Employee motivation can be a relatively easy thing to muster for the short term, especially when it comes to new hires. They’re full of energy and ready to dive head-first into their first assignment, get a feel for the office and the culture around it, and work together with their team to make their first stamp on something.
However, long-term motivation can be a tricky road to navigate if a business has stopped thinking beyond the present. Sometimes it’s from having a flaw in the company’s structure. Or maybe there’s too much autonomy and not enough community building outside of just the task at hand. Employees need to feel a part of something greater just as much as the managers and supervisors need to feel their direction is getting them there.
Small Biz Trends reported a few months back that 83% of employees felt satisfied with their job, yet of those only 52% felt they were fully engaged at the workplace. Both healthy numbers, for sure, but put on your business forecasting cap and determine what your company does to either make those percentages rise to greater heights or falter over time.
That’s why, as a company, you should always be innovating not just with your products but with your business structure as a whole. And there are a number of ways to keep your employees’ motivation moving in the right direction.
Amp Up Your Communication
To really hone the pyramid of your company, communication needs to be open from the CEO on down to the managerial ranks and the departments beneath them. And communication, whether it’s critical or congratulatory, should be allowed to funnel back and forth. Criticism of a project, a direction, or something off the cuff concerning length of production meetings or the condition of the break room – these feelings should be voiced in a productive and encouraging manner.
Introduce More Brainstorming Sessions
Start placing more emphasis on creating a culture in which every department and individual is welcomed to share ideas without fear of rejection. Even if the idea isn’t on par with the majority opinion, the simple fact that that person’s opinion is expressed can make brainstorming sessions livelier and more satisfying for the group as a whole because it allows more “community” thoughts versus “individual” opines. And the more satisfactory thoughts flow within the office, the better off your company’s morale can be.
Don’t Rule With an Iron Fist
Accountability should be instilled in every employee under your company’s roof. Every person must utilize their abilities to the fullest without slacking off for extended periods. It’s why performance reviews are put in place. Yet, if employees are constantly worrying about their performance every second they’re on the job, they’ll likely be less productive. The more stressful the environment becomes, the more strain you could be putting on a department’s creative juices to come up with new ideas. Not that everyone doesn’t work well under pressure, because many do. It’s just that for motivation’s sake, employees feel more at ease when they know that accountability will always be there, but that encouragement and trust from their supervisors is a better guide than constant shouting and berating ever will be.
Of course, managers shouldn’t be complete pushovers. It’s about striking a balance and developing an open, welcoming work environment that will help productivity measures grow even further.
Keep Your Staff in Tune with Continual Training
After the initial training segments from the moment a new employee is brought on, companies shouldn’t rest on their laurels and expect employees to immediately understand new applications or equipment or even a new direction for the company as a whole. Employees must be brought up to speed through continued education courses on everything from common workplace compliance on down to new versions of software used throughout the office.
And with those training programs in place at the office, go one step further by making every new training video or packet available to the staff online or in another convenient location. Encourage your departments to research and have a thirst to soak up as much information on the latest technology and/or marketing strategies out there. Because in the end their appetite to learn will only go as far as the training and resources in front of them.
While there are other motivational tips to add to the list, these are more in line with the broader context of a business. Productivity is always at the center of any business model and the best way to sustain its growth for the long haul is to make sure the foundation is healthy. And an important piece of that is developing a community vibe instead of an autonomous drone.