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How to Motivate Employees

by Tim AustinApril 17, 2018 8:00 AM

A lack of motivation can really cost your business. Entrepreneur reports that disengaged, disinterested employees have led to a loss of up to $550 billion per year for U.S. businesses. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help motivate your employees so that they’re ready to give it their all every day. Here are three steps that you can take to engage your employees.

A motivated employee. 

Build Relationships

Just how important is it to build a relationship with your employees? When the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducted a survey on job satisfaction and engagement, a whopping 95 percent of respondents noted that “their relationship with their immediate supervisor plays an important role in how they feel about their job.”

Whether you work directly with your employees or have a management staff that supervises everyone, it’s important to build a welcoming culture that places an emphasis on communication. Employees want to feel like their voices are heard, and the occasional email or chat message isn’t going to be enough to motivate them. Some ways to improve workplace communication include:

  • Establishing regular face-to-face communication with employees
  • Set regular meetings where employees can share input, such as weekly townhall meetings or monthly retrospectives
  • Offer an anonymous feedback system
  • Invest in online communication tools, such as Slack or HipChat

Instituting some of these practices can give employees an avenue to share their thoughts and feelings. However, communication can be about more than just the workplace. Showing an interest in employees’ lives outside of the office can show your employees that they’re more than just a dollar sign, which can inspire them to become more invested in your business and motivated to do great work.

Let Them Grow

Future opportunities can play a big role in an employee’s motivation. SHRM’s job satisfaction and engagement survey found that roughly half of respondents noted that “career advancement opportunities within their organization were very important to their job satisfaction.” Fortunately, there are many ways that you can help your employees develop as a part of your business.

Hiring internally can be a powerful tool that can allow your workers to make the next logical step in their career. Internal candidates already know your company intimately, and you have the advantage of knowing what their skills are before you offer them the job. For your employees, it gives them a big forward step without having to leave for a new company. In return, you get to retain key talent and help your workers grow. Also, internal hires can be up to 20 percent cheaper to hire than external candidates, which adds some cost savings to your team development efforts.

If you don’t have any open positions, you can still help your employees develop. Offering employee training or allowing workers to attend educational conferences and trade shows can give them the ability to learn new skills that they can use at your business. It also shows that you care about their career development, which can serve as a great motivational tool.

Give Your Employees Benefits That They Want

Money is a big motivator, but it isn’t always the biggest factor for employees. According to the Harvard Business Review, “80 percent of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay raise.” Catering your benefits package to the wants and desires of your employees can act as a good source of motivation.

Of course, employees may value certain benefits more than others depending on their needs at home. Across generations, employees’ preferences have changed, which can impact which types of benefits you may consider adding to help motivate your workers. Glassdoor offers some insight into what benefits each generation tends to value:

  • Baby Boomers value salary level, health insurance, and a retirement plan
  • Gen Xers value salary level, a 401K plan with matching benefits, job security, advancement within the company, and opportunities for work-life balance
  • Millennials value benefits choices, paid time off, ability to work remotely, control over their schedules, and a great deal of flexibility

Each business is different, so you may find that giving your employees some work-from-home privileges to be beneficial while another business owner may see more value in employee training. It can also be beneficial to listen to what your employees have to say on the matter, whether it’s in person or during a regular meeting that you set up to improve communication. 

By listening to their wants and needs and amending your benefits package in a way that makes sense for both your business and your employees, you can show your workers that your company is one that values them. In turn, this can inspire them to keep up the hard work and become more invested in your business.

Get Some Help to Motivate Your Employees

While implementing employee management initiatives to motivate employees can be very valuable, it can also be a lot of work to take on by yourself. Partnering with a Professional Employer Organization allows you to turn to HR experts to set up employee training programs, get the most bang for your buck on benefit plans, and manage other critical HR functions that can keep your workforce motivated. 

Contact GMS today to talk to one of our experts about how we can help you with employee management.

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