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Five Ways To Keep Your Employees Motivated Once you learn how to inspire your team, managing them will be much easier, and you'll also notice that productivity shoots higher.

By Hafiz Muhammad Ali

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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It is easy to spot a highly motivated and engaged employee whenever you see one. They are more productive, they go the extra mile, and they don't hold back at anything. But why is this the case?

The answer is simple. It is because such employees are inspired by their work, and they want to feel more productive. They also feel more connected with their organization and believe in the objectives that they are trying to achieve. If one employee felt this way, imagine how productive the company would be if all team players felt motivated to do their work?

Although it sounds too good to be true, we have all heard of such high-functioning teams existing in companies like Google and Microsoft. However, all these successful businesses share a common denominator: a leadership that constantly motivates and inspires employees.

As a business leader, you thus need to know how to engage and challenge people under you. Once you learn how to inspire your team, managing them will be much easier, and you'll also notice that productivity shoots higher. On the flip side, should you fail to motivate your employees, your business may fail to meet its objectives, given that you have a demoralized workforce behind it.

So, how do you create an environment where everyone feels engaged and motivated? Here are five strategies to help inspire your employees:

1. Set goals to create meaning The biggest lesson that I have learned over the last couple of years managing businesses is to always set goals and objectives before anything else. But how does that motivate employees? Goal setting provides meaning to the day-to-day roles of employees. Research has it that employees brought along a goal setting journey are 3.6 times more likely to be engaged and motivated at work, unlike those without pre-set goals.

To help motivate the employees, the key things to do are:

  • Establish beforehand what's expected of them
  • Help them understand what success in their roles looks like
  • Explain to them how valuable their contribution is to the general success of the company

Try to connect the business goals with the employee objectives by recognizing the role each individual is to play. Surveys have shown that 55% of employees feel more motivated if they believe to be doing meaningful work. Such people are known to take pride in their work, and they would even go the extra mile to ensure that the work gets done.

2. Provide supportive leadership To keep employees motivated, action must begin at top-level management. Approach your team members, and always let them know that you are there for them whenever they need you. Furthermore, encourage open lines of communication from the bottom-up, and listen to what the employees have to say. That's how you will understand their grievances and expectations, giving you the ability to create an environment that fosters productivity and improved employee morale. As a leader, you should show trust in your employees' talents. This is because once you start believing in them, you'll notice increased confidence, productivity, and commitment from their side. Supportive leaders work closely with their employees, and they serve as good role models.

3. Develop a positive environment Most employed people spend more than half of their day at their workplaces. This means that a well-presented and well-maintained workplace is crucial not only to their physical well-being, but also their mental health and productivity. A good working environment should be able to make employees more comfortable while elevating their productivity. Such space also sets a good mood for the day to come, hence keeping your employees motivated. You can listen to and involve your employees in the designing aspects, making them feel like a part of the company. As a rule of thumb, ensure that the office space has adequate lighting‒ preferably natural light. The interior must always be clean, upholding the highest standards of hygiene. Be sure to also invest in good furniture such as ergonomic office chairs to keep employees comfortable and safe throughout the day. Another method of developing a positive working environment is to encourage communication and teamwork amongst employees. Whenever they become more comfortable around each other, the more productive and motivated they become.

4. Recognize and reward milestones Motivated employees are most likely to perform better. At times, it takes more than just a pat on the back whenever employees exceed expectations. The best way around it is to give simple incentives that would motivate employees to become overachievers. The top management can develop a rewards program that recognizes employees whenever they achieve certain milestones in the workplace.

Regular rewards and recognitions remind employees that they are appreciated. You can look for relevant gifts for employees that serve as a reminder to them that you value them.

Apart from recognizing what the employee has done at the workplace, you can motivate them further by acknowledging their achievements outside of work. An acknowledgement of a job well done by management to the employees means the world to them, keeping them motivated and appreciated.

5. Coach for success Constructive feedback is a cornerstone for team success and organizational progress. Above all, it is a great motivator and bedrock for individual development. Instead of waiting for periodic reviews, you should offer both positive and negative feedback as often as possible to allow the employees to take corrective action.

A good way of coaching your team for success is to organize weekly meetings with individual employees to get an update on ongoing projects, and what issues they may be facing. Although such meetings do not generally take a lot of time, they can build stronger working relationships. Furthermore, you should take such opportunities to correct your employees wherever you feel they aren't putting in the right amount of effort, or doing work that's not in line with the organization's objectives. It is prudent to use the right tone and attitude when doing so, as employees must not feel humiliated, insulted, or defeated when talking to them. Do not forget the primary purpose of offering constructive feedback is to encourage employees, understand the reasons behind their failures, and come up with the right approach to replace the negative aspect with a positive one for future success.

Parting thoughts

When employees feel valued within the organization, turnover rates won't be a big problem. Employees that feel appreciated have a sense of ownership within the company, and they will become overachievers when motivated. Keep in mind that clear communication is an integral part of a good working relationship. Encourage open lines of communication between management and employees and let them know what you expect from them.

Before anything else, set reasonable goals and objectives for your employees. This will enable them to have a target to hit, motivating them to work extra hours to ensure they reach such goals. Be the leader you'd want to be under, improve workplace aesthetics, coach for success, and recognize exemplary performance. These five methods will help boost the morale of your employees and ultimately increase their productivity.

Related: Four Ways To Keep Your Team Committed When Your Enterprise Is In A Crisis

Hafiz Muhammad Ali

Entrepreneur, Author, PhD in Entrepreneurship

Hafiz Muhammad Ali is an entrepreneur, founder of Omnicore, author of Digital Passport. With a PhD in entrepreneurship, his is a firm believer in lifelong learning. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge, experience and opinion on digital marketing, leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation. Ali invests in books and people.


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