Winter is coming – How to keep employees motivated
The days are getting darker and the temperature is getting colder, which can only mean one thing. Winter is coming. With the end of the good weather, what better time to share some insights on how to keep your team motivated. It can be hard on both employees and leaders to focus after the summer, expectations are high, and year-end is just around the corner. Here are 10 simple ways to show appreciation and keep employees motivated.
1. Create a positive environment
Since many of us spend the majority of our waking hours at the office, it should be a place that puts employees at ease while encouraging productivity and creativity. An important step toward creating a motivated workspace is to encourage employees to share the information and knowledge. Employees should feel comfortable to share ideas or goals without fear of humiliation.
2. Provide supportive leadership
Leadership is one of the key factors in employee motivation. Supportive leaders work closely with employees, keeping senior team members focused and developing new talent. Good leaders act as role models and set an example for all. Great leaders influence how individuals see themselves, they can enable employees for greatness.
3. Make first days and birthdays special
Employees need to feel appreciated from day one and throughout the year or they’ll feel detached and possibly resentful. On first days of work, don’t just put the employee in a desk and let them fend for themselves. First days are significant, how about creating a programme where management spend face-to-face time with new employees. On work anniversaries and birthdays, employees should feel special and celebrated, how about get hand-signed cards from all team members, and a token of appreciation. Cake and treats go down well also.
4. Make feedback easy and effective
A huge part of any executive or manager’s job is listening. Listening sparks some of the best ideas, helps identify workplace problems early and builds a more connected and collaborative workplace. Listening is best done in person and face-to-face but it is important that a process is put in place, like a weekly or monthly check in.
5. Encourage teamwork
From the football field to the battlefield to the boardroom, nothing is better at keeping employees motivated than belonging a team. Through teamwork, employees learn to trust each other and to look beyond themselves. And healthy competition in a team setting, both in the office and after hours, can increase creativity as well as productivity.
6. Recognise & reward
Recognition and reward on a regular basis remind employees that they are appreciated, and help them to balance short- and long-term goals. It doesn’t take much – an employee of the month announcement, a voucher for lunch, free coffee for a week. A small token of appreciation can go a long way in the eyes of an employee.
7. Make space for personal goals
All great workplaces want employees to thrive, not only for the company’s objectives but also so that individuals can accomplish their own goals. It’s important that team leaders are familiar with employees personal and professional goals. Do they see themselves progressing to management? Would they like to move country in the future? If you are aware of their aspirations you can help make it happen, while still benefitting the business. Help employees grow personally and professionally, and they will be sure to stay motivated.
8. Prioritise work-life balance
A culture that prioritizes work-life balance, yields increased productivity and overall happiness in the workplace. In the digital age it can be hard to leave work in the office, encourage employees to switch off outside of office hours, ensure that they take their holidays and days off. If an employee is frequently working late, or seems over-burdened take them for a coffee and chat about their workload. They could be finding something challenging or picking up the slack for other team members.
9. Let them lead
Motivating employees is not just about giving them fun perks and time off, it’s about showing them that they make a difference and are valued. Encourage them to speak up, to take the lead on a project, or to deliver a meeting or presentation. Taking ownership of meetings and projects is very powerful, not only do they share their opinions and speak up, but they are motivated to make their words and ideas happen afterwards.
10. Have an open-door policy
It’s amazing how simple changes can impact employees. Creating an open-door policy makes approaching leaders and managers less daunting, it also makes employees feel that their opinion matters. This boosts confidence, morale and productivity. It also helps with transparency among companies of all sizes.