Hiring a great team is only half the challenge when it comes to achieving continuous organizational success. The other half of the challenge is keeping employees motivated to retain talent and succeed in the long-run.
Hiring top talent is a costly business for any organization. There are several factors involved in hiring, including hiring an external HR agency, in case you don’t have one in-house. Some of the many costs that organizations have to incur are job vacancy advertising, conducting background checks for potential employees, training new hires, and managing their salaries and benefits.
Consider this figure: it costs an employer an amount equal to 1.25 – 1.4 times the basic salary of an employee to provide the new recruit with a basic salary, employment taxes, and benefits. As an example, an employer has to pay between $62, 500 and $70, 000 on an annual basis to enable an employee to receive a salary of $50, 000 per year.
Given the high price of hiring and training an employee, it is more prudent to retain an existing employee. How you make your employees feel plays a crucial part in retaining them. Regular employee motivation programs are key to making an organization’s employee retention process a success.
For the best results, motivation must be centered on factors that are important to employees on a personal level. These factors vary from employee to employee. So a deep insight into factors that keep your employees motivated is vital.
In addition to specialized employee motivation programs, efforts need to be made to make motivation a part of your organizational work culture. This way, motivation is infused into daily work life instead of being a special initiative.
If you are an organization looking for positive and effective ways to keep your staff motivated, then here are some actions you could take to achieve your goal:
1. Let motivation begin at the senior leadership level
If you are wondering how to keep your employees motivated, then understand that actions must begin at the top-most level. Your company’s leadership team must take the initiative and encourage employee motivation.
The first step towards motivation is to be approachable to employees and being there for them when they need you. Listen to what your employees have to say. Constant interactions and conversations with employees are important to understand their expectations and grievances. Listening helps you create an environment that facilitates better productivity and contributes to improved employee morale.
The best way to motivate is to show trust in your employees’ talent. When you start believing them, you will witness an increase in the confidence commitment and productivity levels of employees.
Another way to keep employees motivated at work is to have the senior leadership reflect the values that they want to see in their employees. When leaders take the lead, employees are sure to follow their example.
2. Work on workplace aesthetics
A dark, cramped space with mediocre furniture is not everybody’s definition of a workplace. Employees spend more than half of their day at the workplace. So, a well-presented and well-maintained workplace is crucial to their physical and mental well-being, as well as their productivity. A good-looking space looks inviting and sets a good mood for the day to come.
Ensure that your workplace has adequate lighting, preferably natural light. Clean and hygienic indoors and rest areas are a must. Clean the windows and carpet areas regularly. A brimming trash can or a dirty window blind are unsightly and unprofessional.
Ensure that all office equipment and appliances, including computers, telephones, fans and lights, ovens, and dryers, are functional. Think fun and out-of-box when buying furniture. If you are worried about your budget, then consider refurbished models or take advantage of fabulous furniture deals.
You could complement the furniture with artistic works. Buying from local artists can be cost-effective. You could even ask employees with an artistic eye and hand to make your office their canvas!
How you maintain your workplace shows your respect for your employees and clients visiting your premises. With an aesthetic workplace, you make the right impression.
Give your workplace a regular upgrade to make it interesting for employees. Even better, involve employees in the designing aspects. It’s a great way to engage them!
3. Create a supportive work environment
Employees spend a major part of their daily lives at work. Keep this fact in mind when you think about how to keep your employees motivated at work. In addition to how your office looks, how your “office behaves,” or in other words, the company culture, plays a major role in motivating your employees.
Organizations with a motivated workforce focus on creating happier workplaces for their employees. They ensure that employees feel at ease at the workplace. After all, they are spending most of their time in the workplace.
Providing clean and hygienic work premises and offering incentives are some ways to be thoughtful about your employees and make them feel comfortable in the workplace.
A supportive work environment also pushes employees out of their comfort zones so that they realize their own potential. Bringing talented employees on board for challenging projects, providing periodic training, and promoting deserving employees to higher positions are all signs of a positive workplace that rewards true talent.
Another sign of a supportive environment is the positive way it handles employee failure. Organizations must create a work culture that allows employees to admit their mistakes without being afraid of humiliation or harsh repercussions.
Another way to keep your employees motivated is to allow them to be themselves at work as far as possible. Liberties, such as allowing employees to personalize their desks and allowing them to give their honest opinion about workplace policies, make employees feel important to the organization and that their opinions are valued. Such a work environment boosts employee morale and increases productivity.
