Employee motivation is the backbone of any business. A motivated employee is a happy employee. And happy employees mean better retention, productivity and innovation for the business as a whole.
Google and Facebook broke the news in 2014 when they announced they would offer egg-freezing treatment as an employee benefit. Business owners nowadays will try anything to keep their workforce motivated and there’s a reason for this. Gallup’s 2017 State of the Global Workplace survey found that employee engagement in Western Europe was as low as 10%, with the UK floundering on 8%. When workers are demotivated, something has to change, and it starts here with these three ways to motivate your employees and help bring them back on board.
Create a SMART System with Constant Feedback and Reward
When it comes to strategic execution, only 20% of managers believe that formal systems for managing commitments work well all, or most, of the time. That number needs to rise and rise fast. Making organisational expectations clear again is the first step in re-motivating your workforce. If they don’t know what they’re aiming for, is it any wonder that they’re rudderless? It’s all about creating a goal-oriented working culture where managers can constantly evaluate employee performance and help their subordinates do better as time goes on. Many managers adhere to the SMART ethos, setting goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, results-oriented and time-bound.
When it comes to motivation, the most important thing you can do is to reward success if employees are meeting expectations and exceeding targets. On a micro level, this is about providing immediate feedback on tasks and how they’re progressing along their broader internal career trajectory relative to their goals. In the long run, employees expect and deserve financial recognition for the value they’ve added to the company: promotions, bonuses, pay increases and stock options are all tangible parts of any good reward system.
Build A Positive, Calming Work Environment
An adaptable workspace that accommodates a variety of social and emotional needs will massively drive up employee wellbeing, which correlates closely with employee motivation. It’s nearly 2020, and nobody wants to be sitting alone divided by cubicle partitions. Equally, we all need time to ourselves sometimes, so having a purely open-plan office can be a cause of stress. There are bespoke companies out there that offer rented premises that strike this balance, tailoring to requirement, and these are some of the finest private offices London has to offer.
Plants, beanbags, ping pong tables and better lighting could all be great motivators. But start by concretely asking your employees what they want in a workspace; as well as helping to streamline productivity to fit around the real human beings who are working in the office, consulting your employees on small proposals will increase their stake in the company. It shows you listen; it shows you care.
Reshape Office Politics for Good
According to research from Adecco, 33% of UK office workers cite organisational politics as a major cause of workplace unhappiness. It’s easy to see why. When office politics reigns supreme, it can mean employees are compelled to smother their misgivings, manipulate co-workers, connect to individuals with perceived clout and go with the flow. In a working culture that privileges people based on who you know rather than what you do, the honest hard worker will not get their just desserts.
It’s impossible to completely eliminate office politics from any organisation. It’s more about forming healthy office politics, which fosters harmony and rewards honesty. This won’t happen overnight, but by working towards a new system that incentivises people to do their best, it will ensure they don’t buckle under pressure from the well-connected.