How to motivate your staff

How to motivate your staff

Keeping your staff engaged and motivated will keep them not just committed to their day to day work, but longer term to you as an employer.

Follow these best practices today:

Challenge employees

Situation: Employees need to feel they are improving their skills and being challenged

Solution: Utilize your employees’ abilities and develop a tailored career progression plan:

  • Determine your employees strengths, weaknesses and what both you and they want them to improve on
  • Set short and long term goals to keep your staff working at their optimum level. Goals should be in line with your business objectives to ensure your employees feel they are contributing to the company overall.

Create healthy competition

Situation: Extreme competition can promote favoritism/be demotivating

Solution: Keep competition healthy and motivational:

  •  Encourage employees who aren’t doing as well
  •  Do not single out less aggressive staff when they are not performing - this can create more problems than it solves
  •  Create team challenges as well as individual

Delivering negative feedback

Situation: Everyone reacts differently to criticism or negative feedback

Solution: Adapt your style to the employees’ threshold for criticism:

  • Do not focus only on negative aspects
  • Be explicit - it should be clear to the employee what they need to work on
  • Avoid a ‘praise sandwich’, where praise is given before and after

Share information

Situation: Employees will not work to their fullest potential if they are unclear as to the project

Solution: Enforce internal communication and gain employee ‘buy-in’:

  •  Explain the reasoning behind the work
  •  Conduct meetings where information is shared freely
  •  Send regular updates on past, current and future projects
  •  A team working together towards a common goal helps increase productivity

Create variety

Situation: Monotony of routine can lead to reduced productivity

Solution: Add variety to employees work:

  • Create committees for new projects/tasks and thereby creating new opportunities
  • Offer educational sessions (e.g. monthly team meeting) where staff present on a topic of value to the team and business
  • Conduct brainstorming sessions enabling staff to think out-of-the-box

Praise when merited

Situation: Praise is ineffective when delayed or without purpose

Solution: Value accomplishments of employees appropriately:

  •  Single out employees for their achievements in team settings
  •  If you praise the whole group only, high performers are at risk of being demotivated
  •  Praise employees for going ‘above and beyond - not for doing required everyday assignments
  •  Do not rely solely on reviews to offer praise
  •  Do not play favourites

Set clear expectations

Situation: Unrealistic goals

Solution: Implement standards and goals that are achievable:

  • Find a balance between goals that are attainable but are also not too easy either - goals need to be an accomplishment to motivate staff
  • Communicate effectively expected standards - if unclear it is nearly impossible for employees to meet them

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