4. Let there be respect and honesty
These are basic to any successful workplace. Employees love to work and stay with leaders who are honest and respectful in their approach.
Make clear communication a priority. Show that employees can come to you with their grievances and that they can expect a fair response.
Leadership at every level must reflect such values for an organization to be successful. It helps to invest in efficient leadership training programs to ensure strong leadership that is driven by the right values in the present and future. Such leadership will help organizations attract and retain employees in the long run.
5. Give prominence to teamwork
Teamwork teaches basic life lessons that are important in the workplace too. From learning to work successfully with others to being assertive and empathetic, teamwork teaches a lot. Employees learn to trust each other and to be there for each other.
Teamwork fosters wisdom, loyalty, individualism, a sense of belongingness, and a healthy competitive spirit. Employees learn to look at the bigger picture instead of focusing selfishly on smaller benefits for which they can take credit.
Teamwork also facilitates collaboration, which leads to innovation, increased productivity, and excellent work results.
6. Ensure employees experience job fulfillment
Job fulfillment is a great motivator. Lack of job satisfaction can be a major reason behind employees not putting in their 100% into their work and looking for other more fulfilling jobs.
From experiencing boredom to getting frustrated with office politics, job dissatisfaction can take many forms. It is important to make the job interesting for employees. In case of jobs that are routine by nature, consider task rotation so that a single employee does not get stuck with the mechanical nature of the job day after day.
Give employees the freedom to be innovative within their realm of work. Let them invent their own ways to make their job interesting on a day-to-day basis. Small additions, such as centralized music, a designated creative, relaxation or game room, and fitness rooms, encourage break times and clear thinking. Such break times act as stress-busters and rejuvenate employees for the task ahead.
Focus on maintaining a positive work culture that shuns sabotaging office politics. Leaders can model positive behavior and motivate employees to do the same.
Other factors that can induce job dissatisfaction include fear about job security, career growth, micro-management, and excessive rudimentary task, such as paperwork. Leaders at every level have the responsibility to address all such factors that affect employee fulfillment at work.
When you think about how to keep your staff motivated, think about strategies that increase their trust in your leadership. Employees must know that they can come to you with their problems and that you would take the necessary steps to address the problem in a fair and balanced way.
Avoid micro-management. Let your team members know the expected results. Leave it to them to come up with ideas to derive the desired results. Micro-management leads to frustration and burnout and destroys team spirit, ultimately damaging the relationship among team members. Be there to guide your team when the members need you. Stay away for the rest of the time as far as possible.
7. Show appreciation and reward achievements
Employees love to be recognized for their achievements. A workplace that neglects to appreciate deserving employees suffers from negativity and falling quality standards.
Recognizing and appreciating employees for their achievements lead to employee satisfaction, boost employee morale, and motivate them to do even better the next time. Develop a built-in rewards system to automate the reward-awarding process.
Achievements need not be limited to productivity and target completion alone. A good referral, low absenteeism, and a never-dying positivity that cheers up the entire office are activities and qualities that deserve more than a pat on the shoulder or a “Job Well-Done” rendition.
Rewards do not have to be expensive. A day-off, a lunch reservation at the employee’s favorite restaurant, a note of thanks on the employee’s desk, an email citation or declaring the employee as the best for the month, are effective. Recognize and reward employees in front of the team for added effect.
Another way of showing appreciation is by providing valuable career growth opportunities to your deserving employees. A much-deserving promotion or graduation to a new role communicates to your employees that their work is showing impact and that you respect their work.
For example, if you are expanding your business to a new location, assign the responsibility of the new location to an employee with outstanding managerial and sales skills. Similarly, you could groom a potential employee with excellent people skills for a leadership role by making him or her a part of your company’s leadership training programs.
When you recognize your employees’ talent and reward them with opportunities that are a tribute to their talent, employees start showing respect, trust, and loyalty towards the company.
8. Focus on providing workplace flexibility
According to a study, 96% of employees prefer job opportunities that give them work flexibility. Modifiable work hours, remote working, and less travel are some common flexibility options that employees look for at a workplace.
Employees may need flexibility for different reasons. They might want to be there for their kids. They may have parents or pets to take care of, have health problems that they need to address, or may simply want to skip the long commute to work.
