.

There are two main types of employee motivational incentives:

  • Intrinsic: focusing on personal challenges, job satisfaction, self-fulfilment.
  • Extrinsic: focusing on physical rewards such as salary, bonuses, gifts, etc.

Let’s focus on the intrinsic motivation technique.

Of course, we are all motivated by money, which is why we work (except for some lucky few). Yet, when it comes to motivation, money has its limits. That is where the intrinsic motive comes in – our purpose and values mean something in the long run.

Intrinsic motivation is an inner incentive that pushes a person to pursue an activity, not for external rewards, but because the action itself is enjoyable. That is why even the best managers must think outside the box to find durable ways to increase staff motivation through intrinsic techniques.

For example, Toggl, an Estonian company and creator of a time tracking product, gives their employees ‘Freedom of Action’, letting them choose when and how they want to work. This has shown a positive effect on the company’s overall productivity with fewer hours in the office.

Let’s focus on the intrinsic motivation technique.

Of course, we are all motivated by money, which is why we work (except for some lucky few). Yet, when it comes to motivation, money has its limits. That is where the intrinsic motive comes in – our purpose and values mean something in the long run.

Intrinsic motivation is an inner incentive that pushes a person to pursue an activity, not for external rewards, but because the action itself is enjoyable. That is why even the best managers must think outside the box to find durable ways to increase staff motivation through intrinsic techniques.

For example, Toggl, an Estonian company and creator of a time tracking product, gives their employees ‘Freedom of Action’, letting them choose when and how they want to work. This has shown a positive effect on the company’s overall productivity with fewer hours in the office.

Now for the extrinsic motivation technique.

Extrinsic motivation involves completing a task or joining an activity to receive a reward (i.e. staff motivation through a raise, a bonus, a promotion) or to avoid something unpleasant (i.e. becoming redundant from the company). This does not suggest that extrinsic motivation is a negative technique as it can be valuable in some situations.

Undoubtedly, most people believe that intrinsic motivation is the best way to uplift employees; however, it is not always possible. At times, an employee simply does not desire to get involved in an activity – this is when extrinsic techniques can be a helpful tool.

To sum this up – combined, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are the underlying reasons, attitudes and objectives that lead the human behaviour. They are the “why” we do what we do. Understanding how each type of motivation works and applying it is an excellent start in motivating a team.

Why motivation is important?

Today, companies strive to keep their employees highly motivated and involved in their tasks. Employees are more likely to work well and work hard by achieving operational goals. That is why an effective workforce is critical to business success.

According to a recent study, happy workers perform 20% more and 87% are less likely to seek a job elsewhere.

6 direct benefits of having motivated employees? 

  • Lower absenteeism rates

Motivated employees have a greater sense of responsibility and pride in their work; therefore, they are more likely to want to work instead of taking leave. Research has shown that the cost of absenteeism in the workplace could reach around 2.5% of GDP in Europe ($470 billion in the European Union alone).

  • Development of employees

When employees are encouraged, they tend to push toward accomplishing their personal and professional goals. This assists in their personal development, as they can acquire new skills and grow.

  • Lower levels of staff turner

A motivated team feels a sense of loyalty and belonging, making them less inclined to look for employment opportunities elsewhere. 

  • Improved relationships between managers, employees and co-workers

Employees feel motivated in the workplace when they feel heard. Feeling valued helps alleviate any sense of dissatisfaction toward their company or even colleagues, leading to a positive mindset and a greater work ethic.

  • Higher performance levels

Motivating a team increases productivity, as employees prioritise their work instead of postponing tasks due to lack of motivation. A recent study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.

  • Building a positive work culture.

Motivated employees are generally happier and more satisfied in the workplace, making it easier to work co-ordinately with their peers. This naturally contributes to creating a positive atmosphere based on mutual trust and support.

There are many ways to boost employee motivation, helping your team feel more inspired by the work they do. These tactics can easily be incorporated into your day-to-day tasks.

How to motivate a team?

An easy and effective way to increase motivation is to recognise and appreciate your employee‘s good work. It is essential to let your staff know how their contribution has helped push the business forward.

16 Ways to motivate your employees: 

Tips: 

– Try publicly acknowledging your employee and be specific in your appraisal.

– Celebrate employee milestones.

  1. Create a friendly work environment. By doing so, employees feel at ease, and their work will be enjoyable. Moreover, improve company work culture by making it an open space for employees to contribute thoughts and ideas.

