The biggest importance of employee motivation is that it’s a crucial factor in meeting or even exceeding a company’s goal. After all, employees who are motivated are productive which equates to higher levels of outputs.

And while most companies (if not all) probably know how valuable this is, not everyone knows how to keep their people motivated. There are even some who don’t understand what motivates their employees. Unfortunately for these companies, they’re putting themselves in a precarious position.

Perkbox, an employee engagement platform, surveyed 2000 workers across the UK. Here are five interesting stats from the said poll.

  • Only 41% of UK employees feel aligned with their organisation’s goals.
  • 36% of employees have said that they’re likely to leave their respective jobs within one year.
  • 59% of employees preferred personalised benefits packaged to make them stay.
  • 23% believe that the management team contributes to a negative working environment.
  • 46% of employees consider the benefits package being offered before accepting a new role.

These statistics only imply one thing — employee motivation is an area that a lot of companies need to work on.

What motivates employees

The simplest and most effective way to know what motivates employees is by asking them. That’s precisely what employee engagement surveys are for — to know what your employees think and feel.

It’s not a matter of generation gap but more of communication gap that makes it hard for companies to figure out how to up employee motivation. If possible, sit down with each of your employees and ask them questions such as:

  • How do you feel about the job?
  • What do you like and not like about the job?
  • Are there things that can be done to address the things that you don’t like?

This can be quite challenging if there are multiple functional areas within your business. More so if you have to deal with hundreds or maybe thousands of employees.

But the point is, you need to know how your employees feel and do something about it. Also, keep in mind that their answers will vary based on their circumstances, and what motivates an employee right now may not be the same the following month.

Employee motivation methods

image of staff teamwork

Unfortunately, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to employee motivation. As mentioned earlier, people are motivated by so many different things. This is precisely why there should be clear and consistent communication within the company.

You don’t want to use a method that will not, in any way, address the reasons why your employees may be demotivated. That said, here are tried and tested techniques that can significantly improve employee motivation in the workplace.

Make their jobs more interesting

Doing the same thing over and over for a long time can make anyone bored. Unfortunately for you, you can’t expect an employee to approach you and say that they fear being labelled as ‘lazy’. Warning signs that you have to look out for are:

  • Coming in and leaving work on the dot.
  • Constantly yawning or showing signs of tiredness.
  • Slumped and negative body language.
  • Getting distracted easily.

If you see any of these signs, maybe it’s time that you automate your business. Automation can help relieve your employees of menial and monotonous work. Besides, an automation software will never feel nor complain that it’s getting bored doing something.

Give your employees more responsibilities or perhaps, set higher goals to make them feel more challenged. Just be sure that you don’t overdo it or else, it will only do more harm than good. Better yet, make them propose a project to you. Chances are, they’ll come up with something that they’re interested in and is beneficial to the company.

Train and improve your employees

image of staff training

Another way that you can boost employee motivation is by having a strong foundation for employee and training and development. This will provide an excellent opportunity for your employees to expand and improve their knowledge base.

Unfortunately, many employers find employee training and development to be expensive, and it can be. Additionally, employees who attend training will have less time to focus on their tasks which can potentially delay the completion of projects.

However, the benefits of training and developing your employees is, without a doubt, a worthwhile investment. Besides, this is also why you should consider automating your business. That is because it will allow your employees to spend time more time doing things that matter. By honing the skills of your employees further, you will:

  • Be able to improve their performance.
  • Improve employee satisfaction and morale.
  • Be prepared to address their weaknesses.
  • Increase productivity.
  • Reduce employee turnover.
  • Enhance your company’s reputation and profile
  • Cater to their career priorities, especially if they align with your business

Reward them

‘Give credit where credit is due.’

Crediting your employees for their hard work and achievements may sound like a simple task, but it actually isn’t. What makes this challenging is not recognising people but rather, recognising the right people.

You see, there are instances when employees feel like their recognition is being stolen by others (like a manager). If this continues, it’s only a matter of time before an employee gets demotivated and leaves the company. And while there is enough credit for everyone, you have to make sure that only those who deserve it get it, or the value of recognition becomes nothing.

Double or even triple check the work of employees who go the extra mile. At the same time, don’t forget the ‘quiet performers’. These are the people who work really hard and contribute a lot to your company but are not worried about getting credit. As a manager or the business owner, you have to still see to it that they get recognised.

Set realistic goals

setting goals at a team meeting

What motivates employees can be a lot of things, and one of them is knowing what exactly is expected of them. As a company, it’s understandable that your long-term goals are growth and profit. However, long-term goals can actually cause employees to become demotivated especially if these goals cannot be measured.

Your employees may know what they are supposed to do in a specific project, but without a clear and specific goal, it can be hard for them to get excited about it. Set realistic and achievable goals that align with the company’s objectives. Make sure that each employee understands how their individual role and responsibility is key to the success of the organisation.

Show your employees that you care

Whenever possible, see to it that you are able to relate to your employees on a personal level. Even something as simple as knowing what their hobbies and interests are can go a long way in building a good relationship with them.

Get them to become comfortable in voicing out their opinions and asking questions if they need to. The better you get to know and understand them, the easier it will be for you to motivate them.

Demonstrate how important your employees are

New employees should be motivated from day one on. Hence, it’s crucial to evaluate your current onboarding program and check if you can improve it.

For example, new employees should understand how their specific role is an important puzzle piece on your company’s route towards its vision. This way, they immediately learn that they’re a relevant part of the team which will likely affect their motivation. Furthermore, it gives a meaning to their job.

Employee motivation is a challenge, but it can be done

Providing a positive workplace and keeping your employees motivated is one of the most critical factors that can contribute to your company’s success. Indeed, implementing these methods come with challenges, and it can take time to get the results you want. But if successful companies are able to do it, so can you.