Keeping your employees motivated can be extremely challenging for line managers. Often problems occur because line managers aren’t given the support they need to know how to manage people correctly but it is important that you are proactive and have the right strategies in place in order to motivate your staff.
Here are five strategies you can implement immediately to keep your team members motivated:
Employees want to know what is going on, not only in the team but also in the business. By communicating to employees what is happening and why, managers can help employees understand the reasons behind decisions, which, as well as keeping morale high, will also allay any fears of change.
Many managers don’t communicate with their employees as much as they should. But they should pay particular attention to communicating:
- The organisation’s vision and mission
- The rationale for decisions
- How an employee’s role contributes to the success of the team and the business
2. Ask questions and listen to the response
As a result of performing their role your employees will have a really good understanding of what works and what doesn’t. If you’re not asking questions and listening to their feedback you could be missing out on some really good ideas, such as improving processes, saving money and improving customer service.
Sit down with your employees, either as a team or individually, and ask them questions such as:
- What works well for you and what needs to be improved?
- What do you need to make your role better?
- How could your role be improved?
- How can I help you with your career aspirations?
Remember to listen to their feedback and respond to them what you can and can’t do.
3. Provide training and development
Investing in the training and development of employees shows your commitment to them, and it doesn’t need to be costly. You should sit down with your employees individually and discuss what they need and how they think you can help them and then together you can form a career development plan.
Options for career development can include:
- Training courses
- Online training
- Secondments to other departments
- Letting them take on more responsibility on projects
- Deputising for you at meetings
4. Engage them in the business
Most employees want to feel like they are part of something bigger – contributing to the goals of the business – so allow them to do just that. Encourage them to develop solutions to problems they face in their role or that they see in other areas of the business.
When encouraging employees to develop solutions:
- Make sure they have the time to focus on being creative – many innovative companies allow employees a set amount of time, such as 10-20% of their working week, to work on whatever project or task they want.
- Don’t play the blame game – if it goes wrong sit down and work out what happened and what lessons can be learned.
5. Value their contribution
The one thing managers must do is recognise and value the contribution of those that work for them. People want to be acknowledge for their contribution and be part of a winning team, and either a simple thank you to acknowledge the efforts of your employees or a formal recognition programme will encourage staff loyalty, improve motivation and more engaged in their work.
You can reward individuals and teams, but however you choose to recognise your employees make the recognition:
- Specific: tell them what they did and the impact it made.
- Appropriate: Recognise and reward them appropriately for their contribution.
- Timely: recognise employees as immediately.