Apart from results, and the all-important bottom line, the success of a manager can often be measured by the morale of his or her team. Are people happy, productive, and motivated? That is the sign of a good manager.
The question is, just how do you inspire and motivate your employees to give their best effort every day? At a loss? Not to worry. Here are five ways to inspire and motivate your employees.
Show your trust
The first sure way to motivate and inspire your employees is to demonstrate that you have faith in their abilities to get the job done. You can do this by assigning them more responsibilities and giving them the chance to rise to the challenge. Doing so shows that you trust them, which has a way of motivating people to keep doing their best.
Micromanaging your employees and hovering over their shoulders at every step is counterproductive because it makes them nervous. If your employees are too afraid to try new things, they won’t be giving you their best. Give them greater autonomy and responsibility and they will rise to the occasion.
Incentivize with a prize
Reward people for a job well done, and they’ll be more likely to repeat the performance and do what it takes to earn the coveted prize. Positive reinforcement, after all, is one of the oldest, tried and true psychological principals. You can incentivize your employees with prizes like a free lunch, an afternoon off, event tickets, or gift cards for people that reach certain targets. Not only will this tickle the reward centers of their brains, it will also inspire a little friendly, and healthy, competition in the workplace.
For example, years ago I worked at a call center and every time someone made a sale they got to spin a prize wheel that was mounted on the wall. The prizes where mostly candy bars and drinks, but every time I spun that wheel it was with a great sense of satisfaction and achievement. It gave me a reason to keep placing calls and striving for the next sale. This kind of activity also adds something to the culture of your company.
Invest in your employees
Similar to the first point about showing your trust, another way to inspire and motivate your employees is by investing in them. Offering things like tuition reimbursement, a mentoring program, one-on-one coaching, and job shadowing with people in higher positions sends a clear message: you care about their career and their future. Some companies, in fact, have periodic meetings with their employees to discuss their career paths and make sure they stay on track.
Aside from improving skills and increasing staff knowledge, this kind of investment in employee career pathing gives them a reason to stay with the company for the long haul rather than be on the lookout for a better offer.
Invest in your employees, and you’ll give them a reason to stick around. When your employees grow and improve, so does the company.
Give them a purpose
No matter what your job is, whether it’s packing orders at a distribution warehouse, or managing a Fortune 500 company at the executive level, we all want to know that our jobs matter. Show your employees why they matter to the company, and what the results of their work are, and they’ll feel rewarded and motivated to keep at it. Emphasizing the importance of employee contributions (and giving people credit for good work) bolsters a sense of confidence and achievement, which can motivate people to keep working hard.
Include them in the big decisions
It can be discouraging to your employees when they see big company decisions being made without anything mentioned to them. It makes them feel isolated and unimportant. How do you get around this? By asking for your employees’ opinions. Asking for their input creates a sense of belonging in the company, making them feel like they matter.
This goes hand-in-hand with employee investment, and giving them a purpose: by asking for their insight and opinion on how the company can improve, you will further engender their trust and loyalty to the company.
In today’s highly competitive workplace, where people switch jobs every few years, employee turnover can be a big concern. You can stem the tide, though, by putting a focus on employee engagement and training. Doing so builds a solid foundation for employee management and growth, ensuring your staff is always motivated and inspired.