Even the perfectly planned project will fail without skilled and diligent employees. One might ask: “What employee is a good employee?” The motivated one, of course. In this article, we will discuss ten ways to boost your team’s motivation.
1. Make your workplace friendly
If co-workers like each other, they will work better instantly. Motivating your employees also involves making them aware that they make the difference and that they are a crucial asset to the given project or the entire enterprise. Therefore, you should talk to your employees, ask them about their opinions and allow them to air their ideas.
It will also be beneficial when the team is integrated well. You can achieve that by organising meetings or trips after work or spending breaks and ordering food together. The friendly aspect of the enterprise includes the workplace itself. Employees should like the office or the building and it must be aesthetic. Such small changes as repainting the walls may improve the mood of your employees.
2. Count on Activity Based Working
Activity Based Working can significantly improve the motivation and effectiveness of your employees. It involves switching from the traditional office with chairs and desks to a more friendly system where everyone can choose their own workstation. A typical office applying Activity Based Working has less desks than employees. It requires rearranging the space, but it does not mean less workstations.
In this case, it is the adaptation of the office to the individual needs of your workforce that motivates your employees. It is worthwhile to have armchairs, pouffes or some standing workplaces in addition to the traditional furniture. What will also come in handy are open spaces and closed phone booths, where everyone can hold a conversation without disturbance. If there is a cafe or a cafeteria in the office, you might want to put some tables and armchairs there and create a chill-out area where your employees can sit down and use their laptops.
Of course, Activity Based Working does not come without any challenges – for starters, there are no private workstations. Nevertheless, the systems allow you to conserve office space. The office seems roomier, there is space for everyone and your employees are more motivated to work.
3. Offer rewards
How to motivate your employees effectively? You can offer a variety of tangible and financial rewards. These can be discretionary monthly and quarterly bonuses or bonuses for successful project implementations. You can also use vouchers for shopping or some form of entertainment or an extra day off to motivate your employees. In addition, rewarding an employee strengthens their bond with the organisation: appreciated and satisfied, they will not look for a different employer.
4. Help your employees develop new skills
New skills and knowledge is what every ambitious employee is in for. This is why you should provide your employees with tools – such as IC Project, a tool for project management – thanks to which they will keep abreast of the knowledge in the area they navigate when performing their daily tasks. It might also be achieved by subscribing to a trade journal or a website dealing with the given topic.
Ways to motivate your employees also involve allowing them to learn new skills. As a result, not only will they feel satisfied, but you will also be able to assign them new tasks for which they have become competent. This is where internal and external employee trainings come in. Sometimes an employee does not even have to leave the office to undergo one. You can buy access to a webinar – only a laptop with Internet access will be necessary.
5. Praise your employees often
Another factor which motivates employees is praise: but not just praise after a project is completed. It is crucial that employees feel appreciated all the time. According to studies conducted several years ago, as many as 50% of employees are ready to change their job solely in quest for appreciation. This is why you should appreciate people often. It would be great if you thanked your employees for each material or completed task which they send you, for instance, attached to an e-mail. Expressing gratitude for such a message and confirming its receipt should be a default response.
6. Offer flexible fulfilment of duties
Consider whether it is necessary for each employee to come to the office. It might turn out that some of them can work from home. This is currently a solution that is gaining ground and becoming more and more popular and favoured among employees. For instance, you can allow an employee of yours to work 3 days from home and 2 days at the office if maintenance of personal contact and team coherence is vital.
Flexible working hours are also a way to motivate your employees. Working 8 hours a day does not necessarily require a strict and repetitive working regime. If an employee is eager to sleep longer, has a training session or has to take children to school, you might want to allow them to do those activities. Some enterprises allow their employees to come to work from 6 to 10 a.m. as long as they do their 8 hours a day.
7. Organise catering services or a canteen
Preparing a lunch or second breakfast for work always takes a lot of time. This is why investing in a canteen or catering services may turn out to be a clever idea. It will not only boost your employees’ motivation, but will also allow easier recruitment of candidates in the future. Corporate lunches save not only time, but money as well.
Another option would be to offer your employees snacks in the form of healthy bars or fruit. In a survey conducted by Seamless, over 57% of employees stated that they felt rewarded and appreciated thanks to food-related benefits. 38% were inclined to state that they employer was the best possible.
8. Take care of good communication
Good communication and mutual respect are the fundaments of every team. Also, you need to clearly delineate what you expect from your employees and what tasks they are obliged to perform. Even though you might think that your communication with your employees as a manager is nothing short of perfect, the reality might be different. This is why it is worth talking with your employees and ask them whether everything is clear and whether they know what is expected of them. You should present a quite detailed plan of action outlining all tasks and stages to be completed in order to achieve the given objective.
9. Increase the scope of responsibility of the ambitious
If you see that any of your employees is exceptionally ambitious, you might want to take advantage of that – in the good sense, of course. By increasing their qualifications through trainings and expanding their scope of responsibility and duties, you will allow such individuals to see their future in your enterprise. Motivating employees also means ensuring that there are no repetitive tasks which give no vistas for a promotion or skill improvement. Otherwise, ambitious employees may fulfil their duties less diligently because of boredom.
10. Your attitude is important.
Remember that you have to be a shining example. If you treat your duties without proper diligence, your employees will notice that, and they will act accordingly. No wonder – if the superior does not treat their duties seriously and does not apply, why bother? You should also know that nobody wishes to be treated as a meaningless part of a larger group. Individual treatment is yet another effective method for motivating your employees.
You should appreciate every single employee for their successes at work. Last but not least, remember that people like talking about their hobbies, so if you know that one of your subordinates took part in some competition at the weekend – ask them how it went. It costs little but can strengthen bonds at work and make someone feel appreciated and perceived as a human being, not just a soulless cog in a machine.