Every business wants employees that are happy and productive at work, in other words they want a motivated workforce. And why wouldn’t you want a motivated workforce when you get benefits such as these:
- Improved productivity
- Reduced absenteeism
- Lower levels of staff turnover
- Lower training and recruitment costs
- Increased product quality
- Excellent levels of customer service
- Good reputation as a business people like to work for
- Improved relations between teams
However, motivating your workforce isn’t about getting your employees to over stretch themselves to achieve goals, it’s about getting them to work smarter. So here is our employee motivation checklist to help you get the best out of your employees.
1. Get to know your employees
Take time to get to know your staff. It is very likely that they will be motivated by different things so find out more about them and what motivates them as an individual.
2. Bet part of the team
Get involved with your team and their work, hold team meetings and thank employees for their contribution. This doesn’t mean micro-manage your staff and be careful not to appear as if you are breathing down their necks.
3. Take action on complaints and concerns
If your employees raise complaints or concerns take immediate action to investigate them and deal with them, especially if it is something several employees are concerned about.
Always publicly praise your employees who have gone beyond what is expected of them. It will boost the self-esteem of the employee and reinforce they behaviour you expect amongst other employees.
5. Give employees ownership
Show employees that you have confidence in them and their abilities by giving them responsibility. This may involve some mentoring or coaching but by showing your confidence in them they will do their very best to prove you right.
6. Provide timely feedback
Whether you are providing feedback on an achievement or you need to provide feedback on under-performance always give it in a timely manner. It means less if it is given weeks or months after the event.
Always share information clearly and effectively. As one communication channel will not suit all employees use several different methods such as email, noticeboards, intranet and town hall meetings, to name just a few.
8. Have clear job descriptions
Motivated employees know what their role is, how they are contributing to the business’ goals and objectives and what is expected of them. Ensuring that each employee has a clear job description and individual targets means that they will not be confused over what aspects of their role to prioritise.
9. Set clear goals and targets
Include your employees in goal and target setting so that they buy in to them and feel that they are achievable and realistic. Keep the goals simple and use SMARTER (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based, Evaluated, Rewarded).
Listening to your employees’ suggestions and feedback, whether they are used in the decision making process or not, will make staff feel involved. However, listen genuinely, don’t solicit feedback and completely disregard it, show that you’ve considered the information and provide feedback on why or why it wasn’t actioned.
11. Encourage team work
Encourage your staff members to work as a team rather than a collection of individuals. Even if the each employee is working on a different task or project you can encourage team work by sharing ideas and solving problems together.
12. Develop your employees
Give your employees opportunities to develop new skills and expertise or improve those they already have. Employees that feel that they are improving and are able to progress their career are more motivated.
13. Establish an employee recognition scheme
Recognition schemes are a great source of employee motivation. Numerous studies have shown that businesses get better business results when employee recognition schemes are implemented in order to recognise those that have exceeded targets, provided support to colleagues or demonstrated excellent customer service.
John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.