A motivational poster reading 'success, go get it'..

Find out how to improve employee engagement with our five, easy steps.

Despite the numerous perks that the modern workplace offers, often it’s the simple things that can make the most difference to staff motivation. We believe this comes down to five key areas, which we will explore further over the course of this article:

  1. Lead your team by example.
  2. Show appreciation for their work.
  3. Help to achieve their career goals.
  4. Be flexible around external issues.
  5. Provide performance-related incentives.

Why Should I Make Team Motivation A Priority?

Low motivation can often be a key reason as to why employees leave their jobs. Hence, ensuring your employees are engaged should be a priority for any organisation, given that staff turnover is both expensive and unproductive. It’s frequently the case that the relationship between an employee and his or her direct supervisor is an overlooked factor in building staff engagement; tor this reason, the responsibility to improve motivation levels will usually fall on the manager’s shoulders.

While a comfortable office space, perks like free food and team bonding activities outside the office can certainly be a welcome bonus for staff, research suggests that these strategies are ineffective in maintaining long-term engagement. It’s important to get to know your staff individually because people’s motivations can vary greatly depending on personality and generational factors; for example, some may respond better to financial incentives, while others may want to be reminded of how their work is making an impact. By improving their motivation, you can positively impact your staff’s productivity, quality of work and company loyalty, leading to better retention, improved performance and a healthier bottom line.

With this in mind, we believe there are five key steps to help motivate your employees, as follows:

1. Lead Your Team By Example

You can’t expect your employees to behave how you’d want without leading by example. While arriving to meetings on time and showing your excitement for the company’s goals is a good way to do this, you also shouldn’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves. In showing your employees that you are not ‘above’ the work that they are doing, you earn their respect and boost commitment to the project. You can read our guide to leadership, here.

2. Show Appreciation for Their Work

Show your employees how their work fits into the larger company goals. Tasks that seem repetitive or menial can be demotivating, which is why it’s important to show those involved how they are contributing to the larger picture. As a result, you will instil a greater sense of ownership, boosting productivity and overall quality of your employees’ work.

3. Help To Achieve Their Career Goals:

Career advancement can be one of the main reasons for staff to push themselves to excel. Providing your staff with opportunities for growth will increase their commitment to the company. By becoming their mentor, you can help them develop their talents, define the career objectives, and help achieve their longer-term ambitions. In turn, you’ll improve performance whilst building loyalty to the company.

4. Be Flexible Around External Issues

Life doesn’t always turn out as expected and out-of-work issues can raise stress-levels in the workplace. This can be counter-productive to both motivation and productivity, to the point that it’s often more beneficial to offer your staff the flexibility to resolve them (e.g. working from home to fix a boiler) than to ignore them. As such, perks like flexi-time and remote working can be a great way to keep your staff engaged, while showing an understanding for life’s unexpected issues.

5. Provide Performance-Related Incentives:

Where possible, share any financial rewards with your staff. Aligning individual economic interests with company performance is a big incentive for your employees to work harder or become more efficient at their job. If you’re able to give bonuses or implement compensation programs at all levels of the organisation, employees will have a personal stake in how the company performs.

While certainly not an exhaustive, list, these ideas can help to create a rewarding environment for all to work in – including for you. By reminding your staff that their work matters, you will make all involved in a project feel like they are playing an integral role in its success. Although no single incentive will have the same benefit to every employee, by listening closely to your team’s needs, you’ll be able to understand and provide them with what they consider to be most important. As a result, you’re more likely to reduce staff turnover and create a more productive, frictionless workplace.

Further Reading:

To find out more, we’ve curated a short list of interesting pieces from across the web:

Top 9 Things That Motive Employees To Achieve – Forbes
How To Motivate Workers In Tough Times – Wall Street Journal
To Motivate Employees, Do Three Things Well – Harvard Business Review

You may also be interested in our latest piece on leadership, which can be found here.

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