Recession can lead to de-motivated staff - just when their input is vital. Here are some motivation techniques that will help to get staff re-energised and engaged at work. To begin with, make sure you have the right conditions in place so that your work culture supports motivation.
Make sure you offer:
√ Fair pay and conditions
√ A comfortable, safe, working environment
√ Opportunities for employees to socialise and make friends
√ Clearly defined work responsibilities and goals
√ Education and training opportunities
√ Career opportunities
As a manager, you play a key role in building on a solid foundation and motivating employees. Remember that 70% of people leave their boss, not the company.
So what can you do to make sure that employees are switched on at work?
Here are some practical motivation techniques that you can use to improve motivation in your workplace:
Do you make assumptions about what motivates your employees? Some are likely to be career focused, but others may see their work as a place to make friends and earn money.
Find out what motivates employees outside of work. Some enjoy a challenge such as a sporting activity, others may like to be on committees so they can use their organisational skills.
Use their innate talents in the workplace where possible to keep them motivated.
Set goals which stretch their abilities. Make goals SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timeframed.
Get to know your employees on a personal level, and offer support when needed, even if it is only to listen to their concerns.
Ask your employees for their opinions where possible, for example if you are changing systems or introducing new equipment. Being involved in decision making is one of the best motivation techniques.
Catch your employees doing something well and praise them - and if you do this in front of others, it makes the employee feel even better. Giving employees recognition for their efforts will motivate them to repeat the process.
Encourage a learning climate, through structured on-the-job training programmes, job transfers, inter-disciplinary projects and support for further education. Aim to have your employees constantly learning new skills and gaining new knowledge. This will reduce the level of stagnation that can easily occur in a business.
Promote from within where feasible - and invest the time and support in developing employees so they can take on new opportunities.
Some managers worry that by offering a high level of training to employees, they may leave the business for better opportunities elsewhere. Remember this allows other employees to rise up and take their place! Also the word will spread that you are a good employer - which may encourage a higher calibre of external job applicants.
Having fun is one of the best motivation techniques. And small things can make all the difference..
√ bringing sweets to team meetings
√ sharing non-business news through e.g. newsletters
√ arranging activities such as lunchtime yoga sessions
√ surprising employees with a birthday cake
√ asking the employees for their opinion on what would make the workplace a fun place!
Find out about our How To Build Motivation In The Workplace Workbook
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Read our latest newsletter - Avoid the Pain of Employee Turnover - 3 Steps to Maintaining Business Performance or view our back issues for more concise tips on practical management skills.