Whether you’re hiring your first employee or you have a team already, finding ways to keep your employees motivated is important. Most employers have the mindset that if they throw enough money at their employees, they will stay motivated. While this may be true for a select group of people, it’s not true across the board. The truth is, what motivates your employees will be different for each person.
To keep employees motivated and engaged requires some work on your part, but it will pay off dividends in the end. Finding the right motivators will help you keep your employees happy, make them feel known and valued while increasing productivity and loyalty.
Here are 7 different ways to motivate employees:
1. Empower Your Employees
Giving your employees a sense of autonomy and ownership goes a long way. Few people like to be micro-managed and almost everyone loves to be trusted and empowered. There are different levels of empowerment and you want to make sure you set your employees up for success. Don’t empower them beyond their ability to succeed.
2. Celebrate Personal Milestones
Celebrating your employees’ birthdays, work anniversaries, and personal achievements help employees feel known and valued. It’s a small thing for an employer to do but it speaks volumes to the employee. People love to be celebrated, so why not make it a part of your culture?
3. Find Out What They Want and Need
Learn about your employees. What do they want out of a work environment, out of a career or job? What gets them out of bed in the morning? What do they need to succeed? What would make them feel loyal to your company? Simply asking some of these questions will help you understand what makes your employees tick. Even better, when you meet their needs, you’ll see a stronger loyalty to your company.
4. Create A Career Path
This is especially important for millennials. People aged 18-35 make up the millennial generation. They are always looking to advance their careers, move up in the world, and do it the fastest way possible. If you don’t have anything in place to help that millennial see how they could grow with your company, they’ll probably find another company to grow with once they outgrow yours. Just as you think ahead for your business, think ahead for your employees’ careers. Talk with them. Find out where they want to be in 1 year, 5 years, or ten years and help them achieve that. Even if it doesn’t fully fit with your company, they will stay loyal to you as long as they feel you support their goals and dreams.
5. Establish Clear and Open Communication
Nothing is worse than the muddied waters of communication creating tension and uncertainty in an office. Setting clear expectations is key to good communication. Being available to your employees also creates a sense of trust and openness. You, as the employer, need to model open communication. Don’t wait for employees to request a meeting with you. Take the time to request a one-on-one meeting with them. Make them feel like you want to communicate with them. Otherwise, most employees will think you are too busy and don’t care to invest time in them.
6. Encourage and Support New Ideas
Ideas are bound to flow in an environment where they are encouraged and supported. Those ideas will not only help your business grow but give your employees a feeling of ownership in your business. You’ll be surprised at the talents your employees have that you may not know about. They just might have the idea you’ve been looking for to take your business to the next level.
7. Create Incentive Programs
Offering incentives will help motivate your employees to work toward goals and increase productivity. However, make sure you know what incentives would motivate them. Would they prefer money or the ability to work from home once a week? Would they like some face-time with you or to be trusted with a new project? Once you find that out, you’ll know what incentives to use for different employees.