No matter what the reason is, it becomes the employer’s responsibility to cater to the need for flexibility. Since the reasons for needing flexibility are many, creating a common flexibility policy may not be practically possible.
Still, a balanced approach can be adopted. Depending on the nature of your business, you can provide flexibility wherever possible. When you go the extra mile to make life easier for your employees, they are motivated to reciprocate.
To infuse flexibility into the workplace, realistic goals must be set, and myths need to be shattered. For example, assuming productivity would be high only if employees work from offices may not always be true. Those working from home may be more productive as they do not have to allocate time for getting dressed up for work or tolerate a boring commute to work.
Talk to your employees to know the kind of flexibility they would prefer. Arrive at a reasonable outcome that guarantees flexibility for employees and results for the company.
9. Prioritize food-based benefits
Why? Because, according to research, food-based perks rank 2nd in the list of perks that employees “would be excited to have” at their workplace.
That’s not all. Consider these findings as well to understand the importance of food-based perks:
• 57% of employees said that they would feel more appreciated and valued by the company if the employer offered food-based perks.
• 38% of employees said that food-based perks would persuade them to rate their companies higher in a “Best Places to Work” survey.
• 50% of employees said that they would experience greater satisfaction with employers that offer food-based perks.
With quality food-perks, you can motivate employees to be more connected, productive, and loyal.
10. Provide constructive feedback regularly
Constructive feedback is a cornerstone for individual development, team success, and organizational progress. It should focus on both the achievements and setbacks of an employee.
Achievements must be appreciated. Sincere appreciation motivates employees to perform better.
When addressing setbacks, it is important to use the right tone and attitude. Employees must not feel insulted, humiliated, or worse, defeated. The focus of constructive feedback must be to encourage employees to understand the reason behind their failure and identify the behavior, attitude, or approach that led to the failure. The employee should then be encouraged to replace the negative aspect with a positive one for future success.
Constructive feedback facilitates productivity, improves employees’ decision-making capability, increases employee job satisfaction, and develops trust in the employee for the leader and the company. Such factors ultimately instill in the employee a feeling of a deeper connection with the company and its vision.
11. Share company growth information
If you already have a motivated workforce, then it is great. But a little more motivation is always better. So, if you are looking for ideas on how to keep staff motivated, then why not try being more transparent with your employees.
As stakeholders of your company, employees have the right to know about the company’s growth. By doing this voluntarily and regularly, you earn employee respect. By sharing growth details, you are also communicating to employees that they are an important part of the organization.
You could share details of your company’s growth in the present year and how it fares compared to the previous years. You could also share sales statistics every month to let employees know what is going right and what is not.
Appreciate employees for positive results. When dealing with negative results, get employees to think and analyze what went wrong and how to get back on the track with the right solutions.
12. Talk to your employees regularly to know their motivators
Motivation is never a one-size-fits-all approach. Each of your employees is different. Each comes with different personal values, and from a different life background. As a result, the things they value will also be different.
For example, an introvert employee may want to work from home. An extrovert may value his or her workplace desk and the time he or she spends working and meeting people in the office building.
A single parent may find your work hours a challenge and may prefer more flexible time schedules.
Similarly, some employees may be independent workers that dislike micro-managing. Some may need extra guidance and may welcome inputs and feedback.
As an employer, you need to understand what your employees value and provide those things, if possible, as motivation.
Build a rapport with your employees by interacting with them during breaks and meetings. Get to know them better to know what motivates them.
Keeping employees motivated takes time and effort. But it is a process that yields wonderful results when done sincerely. A motivated workforce is highly committed to the organizational vision. Motivated employees have immense respect for their employers. They are loyal to the company, highly productive, innovative, and collaborative. Teams of such companies are super-charged and exhibit healthy levels of team spirit and individuality.
A motivated workforce has the capability to create massive milestones for an organization. Such a workforce defines the organization and its success. You should nurture such a workforce with effective motivation strategies.
Understanding motivation need not necessarily begin after an employee joins your organization. You can do that during the hiring process itself. A well-designed hiring process can give you insights into an employee’s preferences.
Partnering with TalenX can bring you closer to your employee motivation goal during the hiring process itself. Our talent selection process involves Psychological Science and Analytics to ensure the best fit for your job requirement. We employ human science to understand factors that a potential employee desires beyond a high pay package.
With TalenX, you not only hire the best employees for your company but also get to retain them by deriving precious insights into what makes them tick.