One of the most important aspects of successful leadership is understanding how to motivate your employees or subordinates, and keep them happy. The way you manage can have a significant impact on employee morale throughout your office or business. If you are aware of employee motivation and tools to increase workplace satisfaction, you can apply them to your leadership strategy and become a more effective manager.
If you are looking for ways to increase employee motivation, keep reading for some great tips to help you out! Happy employees will work harder and be more productive than unhappy employees. In addition, you’ll have more of a chance at building a successful business if your workers are loyal to you and your company.
When you’re looking to understand how to motivate employees, you’ll want to have a good understanding of what motivates people in general. Of course, different things inspire everyone, so finding the right way to motivate your specific team members will be the key. Here are 10 affordable and simple ways to boost morale in your office environment.
1. Recognition for Hard Work
Be sure to give employees recognition for a job well done. It doesn’t have to be something big, either; everyone likes a simple pat on the back or an ‘atta boy’ from their boss every now and then.
Of course, the most well-known (and most highly appreciated) form of employee recognition is a raise in their annual salary (or their hourly wage, if they’re not working a salaried position). However, recognition does not have to take the form of money. For example:
1) Write a letter or a thank-you card, showing your gratitude for their hard work
2) Arrange regular performance reviews, at which you mention everything you’ve noticed and show your appreciation
3) Call a weekly meeting at which you mention every employee and something they’ve recently done that you’re impressed with
It’s really important to let your employees know that you notice and are grateful for even the small ways that they contribute.
2. Rewards and Incentives
Employees are more likely to work harder when they feel appreciated and rewarded for all the work they put in. There’s no better to boost morale than giving your employees or subordinates a physical gift as a thank-you for a job well done.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money or break the bank – what matters more than the monetary value of the gift is the thought you put into it, i.e. how personal it is to your employee. Tailor your rewards according to each individual and give them something they really want. For example, if you have an employee who will soon be starting university, you could provide them with a small Amazon gift card to go towards new textbooks.
You also can reward your employees by providing incentives for those who complete projects ahead of schedule, or do something great. For example, you can offer to take the employee and a guest out for drinks at a local establishment.
Why not make it a competition? If there’s a deadline that everyone has been struggling to work towards, or a new project that you need to get done ASAP, set a work target and offer a prize to whichever employee gets the job done first (without sacrificing quality in their work).
3. Employee of the Month
An employee of the month program is a great way to boost morale and motivate your team members. It shows them that they are being recognised and appreciated for all their hard work and effort. You can even get employees involved in picking who will be the employee of the month, which will help them feel more engaged in your business.
Of course, it’s really important that you aren’t biased towards certain team members here. Each employee should have the chance to make employee of the month at least once – as it’s crucial that everyone on the team feels recognised for the work they put in.
You could schedule a little ceremony at the end of each month to announce this month’s winner. Be sure to specifically mention what you love about each employee and contributions of theirs that you’ve noticed.
4. Remember Important Dates
If you make a real effort to remember your employees’ important dates, they’ll feel appreciated, and will feel as though you see them as an individual rather than just a cog in a machine. This is an effective and easy way to boost morale.
Important dates may include:
2) Wedding anniversaries
3) The anniversary of when each employee joined your company
4) Religious holidays such as Christmas, Eid, and Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)
The easiest and most popular way to recognise your employees’ important dates is by giving them cards, such as birthday cards and Christmas cards. You could also celebrate with a special work lunch, or by hanging banners and decorations around the office.
5. Team-building Exercises
Some employers think that office games are a waste of time, but they can be highly beneficial. Team building activities will help employees to bond together and work better alongside each other.
Some good team-building exercises include:
1) Brainstorming sessions to help your employees develop new ideas for projects or ways to improve their work
2) Team challenges that will test the skills of each member within a certain topic. This can be helpful because it will show which employees are strongest in which areas, and showcase any areas for improvement
3) Team building days where everyone comes in dressed up and performs a skit or sings a song for the other employees. Not only will you get some laughs, but you’ll also be able to see your employees in a more light-hearted environment
You’ll find that people will have more fun at their jobs when team-building exercises are being done frequently – leading to higher office morale, happier employees and a higher quality of work produced. There’ll also be fewer office conflicts, and when such situations do come up, your staff will find it easier to resolve them.
6. Pep Talks
Pep talks are a simple tool that can motivate your employees. Be sure to give them positive feedback on their work and let them know how much you appreciate the effort they put in each day. It doesn’t even have to be a long talk; just a few brief words of encouragement can go a long way.
Employees naturally look to their higher-ups for guidance and motivation, so you need to make sure that they see you leading by example and working hard every day. Giving a daily, weekly or bi-weekly pep talk is a great way to accomplish this.
7. Buy Lunch
A simple act as buying lunch for your employees can make a big difference in their lives. Even if you don’t buy them lunch every day, you should try to do so at least once a month. It will boost morale in the office, and create an opportunity to sit down and chat with all of your employees one-on-one. You’ll be able to get to know them better as individuals, and have a great opportunity to offer praise.
8. Office Parties and Outings
An office party or day out (fully paid for, of course) is a great way to help the team bond with one another, and help boost morale at work. Try scheduling one for the completion of a particularly long or difficult project, for example, to help all of your employees feel appreciated and recognised.
Turn the office into the party venue, hire a hall, or simply take everyone to the local pub of an evening – there are no rules other than to have a good time! Why not invest in some personalised party invitations to help build excitement and anticipation in the office?
9. Employee Benefits
Although the government mandates things like statutory sick pay, holidays and maternity/paternity leave, your employees will be happier with their position and more motivated to work hard if you offer additional benefits.
For example, why not offer each of your employees their birthday off each year on top of their statutory 28 days’ holiday? Just one extra day per employee won’t cost your company all that much, but it will be enormously appreciated.
You could also set up a private health care scheme with your employees. As well as being better for them, it means they’ll be seen quickly by a doctor or dentist in their time of need, rather than having to wait potentially weeks for a NHS appointment. This translates into your staff getting back to work sooner, which will save you time and money overall.
10. Give Gifts
While you certainly don’t want to resort to bribing employees for performance, a nice gift every once in a while does wonders for employee morale. A lovely annual gift or a small token of appreciation can be the cherry on top when an employee has had a stressful month or year at work. And gifts don’t need to be expensive to be appreciated!
For example, why not gift each of your employees a personalised mug? Coffee and tea mugs can be customised with your company’s name and logo, your employee’s name, and a personalised message like “greatest employee ever” or “thank you for your hard work”.
Customised keyrings and letter openers are further examples of small, affordable, and thoughtful employee gifts. They’ll be used regularly and will serve as a constant reminder of your appreciation for your employees.
Other Ways to Keep Employees Happy
There are many other ways that you can keep your employees happy at work. Some of them include:
1) Giving credit where it is due – whether an employee has done something good on their own or has helped another fellow employee out with something, you must give them credit for their work. Employees enjoy being appreciated and credited for an excellent job.
2) Providing praise – it might seem like common sense, but don’t forget to praise your employees when they do something great! Your employees will be more inclined to do great things if they’re praised.
3) Letting them know what is expected of them – employees are more likely to be motivated when they understand what is expected. For example, if you tell them they need to complete a certain number of tasks, then let them know how well they are doing by providing weekly reports. This will help your employees to feel more accomplished and show them what they are doing right.
Employees want to feel like they matter and that those above them appreciate everything they do. By putting these cheap and easy ideas into action at your office, you’ll be sure to see a boost in the morale of your employees. As a result, they’ll put out even more effort and work harder than ever before!