How to Motivate Your Workers in 5 Simple Steps
It’s not always easy to keep your workers motivated, especially if you can’t hold one-on-one meetings as often as you’d like. When the orders are flying in and there’s work to be done, it’s easy to get caught in the flow. Sometimes you forget that your team may not be as excited at the prospect of extra work as you are. After all, what benefits do they see if you take on more clients? If they don’t own shares in your company or get paid on commission, you’ll need to make sure they’re properly motivated. Find out how you can do this in five simple steps.
- Give Them a Challenge
One problem faced by most small businesses is that they don’t have the budget to offer large salaries or bonuses. While a little pay raise goes a long way, money isn’t everyone’s motivator. If you’re working with limited funds, there are other ways you can incentivize your staff.
The workforce is dominated by millennials. By 2025, they’ll account for more than 75 percent of all workers. Why is this important?
Millennials have different expectations when it comes to their working environment and diverse motivators that drive them. Far from looking for their paycheck at the end of the day, millennials thrive on challenge. Instead of worrying about signing off on fat bonuses, show them you trust them to take on extra responsibility. Just about the least motivating thing you can do with this demographic is to give them a regular list of repetitive tasks. Give them responsibility, let them manage a project and watch them rise to the challenge.
- Offer Them Room to Grow
Opportunities for long-term growth will keep your workers invested. After all, no one wants to stay in a dead-end position on the road to nowhere, least of all inquisitive young minds who want to develop and thrive. While job stability might not be top of the list for this group, the opportunity to flourish certainly is. Make it clear from the start how and where they can grow in your company.
Ongoing training is a great motivator, as it shows your employees that you’re invested in them. It’s also good for your business as they bring their new skills to their position. Ana J. Pana, Human Resources Manager at Day Translations, explains: “One of the first things we say to new hires is that we offer long-term positions with plenty of room for growth. It’s a great way to keep our employees invested.”
- Get Behind a Cause
Social responsibility can be a great motivator to your workers, so think about donating to charities or working around a cause. A study at the University of Oslo, Norway, discovered that many employees prefer to work for a socially responsible employer. As a matter of fact, they would even accept a lower wage to do so.
Social responsibility is more than just a great way of motivating your team and giving back to the community. It also makes great business sense and will give you a ton of organic public relations and customer support.
- Give Them a Vacation
If you’re like most US companies, you probably provide 10 days of vacation a year, and you probably feel pretty good about doing that. After all, you aren’t required to by law. But other countries around the world are more progressive when it comes to the work-life balance. In the EU, every country must provide a minimum of four weeks’ vacation time.
Smart companies understand that if they can’t motivate their employees with money, they can do so with flexibility. If you can’t afford to offer higher salaries, think about offering more vacation. If you can’t absorb the cost of the downtime, then allow for a little flexibility. Don’t dictate to your employees when they should take their time off; let them use their days as they need. Employer support when they need to take a day off speaks volumes to your employees.
- Show Some Appreciation
Want to know the easiest way of motivating your workers? Show some appreciation. Everyone likes to feel their work is important and does not go unnoticed. It’s easy to get so caught up in daily tasks that you forget to say a simple “thank you.” But sometimes a simple thank you is enough to make a staff member want to come to work again the next day.
You don’t need pots of money to keep your workers motivated, nor do you need extensive training in human resources. You just need to factor these simple steps into your company culture and watch turnover drop and productivity soar.