Tips: 

– Make sure that your workspace is bright, operational and pleasant.

– Create spaces where your employees can take breaks, have coffee and interact.

  1. Make the workplace a fun space with gamification and incentivising. Using game-like ways will increase employee engagement and activities whilst driving results.

Tips: 

– Use game-based learning and employee training.

– Try out interactive leaderboards.

 If you would like to learn more about team motivation contact us here at SimplePayMe – we thrive in team motivation and love to share how we do it.

  1. Communication is key to a great manager-employee relationship. You need to clearly articulate and define expectations to facilitate your employee’s work. 

Tips: 

– Schedule recurring one-on-one meetings.

– Practice active listening.

  1. Allow your employees a degree of autonomy by loosening the reins and creating trust. Autonomy and flexible working hours are incredibly efficient motivating factors. 

Tips: 

– Eliminate micromanagement.

– Let your employees set their own schedule.

  1. Give your team small attainable weekly goals. Seeing progress is very satisfactory – as never-ending projects can be demoralising for an employee.

Tips: 

– Set SMART goals for your team.

– Invite employees to identify job-specific goals.

  1. Providing ongoing training is an excellent way to make employees feel appreciated and supported in an environment that values growth. Most professionals want to continue to learn and improve their skills to progress with their careers.

Tips: 

– Use easy e-learning platforms like LinkedIn and Udemy.

– Provide face-to-face training directly at the office.

  1. Focus on employees as individuals rather than always a team. It is crucial to remember that your team comprises individuals; learn about each employee – what they like and dislike and know their strengths and weaknesses. 

Tips: 

– Setup one-one meetings with your direct and indirect teams.

– Take time to check-in on each employee on a daily basis.

  1. Provide a medium where everyone can work together. The platform will allow employees to stay informed about tasks, collaborate with team members and colleagues, and access company information. 

Tips: 

– Choose a great intranet motivation platform for your company: Blink – The Frontline App, Workplace by Facebook, or Confluence, to name a few. 

  1. Showing your staff that you care for them is a great way to value each individual.

Tips: 

– Offer one-on-one time by taking your employee for lunch.

– Organise after-work drinks with your team.

  1. Be transparent. Transparency not only ensures that your employees are working with the exact information, but every relationship, including work, is based on trust. 

Tips: 

– Don’t sugar coat challenging projects – let your team know what they are getting into.

– Introduce your team to the Radical Candor Framework.

  1. A manager must recognise low morale in each of their team members. As a manager, you have to build professional relationships that are essential to the well-being of your staff.

Tips: 

– Low morale symptoms can be a change in mood, lack of initiative, poor performance, and coming to work late.

– Take time to understand why your employee is acting this way.

  1. Management should criticise constructively. If you are not satisfied with an employee’s work quality, let them know, but do so carefully and tactfully. It is essential to never critique an employee in front of their co-workers. 

Tips: 

– Use the Radical Candor Framework method.

– Focus the discussion on the work rather than the individual.

  1. Don’t call a meeting unless it is truly necessary. If your employees are continuously in meetings, they will begin to feel detached from their regular tasks. Moreover, it is crucial to keep meetings short and to the point.

Tips: 

Research shows that businesses spend roughly 15% of their time on meetings, with surveys showing that 71% of those meetings are considered unproductive.

– An estimated $37 billion is lost per year to unproductive meetings in the US.

  1. Your employees need to see and understand the bigger picture. You can help drive workplace motivation by ensuring your team understands the influence of each of its actions on the business and its clients.

Tips:

– Promote the company vision by reminding your staff why the organisation exists and what it is trying to achieve.

– Articulate their contribution which ultimately brings understanding and acceptance.

  1. Promoting mindfulness and a positive atmosphere in the workplace is highly important. By adopting this attitude at work, you can improve productivity and motivation.

Tips: 

– Make sure to offer a new and clear outlook on daily tasks.

– Give your staff time to dream. It makes it hard for employees to use their imagination if they are controlled.

In summary: An employee who enjoys coming to work is a valuable investment and the key to a thriving company.

Leading a successful business is far from easy, though a few significant elements can rear you and your team in the right direction. As seen in this article, one major component is a positive workplace and team motivation.

There is no right approach when it comes to staff motivation. Companies are made up of mixed individuals, making it the team leader’s role to find out what works. Trying out various methods of motivation is the best way to find a successful balance.

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