With holidays fading and winter to contend with, employees may feel a little uninspired about the prospect of another year of work.
Motivated employees are an integral part of every successful business. But simply giving people a job and expecting them to deliver outstanding work out of pure gratitude towards you isn’t going to work.
If you consistently make management missteps and fail to correct them, you run the risk of the proverbial “revolving door” of personnel, and your bottom line will ultimately suffer. It’s your business, and you hold the leadership reins. When you understand what motivates your employees and act accordingly, you’ll mitigate any potential fallout.
In this article, we’ll explore some smart tactics to keep your teams motivated and energized and your business flourishing – not only during the first few months of 2022 but throughout the year.
Employees are assets; they make businesses move forward. Whether it’s a predominately hourly workforce or a salaried one, it should look forward to coming to work every morning. Each employee is a link in a chain. A workforce is only as strong as the weakest link, and a business is only as strong as its workforce. A business’s success and workforce motivation are mutually dependent on one another. Therefore, keeping employees motivated and engaged is part of every rulebook.
Think back to when you had just entered the labor market and considered yourself an aspiring professional. Employees have dreams and ambitions and generally look to their employers for fulfillment and advancement. Unfortunately, some businesses treat their employees as just another expense on the income statement.
To realize high levels of employee motivation, employers need to understand employees’ unique needs.
When it comes to employee motivation, much like a diet, one size does not fit all. When workers are intrinsically and extrinsically motivated, they take pleasure in doing their jobs. Motivated people translate to increased operational efficiency for the business. The trick lies in identifying and understanding what employees value and prioritize. First, let’s talk about some standard motivational techniques that have stood the test of time.
You have the power to revive your team’s flagging enthusiasm. Follow these simple steps to motivate your employees and bring back the magic!
One of the quickest ways to develop a relationship with employees is by getting to know them. This relationship helps create a flow of information and ideas necessary to build a high-performing workforce. It will also help you understand the learning and retention abilities of employees. Try organizing a social event to break the ice.
Employees feel involved and part of the organization when their views and opinions are considered during the decision-making process. Listen to your employees if they have something to say about the company culture, operations, performance standards, or work environment – it’s likely they have some value to offer. It’s also a great way to create employee ownership and responsibility.
Employees care about their future. It gives them financial security, knowing that they are working to be in a position to provide for themselves and their dependents. As an employer, motivate employees by guiding, nurturing, and mentoring them to prepare for the unknown future. A resume-building workshop or a career development course can help employees prepare for the unknown. When employees realize that you care for their growth, they’re likely to reciprocate that care toward the business.
At some point, employees are likely to face a financial shock that can impact their output at work. This could cause absenteeism, lowered productivity, or work-related accidents. Nearly 7 out of 10 people worry about their financial obligations. If and when possible, provide a financial cushion to your employees in the form of a salary advance or an employer loan. It’s the surest and safest way to increase employee loyalty and motivation.
A financial wellness program for employees is a great way to show that you care. There are many wellness benefits you can choose to provide – retirement plans, financial literacy programs, emergency funding, investment programs, and so on. Motivating employees by showing that you’re interested in reducing their financial stress can increase productivity, engagement, and retention.
The most successful leaders place a premium on effective and regular communication. This isn’t reserved just for times when things are going well. If your business is going through some challenges, don’t let people hear things from the rumor mill. Authentic and transparent leadership requires being open and honest through good and bad times.
One of the greatest challenges employees face in our modern workplace is juggling personal and family responsibilities with their job-related tasks and expectations. People in highly stressful jobs or those expected to work long hours or shifts often end up taking their work worries home to their families. The best employers seek ways to enable workplace flexibility so that their people can strike that all-important work-life balance. Motivating employees by giving them the ability to swap shifts is a practical way to help them navigate unforeseen events.
Why would your people want to work hard if their work environment is rigid or unpleasant? Your employees spend much of their lives at work, so do what you can to make yours a workplace that people look forward to showing up to. This goes beyond simply making the office look and feel as appealing as possible. It also means fostering a welcoming atmosphere and a strong team spirit. When a company’s culture is strong, employees feel energized to give their best, work hard, and do what they can to advance the organization’s overarching goals.
A toxic work environment can lead to low morale and high levels of absenteeism and employee turnover. Indeed, a new survey shows that a toxic workplace culture is 10.4 times more likely to contribute to an employee quitting than low pay.
