As an entrepreneur or business owner, you are quite likely to face the all important task of motivating employees. Whether you only have one personal assistant or a team of 100 employees, you must master the skill of employee motivation; it’s vital for ensuring the growth and success of your business.
So what is “motivation”?
The following quote sums it up nicely: “That which makes a person act in a particular way; an inner impulse”
Anyone who is in a managerial position and is responsible for the day to day management of a team plays a key role in influencing their employee’s level of motivation.
Here are 5 key points you want to consider when tackling the complex, but vital task of employee motivation:
1) One size does not fit all – Individuals have specific needs and requirements. Some may be motivated by career growth and ambition and others are motivated when they are able to satisfy the most basic of needs; providing food and shelter for their families. You, as a manager and leader, need to pay attention to each individual’s specific needs. Yes, it’s more work, but imperative to ensure success of an employee motivation policy. Take time to listen to your team and try to understand what motivates them, both in and out of work.
2) The Power of Appraisals – You need to ensure regular feedback. As a manager, you time is, literally, money; however, you must make time to sit down with subordinates to discuss performance. Some companies have formal performance appraisal policies and procedures which require managers to meet with each individual on their team on a regular basis; this is great if possible but even informal meeting and chats can serve the purpose of increasing motivation. These meetings are the perfect time to provide positive reinforcement for a job well done and also to discuss possible weaknesses.
3) Invest in Training and Development – offering employees the opportunity to learn new skills that will help them to advance in their careers is a great way to motivate your employees. Whether it be onsite or offsite training initiatives, effective and focused training can lead to high returns for both company and employee. When a company has taken the time and effort to train their employee and has spent money in organising training courses, the employee feels valued.
4) Empower your team – Empowerment is a key aspect of motivation. By encouraging contribution and input from your employees, you make them feel valued and important; if you then add to this by allowing them to make their own decisions, the results are even more powerful. Start off by delegating tasks you don’t need to accomplish yourself; let them take charge of easier tasks to begin with and as they gain confidence, hand over more important and sensitive tasks.
5) Recognise their Achievement – It’s important to mention that this recognition does not have to be financial. Yes, money does motivate, but it tends to be a short term motivator. Try simpler – and cheaper – methods such as handwritten notes, verbal recognition in front of peers, or a simple thank you for a job well done; you’ll be amazed at how effective these techniques can be for achieving short and long term motivation.
I could go on for hours about the importance of employee motivation. There’s no doubt that a motivated workforce will always outperform one that isn’t; the above points barely scratch the surface of what you can achieve by applying motivational techniques to your management style; however, they will certainly help you on your way to increasing your team’s output.
What do you think? Do you have any specific techniques you use to motivate your employees?