5 Tips for Motivating Employees

A large part of creating a successful business is having employees who are motivated.  Sometimes even the top performers and best self-starters can experience a lull in motivation.

Whether your business just needs a little pick-me-up, or a motivational overhaul, these 5 tips for motivating employees will enhance your workplace!

Tip#1: Set the Example. 
In the words of Ghandi: “Be the change you want to see.”  Start with attitude.  A positive attitude is infectious; when your employees see that you are excited about your business, they will get excited about their role within the business.

Tip #2: Share the Wealth. 
Involve employees in the company’s successes. Profit sharing is a great motivator, and has been shown effective in several models.  It gives your employees something to work towards, and can give them that extra push at the end of the day.  If profit sharing is not immediately feasible, still involve your employees as much as possible in company highs.  Celebrate when numbers are exceeded or when customers give a glowing recommendation.  It doesn’t have to always mean cake and ice cream – employees just want to know what they are doing right.

Tip #3: Focus on Happiness. 
Happy employees are naturally going to be motivated employees.  Generous paid time off, company sponsored events, excellent benefits, and a good work environment are a few things that keep good employees coming back.  Happy employees not only stay motivated, but generally give a business a reputation of placing importance on employee satisfaction, and a good reputation is invaluable.
Related: Building a Productive Work Team

Tip 4: Hear Them Out. 
Employees who have a voice in their company will be motivated to work hard because they will feel more a part of the company and its successes.  Wainwright Industries in St. Peters, Missouri created the Wainwright’s Continuous Improvement Process.  In 1994 associates implemented over 8,400 improvement ideas from their workforce.  They presently average 300 ideas a week from 146 associates.   The associates – not management – run this powerful process.  This works because associates at Wainwright have authority to make any improvements, without permission for up to $1000 in cost.  If their idea or change exceeds this amount, they fill out a form to for approval.  Not only do employees get a stake in the changes and improvements the company makes, they also are eligible for weekly cash drawings just for submitting ideas.
For more about inclusion: Employee Motivation: Inclusion and Praise

Tip #5: Develop Each Individual. 
Coaching is employee development, and your only cost is time. Giving your time means you care.  It gives your employees a chance to give feedback, share their successes and struggles, and learn from someone who has been in their shoes(You!). Many companies will invest about an hour each month into each individual with manager coaching meetings.  When compared to companies who do not have regular coaching meetings, employee satisfaction is much lower, and the non-coached employees do not feel as valued as their counterparts.  All this adds up to employees who are not motivated.

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