Motivating your employees

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Motivating your employees

Motivation is the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. As managers or business owners, we are always thinking about the best way to motivate our employees. It is important to realize that employees can be motivated for different reasons.

  • Intrinsic motivation: Intrinsic motivation is the internal drive to complete a task.
  • External motivation: External motivation is the force of an outside element to complete a task.

How to motivate your employees as a manager may have changed over the past year. Your employee’s motivations may also have changed. It is important to revisit how you motivate your employees when you’re reviewing your human resource policies or revising your strategy.

Here are five things you should consider when motivating your employees.

1. Set goals

Clearly and specifically set out the end goal. You may want to consider setting a stretch goal–one that is just beyond the team’s current capabilities. 

This can motivate them to push beyond their perceived capabilities and present your company with major breakthroughs. 

It is equally important to break those massive goals down into more manageable smaller goals. You don’t want to overwhelm your employees to the point that they lose motivation. The key is to build SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time oriented.

The end or stretch goal keeps your employees’ eyes on the finish line and the SMART goals show them the way to achieve the overall goal.

Give your employees the autonomy they need to complete the tasks. This room to grow will help grow your business as well. As a manager or business owner, you need to let your employees know that you’re available when they need your help or direction.

2. Be respectful, honest and supportive

Create a culture of respect for your team. A team that has trust and open communication is more likely to produce the results your company needs to get ahead in the business world. Teamwork allows employees to take ownership of the project and brainstorm ways to complete the task. 

Your job as the manager is to treat your employees like the intelligent adults they are. Negative and insulting comments do nothing to motivate your employees. 

This can cause mistrust and dissention. Remember to treat your employees the same way you expect to be treated.

3. Allow open and honest feedback

Nothing will frustrate your employees more than feeling they cannot openly express their opinions. Create an atmosphere where employees are encouraged to voice their opinions on all matters, even those that may be more controversial. 

Employees that are heard will feel valued and much happier. If you react harshly, your employees may never express their opinions which can lead to bad decisions down the road and an atmosphere of “I don’t care” or “my opinions don’t matter”.

4. Encourage work-life balance and flexible scheduling

If we’ve learned anything from this pandemic, it’s that our employees can be productive at home. Many managers worried that employees working from home would produce a less-than-ideal work product. Many businesses have actually seen the opposite.

As a business owner or manager, it is important to encourage work-life balance. You don’t want your employees to burn out or feel overwhelmed. 

Employees that have a healthy balance are actually more productive than those that don’t have that balance. 

Technology has also changed the way we work. Employees can check emails any time of the day. As managers, we need to give our employees the flexibility they need to attend children’s school events and other personal meetings that can’t be completed outside of normal work hours. 

Trust your employees to complete their job. 

5. Employee rewards

Another way on how to motivate employees as a manager is to evaluate success and reward your employees for a job well done. It’s important to determine what makes your employees feel rewarded. 

It may be a trip or maybe a fun new toy in the office to spark creativity. It could even be a raise. Remember that you need to understand what motivates your employees. Keep rewards fair and remember to look at the intrinsic motivators as well as the extrinsic ones.

Virtual recognition events can be just as meaningful to employees as in-person events or rewards. Because of all the additional stress employees have been experiencing due to the pandemic, now is a good time to remember and reward your employees.

If you would like help creating or reviewing your employee motivational strategy, we’re here to help. Outlook Business Solutions offers an array of marketing and sales services from strategy planning to copywriting and public relations. We’re here to help you grow your business and inspire your customers.