When employees are acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts, they feel fulfilled and work harder – it’s simply human nature. Of course, most people get up in the morning and go to work to earn an income to support themselves and their families. But money isn’t the be-all and end-all. Never underestimate the impact of positive reinforcement and appreciation for a job well done.
Saying “thank you” with a smile, kind word, or note costs nothing but can immensely improve employee motivation. Why not motivate employees by “going public” with people’s or teams’ successes? It’s a major boost for employees to hear the positive results of their hard work being shared with the larger organization.
A dose of healthy competition among your people won’t do any harm and will likely lead to greater productivity and heightened levels of innovation. Inter-team competitions can also forge greater levels of employee participation, camaraderie, and stronger interpersonal relationships. Better still, encourage employees to develop their own ideas for contests and challenges.
Earned Wage Access (EWA) – allowing employees access to wages already earned but not yet paid – can be invaluable for many employees and will help with motivation. It removes the stress and embarrassment of borrowing from friends, family, or high-cost unsecured lenders. It’s a simple way to help employees remain focused on their responsibilities rather than spending time worrying about unplanned bills. The best providers’ solutions include an instant deposit feature so that people can access their earned wages in real-time in case of emergencies.
Look for simple and affordable ways to increase the level of positive social interaction among teams by scheduling regular teambuilding exercises or lunches. These events will give your people the chance to get to know each other better in an informal setting. Many businesses hold regular after-work “happy hours” on Friday afternoons, which gives people a great way to socialize and start winding down after a busy work week.
One of the most effective ways to boost employee motivation is to ask people for their thoughts and feedback. Give them a safe forum in which to share their ideas as well as any concerns.
Always see your performance reviews with your team as an opportunity to strengthen rapport and relationships. The discipline of performance reviews has evolved significantly in recent years. Modern, “agile” approaches embed regular recognition of employees whose contribution goes above and beyond basic expectations.
Many leaders don’t realize that they appear intimidating or simply “absent” to the rest of the workforce. If you’re a leader, make a point of spending a few minutes every day “walking the hallways.” Introduce yourself to your co-workers and subordinates in person or virtually, particularly those you may not work with directly or interact with every day.
The most effective leaders understand that there’s a time to sit back, observe, and learn from others. There’s no reason for you to dominate every conversation or always be the loudest voice in the room. Every time you hold a meeting, big or small, why not ask a different team member to lead the conversation and manage the agenda? This gives people a reason to prepare better for meetings and a constructive forum to share their opinions and be heard.
As mentioned earlier, one size does not fit all. Once the distribution is made clear, you’ll be in a better position to develop effective motivational strategies. While the general motivation tips mentioned earlier are fairly effective in both cases, it pays to give custom attention to the distribution.
Nearly 60% of the total workforce in the United States works at hourly wages – which is about 80 million workers. This is a sizeable amount. Generally speaking, blue-collar workers are concerned about meeting weekly expenses, job stability, a steady flow of income, and saving for retirement. When it comes to motivating blue-collar workers, a financial wellness program is often recommended because it’s structured to help them during all stages of their lives. Consider offering an innovative financial wellness program that addresses an employee’s immediate and future financial concerns, including financial emergencies, financial literacy, and saving for a rainy day.
The one thing in common between hard-working people is the need for financial security, financial dignity, and financial savings. At the end of the day, it boils down to what pays the bills today, tomorrow, and when least expected.
The bottom line is that to gain employee commitment and dedication, employers need to deliver the same. Businesses must invest in their employees to create an environment where employee financial health, security, and dignity are nurtured. Arguably the most effective tool businesses possess to develop this win-win relationship is a financial wellness program.
Times might be tough, but it’s still critical to appreciate your people. You’ll get the most from them if you know how to motivate them.
If a workplace can create an environment that increases employee self-confidence and self-worth, it can potentially result in an inherent desire for the workforce to deliver its best.
As we’ve explored, there are many ways to build employee motivation. The best ways for you will depend on the priorities and goals of your organization and your employees.
The Payactiv financial wellness program is built on the foundation of delivering financial security, dignity, and savings to employees. It has a proven track record with over 90% user satisfaction and measurable increases in employee engagement amongst all users.
Watch how Payactiv’s financial wellness program has motivated thousands of people like Anna.
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