Staying focused and motivated all day, every day, is not easy. No matter how much employees love their jobs, their minds will eventually start to wander and their motivation will drop.
A Gallup study found that unmotivated employees cost businesses $300 billion in lost productivity each year.
So how do you keep your employees focused and motivated? By using these 8 simple ways.
1. Empower them
You will never hear an employee say that they love being micromanaged. People want to feel trusted and valued in their work.
Allowing them to take on projects fully without holding their hand the entire way shows you trust them. Trust is the foundation to any great relationship, including business.
When employees feel empowered at work, everything falls in the right place. Their quality of work goes up, they have a higher sense of job satisfaction, and they tend to develop a stronger commitment to the organization.
Let employees take complete ownership of their work. Consider allowing them to set even their own hours. Focus on the outcomes instead of the rules. You might be surprised at how they rise to the challenge.
2. Create a positive environment
Most of us spend more time at work during the week than we do at home. So, having a positive work environment is critical.
A recent poll by Partners in Leadership confirms that when employees are happier at work, 85% say they take more initiative, 73% say they are better collaborators, and 48% care more about their work.
Mood has a measurable effect on your performance, and a positive work environment can determine your mood.
Imagine walking into a dreary, negative workspace every day – it’s not motivating, it’s depressing. Having a positive, lively space will be much better for your employees’ energy and motivation.
3. Encourage industry involvement
Encourage your employees to join professional organizations. You should even consider sponsoring their membership. Workshops and seminars within these organizations is a great way for them to stay on top of the latest trends in your industry.
Having your employees stay abreast of the newest information in your industry will not only empower them in their job, but also benefit the company as a whole.
4. Alleviate boredom
Many jobs require employees to routinely perform the same tasks over and over. Taking short breaks will allow them to get their mind off of the task for a little while so they are able to refocus and get the work done. You could also think of ways to put a new spin on these tasks, or consider rotating repetitive tasks among several workers.
If a current project is stalling, consider presenting a new project to your team that is challenging and different. Taking a break from the current project with something new and exciting may give them a fresh outlook on it.
5. Recognize & reward
A recent Gallup poll showed that 65% of employees haven’t received any form of recognition for good work in the past year. And according to Linkedin 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Employee recognition leads to improvement of motivation, engagement, productivity and job satisfaction. It doesn’t always have to be a large bonus after the successful completion of a project, (although no one wouldn’t turn THAT down), but recognizing someone for a job well done in front of their peers can go a long way.
A simple, “Great work on that project!” or “I really appreciate how hard you work every single day.” shows you notice them and the effort they put into their work.
There are so many ways to recognize and reward your hard working employees. Consider an incentive program for your sales team, or announcing an employee of the month each month. Positive reinforcement works.
“Recognition is not a scarce resource. You can’t use it up or run out of it.”
~ Susan M. Heathfield, About.com Human Resources Expert
6. Clear path for advancement
Feeling stuck in a job that is going nowhere kills all motivation. Why bother working hard in a position that is a dead-end? Making sure your employees have a clear path for advancement is critical.
Have your team members list their professional goals and work with them to achieve them. The growth of your business depends on the growth of your employees.
7. Friendly competition
Competition can be a great motivator, helps promote teamwork, and also, it’s fun!
Why not turn your employees’ everyday tasks into a game? Lots of today’s top businesses are implementing “gamification” strategies to improve focus and overall morale.
Gamification of work tasks can be as simple as having a point system for completed tasks or goals with a leaderboard so you can track everyone’s status. Employees will be truly engaged and show off their competitive nature.
8. Focus on meaningful progress
Surveys have shown that 55% of employees – regardless of age, sex, region or tenure – would be more motivated if they believed they were doing meaningful work.
I, for one, detest doing a task twice due to lack of clear instructions. Clear communication of what is expected and what the end result should be is crucial.
Shifting the focus from work to meaningful progress changes the tone of your workplace and promotes greater motivation. Employees need to know they are making real progress with all of their hard work.
Keeping your employees focused and motivated is essential to growing your business. Consider some of the ideas mentioned above and see how it can benefit your business.
Does your company motivate you to be your best? Tell us how!