10 Simple Steps To Motivate Your Employees At Any Level

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Motivating employees on a long-term basis can be challenging for any manager. During difficult periods, or highly fluctuating conditions, motivation can wane, decreasing performance. When this happens, to remotivate your team, follow these 10 simple steps:

1. Recognise your employees

There is value in recognising your employees for their efforts and initiative. An award, verbal or other recognition improves and strengthens the relationship between employer and employee. Tailoring the type of recognition to the diverse needs and styles of your employees will have a greater impact.
Establishing regular recognition milestones such as ‘Employee of the month’ can establish a rhythm and the conditions in which recognition culture can develop.

2. Building recognition culture

Empowering employees to recognise each other promotes a motivational environment. Encouraging employees to celebrate values, achievements and milestones reinforces a culture of recognition.

3. Tailoring stretch goals

Stretch goals attract exponential opportunities and rewards from extra effort activities by inspiring growth in potentially complacent teams. By designing uncompromisingly ambitious goals, creativity in teams increases and can lead to stronger future motivation and achievement.

4. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T.

Every business and personal goal becomes more achievable by using a well-established tool – SMART goals. Creating and achieving business objectives can be difficult without consideration of whether goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic or timely.
To use the SMART tool to check your goals or objectives, follow these steps:
S • Specific – detail the specifics of your goal, such as what needs to be accomplished, who is responsible, and the steps need to achieve it.
M • Measurable – your goal should be measurable using at least one quantifiable measurement.

A • Achievable – question if your goal is achievable with the resources, skills, experience, and time you have.

R • Realistic – question if your goal is realistic, again with the resources, skills, experience and time you have.

T • Timely – clarify the exact timeline for your goal, with clear milestones or an endpoint to aim for.

5. Always relate back to the ‘why’

Detailed objectives, which include the reasons, rationale and the ‘why’ for their importance are much more likely to motivate your employees.
Imagine the following scenario: in a team meeting an employee asks for advice about different ways to proceed with a marketing project. Their manager responds in either of the following ways.

Scenario 1: “I suggest using the benefit-cost analysis.

or
Scenario 2: “I suggest using the benefit-cost analysis because the two projects have varying advantages and disadvantages. For us to estimate the best alternative, a benefit-cost analysis would highlight the desirability and scalability of the projects.”
It is clear explaining the reasons behind decisions, advice or objectives is more motivational, productive and positive.

6. Integrate intangible rewards

Academics have established that the joy brought by money has certain limitations. When someone earns more than $75,000, wellbeing gains tend to depreciate. Further, humans tend to desire social relationships, experiences once their basic human needs are met. Creating rewards for employees based on these findings is more likely to increase motivation in your workforce. Giving your employees opportunities to volunteer for a cause they care about, take part in personal development or attend events with colleagues may offer greater motivation.

7. Bring your team together

A positive environment leads to better performance. To unify your team, you can celebrate wins, schedule a fun, team-building activity, have a casual conversation, express gratitude and work on relationships.

8. Trust your team

Make sure employees have a chance to lead and be independent in their roles, at least some of the time. Building trust leads to a stronger, higher performing workforce.

9. Get to know your employees’ strengths

Knowing what motivates each employee individually will lead to stronger results and overall better team performance. Consider your employees commitments, priorities and backgrounds when designing rewards or motivating employees. Taking the time to get to know each employee individually is important for team management. In large teams, this can be difficult but even knowing a few things about each employee can make motivation and rewarding performance easier.

10. Motivate your team with games and fun activities

Making working life enjoyable is important for motivation as busy periods can be tiring. Introducing incentives and games to motivate and reward your team for performance, effort or service may improve morale and effectiveness.

Conclusion

Motivating your employees is the key to a healthy working environment. Get to know your team, build recognition culture, create SMART goals, intangible rewards that are related to their interests, get to know their strengths and introduce fun when necessary.