Employee motivation is less about figuring out how to motivate staff and more about learning how to ensure your staff are self-motivated.
At the end of the day, you need staff who are self-motivated. You can?t force staff to be motivated just like you can?t force them to be happy. What you can do is foster a positive environment where staff understand what the company is trying to achieve and where they buy into the bigger goals of the company and choose to be part of it.
Here are some suggestions for properly motivating employees and fostering an environment where staff will be self-motivated:
Understand what motivates each of your staff. The first step to motivate employees is to understand what motivates them individually. What motivates one person might not be nearly as important to someone else. Don’t assume that each of your staff wants the same thing.
Give regular feedback. Even if your company gives formal employee appraisals, offering regular feedback to your staff between these appraisals can be a great way to motivate them. Acknowledging your employees? Work and how it has contributed to company goals helps to make staff see the contributions they have made.
Give rewards. Money and other similar rewards aren’t necessarily great motivators since not everyone is money motivated. After understanding what motivates each of your staff, you might find that giving them more time off, flexible work hours, job sharing, working from home and things of that nature might be more desirable to your staff than monetary rewards.
Offer training and employee improvement options. One great way of motivating employees is to stress the importance of their continued learning and to offer ways for them to keep learning. Offering inhouse training or enabling staff to choose selected training courses that the company will pay for are two ways to ensure that staff remain in touch with your business.
Ensure that your staff understand company goals and results. One of the worst things can be to work in a company (especially a large one) and not fully understand what the company’s goals are or how the company is doing overall. It’s important for managers for ensure that there is an information flow that reaches staff and that relevant information is shared.
Don’t expect an increase in job performance. When instituting methods to improve staff motivation, don’t expect that the result will be an immediate or even noticeable increase in their job performance. Not all staff will react the same way to your motivation efforts and some of your staff may already be performing as best as can be expected. The goal of employee motivation should be to ensure you are doing everything you can as a manager to properly motivate your staff and to provide them with tools they need to succeed but not all of them will react the same way.