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How to increase employee motivation

As we approach the holiday break, many of us will be finding it difficult to stay motivated and focused on work. However, a lack of motivation can strike at any time of year, so guest blogger Emma Miller has put together some ideas to keep your employees motivated and engaged with their roles.

Employees often say that income is just one of the factors that inspires them to stay motivated and productive at work. What matters more is some of the other elements that contribute to the feeling of satisfaction with their roles. Since we know that job satisfaction and motivation are closely related, the fastest lane to increased contentment and improved efficiency is keeping your employees’ motivation as high as possible. In this post, we'll explore some advice to help you keep your team happy even in typically slow periods.

Let employees make choices

Modern work psychology recommends that managers take the role of an organiser and a supervisor, rather than a know-it-all authoritarian boss. If you’re inclined towards this management approach, you should encourage your employees to make choices in every single part of their work. For instance, let them start with the arrangement of the office equipment and their positions in the office. After all, working together on improving the office environment is the best team-building activity, and getting this right can lay the foundations for a more productive team.

Support individuals

Although teamwork is the essence of the contemporary organisation, wise managers will recognise the importance of individual contributions as well. Therefore, if you want each and every employee to give their best to your company, you have to encourage them individually. This could take the form of letters of praise, regular feedback in one-to-one meetings or even just oral praise. Also, you could consider offering tailored rewards for strong performance, such as family cinema or theatre tickets, gift vouchers or extra days off.

Accept their ideas

The times when business owners were treated as deities are behind us in the majority of developed countries. While the philosophy of business management has changed a lot, the powerful impact that technology has on our professional lives has contributed to it, as well. Consequently, the business world has altered to such a large extent that today only joint business efforts can yield positive results. For all those reasons, a smart business owner will organise special brainswarming sessions within their teams, so as to animate their employees to generate business ideas and share them with their colleagues. Learn more about the concept of brainswarming in a video by the Harvard Business Review. You could also consider setting up a dedicated space on your social learning platform to help coax ideas out of people who prefer not to speak up in meetings to ensure everyone's thoughts are heard.

Encourage feedback

Your employees will be more inspired to make suggestions if they notice that you pay attention to their feedback. Because of that, it’s vital for the progress of your business to conduct regular staff surveys. They should be sent out in the form of a questionnaire and the employees should do them anonymously. 

After the feedback results have been analysed by the HR team, a follow-up email should be sent to all your workers. In this email, you can thank them for taking part in the survey and list which of their suggestions you’ve decided to apply in your company. Moreover, check out some additional ideas for getting honest feedback, as suggested by the Wall Street Journal. It is also good practice to foster a culture where verbal feedback is encouraged - it doesn't need to be a formal process every time.

Use gamification to boost motivation

Modern companies invest a lot of time and assets in keeping their employees highly motivated through special sets of gamification features. For instance, you can gamify the training process to give employees targets to hit, or using a points-based system which looks at performance in training programmes. When employees reach each of these levels, they should be given the appropriate awards. For instance, start with simple prizes, such as company-branded T-shirts to help boost the connection with the organisation. As the employees keep making progress, you could introduce higher-value prizes, such as gadgets. Also, make sure to use some creative custom printing techniques on prizes and include the brand emblems of your company. That way the progress of your employees will be accompanied by the promotion of your business – a win-win tactic.

If your employees are encouraged to improve their skills and congratulated on their results, they will feel a higher level of commitment and loyalty to their company. In return, it will lead to higher satisfaction with their job, as well as greater productivity. Finally, when their hard work is awarded with proper raises, you can know for sure that your employees will keep up the good work, helping you in making your professional dreams a tangible business reality.

Emma Miller is a Sydney-based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She's a contributor at Bizzmark blog.

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