Employee retention and motivation can be one of the hardest aspects of managing a team. Of course, money, benefits, and perks are important to keeping your team motivated and loyal, but they don’t actually top the list of motivating factors. Instead, things like peer motivation and feeling recognized and appreciated tend to be some of the more critical factors for employees.
If you’ve tried a variety of other incentives but are still struggling to get the most out of your team, then you’re not alone. Sometimes even the best managers struggle to motivate employees and have to think outside of the box to find creative solutions.
Maximillion, a team-building and corporate event management agency, has put together this list of 11 key tactics to keep your employees motivated and happy for the long haul.
1. Recognize achievements
This is a potentially obvious one, but most people want to be recognized for a job well done. If one of your employees put in a lot of time and effort into a particular project or they’ve gone out of their way to help a colleague be sure to praise them for it. If people feel that their efforts are appreciated, then they’ll continue to feel compelled to continue working hard.
2. Give your team room to grow and develop
Having room to grow and develop within the company is a huge motivator for employees. Obviously, there’s the incentive of more money, but there’s also the psychological incentive of feeling trusted and respected at work. By providing your employees with growth opportunities it’ll change their attitudes from “this is a side job” to “this could be my career”.
3. Prioritize work-life balance
A good work-life balance is important to employees and can have profound effects on:
- Employee mental health
- Overall happiness
Encourage employees to take their vacation time, not to overwork and to take time to keep themselves happy and healthy. Employees that consistently overwork will see their productivity drop and absences rise.
4. Share positive feedback
Feeling fulfilled by your work is one of the key job satisfaction factors and can come from a variety of places. Be sure to pass on any positive feedback and appreciation that your customers express with your employees. Letting your staff know that they’ve made someone’s day will make them feel good and provides them with a deeper connection with the business.
5. Trust your employees
There’s a lot of evidence telling us that micromanagement can stifle creativity and reduce employee motivation. Show employees that you trust them and give them the power to express themselves through their work. A vote of confidence goes a long way and letting them know that you trust them will encourage them to do the best job possible.
6. Show them the bigger picture
It’s important that your employees understand the bigger picture of the business and see how their work will contribute to an end goal. When you’re assigning tasks and projects to work on be sure to explain how they fit into the big picture. By showing that what they’re doing really matters to the organization employees are more likely to go the extra mile.
7. Be transparent
Similarly, having insight into how the business is doing can help make your employees more invested. Make a point to share progress, financials and important company news with your team to help make employees feel included in big decisions and committed to the company’s direction. This helps sustain motivation, loyalty and pride in the company.
8. Offer flexible scheduling
With how technology has changed the way we can work, it’s only logical that we change the way we approach employee scheduling. Employees now have the ability and are often expected to check work emails on their phones or finish work at home. It’s understandable for them to want a flexible work schedule from their employers. By offering work-from-home opportunities or flexi-time, you can attract the best employees.
9. Set smaller, achievable goals
Of course, as a business, you’ll have lofty ambitions and larger aims you want to achieve but setting up smaller goals that add to the main aims can help motivate your team. By focusing on something achievable that adds to your overall goals and then rewarding the team for meeting it, your employees will see your goals as realistic and will be more likely to work hard to achieve them.
10. Give your employees purpose
A great way to motivate your workforce is by giving them a purpose. This helps them to understand the company’s vision and direction and allows them to work towards this goal clearly. Employees need to feel important and that they’re achieving something. Take an interest in what your staff are doing, right down to the cleaner.
11. Motivate individuals rather than the team
When it comes to motivating your team it’s important to consider your employees as individuals rather than a group. Aligned incentives are a great way to get everyone on a team working towards a common goal, but by framing the strategy in multiple ways you’re ensuring that each employee has a clear and personal understanding of how it benefits themselves and the rest of the team.