Maintaining a positive workplace environment is a good way of keeping your employees fired-up and truly engaged in doing their jobs. Now, I don’t mean that you have to give motivational speeches all the time—that can turn employees off rather than on as they often perceive it to be insincere. Rather, there are several things that you can do to give your employees a raise in spirits. Here are are four ideas for keeping employees motivated.
Raise people’s skills. In today’s skill-based job market where your abilities are your only job security, employees are likely to be very interested in continually improving their skills. They realize that up-to-date skills are even more valuable than cash. The more training you can provide to employees, the greater they will remain motivated and the more likely you are to retain them.
Remember that training is not always in the classroom. It is offering opportunities to try new tasks and vary familiar routines. Offer opportunities for travel, whether for training, visiting clients, or attending conferences. Take the time to find out what your employees are interested in for their career advancement; then help them get the skills necessary to accomplish it.
How about sponsoring a “Career Development Week” for your employees? Conduct a college fair on-site, giving employees a chance to talk to representatives of local schools and arrange to take courses, the tuition for which is reimbursed by the company. You will benefit from better-educated employees and the employees will be excited by the opportunity to work toward degrees or to gain extra knowledge to make them more employable.
Let people use their creativity. Encourage your people to have fun in the workplace and to exhibit their playful and creative sides. Allowing innovation goes a long way when it comes to keeping employees motivated. When an employee says, “You’re going to think this is a little crazy…” Respond with, “I like the sound of it already.” People like to work in organizations where their creativity is encouraged. If they always have to follow the rules and ask no questions, their motivation will be stifled.
Offer LOTS of recognition and praise. AND Personalize it.
Don’t take acceptable work for granted. Thank people for it. And praise them every time they improve. Feeling appreciated, employees become more involved and are satisfied at work.
It doesn’t have to take much time, either. Notes of recognition don’t have to be long, for instance. I’ve seen companies give gold stars very effectively. But be sure to dangle different carrots for different people—what motivates one employee may leave the other one cold, or even irritated.
Provide variety in the work. People often become unmotivated by doing the same thing day after day. So let them try different things. Include them on a new task force or cross-train. Give your people “stretch” assignments—something that doesn’t come easily to them. When you help your people stretch their skills they will often uncover a hidden interest—one that will serve as a new motivator.
Strengthen relationships. This doesn’t mean that you have to be best friends with your employees. It does mean that you should treat all of your people with respect. Trust their intentions and believe the best of them. Listen to them and their ideas and ask for their opinions before you give directions or offer advice.
Try some of these ways to keep your employees motivated – Let me know how it goes!
I share powerful Customer Service tips and insights for front line managers and employees on how to deliver customer service to keep your customer coming back. The name of the game is customer loyalty and it’s not just about satisfaction. It’s about a willingness to be a repeat buyer, willingness to recommend you to others, and resistance to switching to a competitor. Fortunately, I learned this lesson through my 15-year corporate career. Poor service is an all-too-frequent experience for us all. I provide a framework for implementing ongoing processes that can build customer loyalty.
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