How to Get The Most From Your Employees
Any business is only as successful as the people who work there, which is why motivating employees effectively is critical to every organisation.
There are many ways to motivate employees and which will work best is likely to depend on the type of organisation and the generational mix of employees you have working for you. There is no one-size-fits all strategy for successful employee motivation, which is why ultimately you will need to develop strategies specific to your organisation.
However, there are certain key principles that apply to motivating employees across a whole range of organisations. These fundamental ideas can have a real, measurable impact on the motivation of your work force which you will see the benefits of every day in their attitudes and the results they deliver.
Create career paths
Employee development is one of the most important factors in motivating your staff. There are two main reasons for this:
1) It shows employees you are invested in their personal growth and their future with your business, giving them more reason to invest their energies and commitment in performing at their very best for you.
2) By giving employees a clear path to learn and grow with you, you give them a tangible, valuable benefit to stay with you that goes beyond the pay check.
Having an established path for each employee provides structure to their development, and creates a personal goal to work towards. This doesn’t mean every member of staff has to be working towards becoming a manager, but they should have something specific to aim for. Take time to listen to your employees and understand their aspirations, challenges and personal motivators. Collaboratively discuss how you can create a personal learning and development plan to help individuals to overcome any obstacles, grow in their role and achieve their goals. Simple. But impactful for employee engagement, loyalty and motivation.
Establish accountability – The ‘Personal Guarantee’
Each employee should have specific tasks or work areas that they are accountable for, as well as a clearly established methodology for assessing whether they are meeting their accountability goals. Accountabilities that are clearly linked to measurable outcomes, allow both the employee and their managers to easily monitor how they are performing against expectations.
By establishing accountability, employees will have a well-defined understanding of exactly what is expected of them.
Closely tied to Accountability is Quality. At TMI, we help people to develop an awareness of quality and how they can increase the quality of every detail in their everyday activities. We call this the ‘Personal Guarantee’ – meaning that the person who performs a task guarantees its quality. This person has checked their own work – and is not only proud to put their name TO it, but also ON it.
Developing a shared understanding of Accountability and Quality provides people with a strong motivation to perform – not just to achieve the expected standard, but to take great pride in, and feel fulfilled by, their work.
Give employees a voice
A surefire way to de-motivate your employees is insufficient communication, poor communication or one-way communication.
Creating a culture of open, two-way communication in your organisation can have a significant bearing on motivation and engagement.
Do your employees fully understand how their role connects to the bigger business goals? When changes are made, do your employees know why and how it impacts them individually, or as a team?
Wherever possible, try to include your employees and give them a voice in decision making. By hearing their thoughts and taking their ideas and concerns on board, your employees will feel valued and energised – and your business in turn will benefit from having a much more engaged workforce.
Remove roadblocks wherever possible
All businesses experience roadblocks from time to time. Whilst some present bigger challenges to solve, it’s often the little things which slow you down, make tasks harder than they really ought to be and can cause endless frustration to employees.
Sweat the small stuff. Little problems – like slow connectivity or minor system glitches can become increasingly irritating and demoralising to employees over time. Listen to your employees complaints, no matter how trivial they may seem. Complaints are gifts – both inside and outside of your organisation. Treat them as opportunities to put things right and take the time to arrange fixes for minor issues.
By addressing issues as quickly and effectively as possible when they arise, you show employees that you care – and want to make their job as easy and stress-free as possible.
One of the most important and completely cost-free things you can do to get the most out of your employees is to make sure you are recognising their achievements and offering praise where it has been earned. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, but it’s easy, in a fast-paced business environment, to ‘forget’ to let employees know when they are doing a good job.
Recognition should not only be given when an employee has achieved something exceptional. It is also important to make sure employees ‘everyday’ contributions are recognised – whether they made a customer happy, helped out a colleague or completed a task effectively and on time. This doesn’t mean you have to congratulate every employee for simply turning up and doing their job daily, but it does mean that if someone performs well, this should be praised.
Regular performance reviews with each employee are a great way to codify this kind of achievement recognition of course, but it’s also amazing how much impact an occasional “good job!” or a simple pat on the back will have on an employee’s feeling of worth and value.
As a leader or business manager, how many of these ideas and strategies are you already implementing with your people? If so, have you noticed any changes? If not, what might you do differently tomorrow?
Learn all about motivating employees the TMI way
TMI stands for Transformation Managed with Inspiration. As a leading global consulting and training organisation, we focus on the human side of growth, change and development. Our consultants and programme leaders create and deliver inspirational, innovative solutions that support business leaders, motivate employees, delight customers and help organisations to achieve industry-leading performance.
Looking for advice and guidance on the best ways to motivate your employees? Contact us today to find out how we can help you.