by Team TMR | Sep 21, 2021 | BLOG
People don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses. Often managers are looking for maximum productivity, efficiency and profitability. Strategies for achieving these outcomes might include cost-cutting, pushing current employees by setting higher expectations or turning to tech to maximise their resources.
The problem is that all of these strategies overlook the engine of what is the business vehicle - employees. All of the above strategies may actually alienate and reduce morale for your employees, creating a downward spiral in motivation and consequently affecting the performance of the business.
So how can you motivate employees to help with these goals? Well, if you want more performance from an engine you add in mechanical and fuel upgrades like a turbocharger and 98 octane premium fuel. The same can be said with a business, where employees are the engine to drive overall performance, install some upgrades to your management style and be rewarded with increased employee performance.
Here’s how we recommend you can add a turbocharger for 98 octane employee motivation...
You’re not that interesting. No, really. If your employees wanted to hear long-winded analogies designed to motivate based on your experiences, they would ask. You’ll get a far bigger payoff by being interested in and empathising with your employees.
Know about their family; know about what they do after hours, what interests them. This is not meant to be prying into an employee's personal life, but knowing an employee can help you to work out what motivates that employee.
Different people are motivated by very different things. What does the employee want? What do they want from this job, from their life, and for their future? Reaching goals can be difficult. Helping someone to reach a goal at work is impossible if you do not know what that goal is and employees who feel they are supported in working towards their goals will perform at a much higher level.
Some employees start out in a job on the bottom with hopes of advancement. Others may be working towards a better work/life balance by side-stepping or lateral movement. You may have an operational employee who has eyes on moving into sales to increase their income, or a salesperson who is interested in moving into accounts.
Whatever your employees' goals may be - you need to know what they are, discuss their goals at regular intervals as they evolve and actively work to assist them in achieving their version of success. It might be that they are after a promotion, higher income, increasing their skills, more flexibility in work hours or even a better work/life balance so they can spend more time sipping mai tais.
Your employees should know that you care about their goals and aspirations. Let them know that you are there to help them achieve their goals and they will give you 110%
Take a few minutes out of your day to just talk with your employees, particularly if they are working from home. Give them an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns or simply ask how their week went. This will demonstrate how much you care about his or her happiness within the company, provided you do this with genuine intent.
You can also schedule one-on-one reviews once a month, every few weeks or however often is comfortable for you. This will allow you time to sit down and spend a little more time with the employee and give you a chance to discuss the highs and lows of the period in which the review is accomplished. Ensure at least a few of these meetings are outside you place of business, perhaps getting a coffee at a local cafe (when possible).
Positive conversations, even on a casual level are a great way to increase employee motivation. It can also give you an opportunity to build genuine relationships with employees that mean you can be provided with honest insight into their day-to-day tasks, successes and challenges.
Investing your time in your employees will absolutely pay off. Employees are your company’s number one asset, the engine driving your goals for the business.
Not all employees will perform at the same level, and there will come a time you will need to address underperformance. No one likes this aspect of management, but it doesn’t need to be a negative experience for anyone involved. What can you do to shift the tone? Watch your damn language!
Language is powerful, it can shift perspectives, affect emotions and influence inspiration. It’s not just the language you use with employees that can be powerful, but also the language you use within your own inner thoughts. In every setting surrounding a potentially negative experience, watch your bloody language! It is the one aspect that you can control, that can help to shift negativity.
If you think about addressing underperformance as an ‘opportunity to help’ an employee, it shifts from a negative to a potentially positive experience, which can improve your demeanour and body language which your employee will respond to.
Using inclusive terms like ‘we’, ‘our’ and ‘us’, instead of ‘you’ or ‘your’, creates a collaborative feel and avoids individualising blame or shame. This can be particularly helpful to ensure the employee does not fall into a defensive stance, which will often result in an inability to take in information or contribute to the discussion.
We’ve all had that shitty experience at some point when a higher up seems to be keeping something from you. Even though there may not be a secret, the big boss still hasn’t informed you on what is going on. Employees may feel this way occasionally or consistently, but either way the impact on morale can be significant. It’s so very important to keep employees informed about issues that arise in the business even if it does not directly affect them.
Employees want to know what is happening and they want to be involved - transparency shows you value your team no matter their position. Where an employee feels valued, their motivation is far higher than if they feel unappreciated or overlooked.
It is a good idea to have regular catch-up meetings with your team, just to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Prepare employees if a major event is going to happen, such as; a buyout, change in senior management, or major client change.
Another way to explode inspiration among employees is to hold consultations when the company is planning on changing existing policies. Invite feedback from employees and ask if they have any ideas about how to resolve the issue. Employee consultation is vital so that employees take ownership of the new policies or procedures and follow them without issue.
It is your responsibility to create enthusiasm in the workplace. Therefore it is up to you to continue to study innovative ways to spur employees to action. You need to continually develop and evolve your skills in this area or face being left behind.
You might opt to take classes or short courses at HR firms, online universities or specialist training providers. This will give you a fabulous opportunity to continue to learn new ways to stimulate your employees and grow as a manager.
Additionally, workshopping ideas with employees is an excellent way to ensure the skills you learn can be put into practice in an appropriate and effective way. Involving employees in solutions will ensure they take ownership of those solutions, feel valued and respected.
You need to choose to upskill, evolve and be flexible about implementation in order to be at the top of your game - and in return you’ll be able to motivate your employees so you can all achieve goals for the business.
Ultimately, employees are the engine that power a business, and directly affect the financial performance and customer satisfaction of any business. Be interested in what makes your employees tick, get involved in developing innovative ways to create motivation, watch the language you use in communications, invest your time, be transparent and support your employees goals and you will create an environment of naturally motivated employees.
Putting these recommendations in place will turbocharge motivation among employees, adding serious power to the engine that drives your business vehicle to excel in financial performance and customer experience.