You may be the CEO of a large conglomerate, founder of a small startup or simply managing a sales team. In any one of these positions you are the one responsible for keeping your employees inspired and motivated. How do you do that on a continual basis?
Gallup recently released a report on the American workplace, which showed that just 30% of employees in the U.S. actually have a job they enjoy and that feel engaged in the work they do. Carmine Gallo, who writes for Forbes.com points out that “the other 70% feel they are ‘not engaged,’ with many reporting that they are ‘actively disengaged,’ which means they literally hate their jobs or claim to be unenthusiastic at best.” Clearly, large numbers of employees in the American workforce need someone to provide them with motivation and inspiration. And that’s your job!
If you are in need of a little inspiration yourself on how to do this, let me assure you that this does not need to be difficult. Here are seven easy yet dynamic ways to keep your employees motivated and inspired on a continual basis:
Pay Your Employees What They’re Really Worth
When you establish salaries for employees, it’s important that what you are paying for the various positions in your company is consistent with the pay scales other companies in your area are offering in your industry. Surveys show that 26% of employees who feel engaged and are basically satisfied with their jobs would leave for a 5% pay increase. You can lose great people if you are not paying them what they’re worth.
Recognize and Reward Successes
All companies go through good times and not so good times. When things are going well and the company is enjoying a level of success it is time to reward and recognize the employees that have made it possible. You have upper management, middle management, department heads and worker bees and everyone makes a contribution. If your company wins an award, closes a major deal or gets a big client, celebrate by taking the entire staff out to a favorite restaurant, plan a wine-tasting event or maybe a weekend retreat.
Establish Definite Goals
One study showed that 63% of U.S. employees say they waste a lot of time at work simply because they aren’t sure what is top priority and what could wait until later. Your job as a leader is to sit down with your team to establish clear goals. Once you’ve done that, you’ve got to ensure that these goals have been communicated to everyone, including priorities and what each team member is responsible for in reaching these goals.
Conduct Motivational Events and Meetings
Staff meetings can start off with something inspiring, like a Ted Talk. You might even want to show this one, which is often used for exactly this purpose. In meetings it is perfectly appropriate to share major successes as well as any challenges the team may be dealing with to offer encouragement. You can end these events or meetings by presenting a plaque or just a gift card to recognize an employee who put in the extra effort needed to get a project done on time.
Allow Everyone to Choose Their “Top 3” Tasks
It’s Inevitable, things always get busy and people stress out over the long list of things they need to do NOW. When this happens, allow people to choose their priorities. Have them select the top three most important things that need doing that day. Tell them to focus on getting those accomplished. Allow them to tackle the other items the following day.
Celebrate Birthdays and Other Milestones
We all like celebrating our birthdays, don’t we? Increasing employee morale can be as easy as having a free lunch brought in. Many companies celebrate birthdays and recognize other milestones with catered meals. And if it is only every couple of months, it still makes people feel appreciated.
Encourage Employees to Take Vacation Days
The easiest way to show appreciation, motivate and inspire your employees is to insist they take their vacation days. They need to recharge their batteries, which means time off work. Statistics show that year after year about 42% of employees in the U.S. take no vacation time at all. Taking time off work is essential for people to be productive, do their best work and remain happy in their jobs.
According to CNN, when employees take vacation time it “can improve work performance by up to 80%.” Business Insider magazine discussed another study that found that 91% of top business leaders realize their workers are less productive in their jobs when they don’t use vacation time off work.”
Hiring and training new employees is time consuming and costly. By following these guidelines, the work environment at your business will thrive and be a great place for your employees to work for years to come.