By Brie Juran, Career Coach, and Program Manager
There are many key factors that contribute to creating and maintaining a successful business. Without focusing on finances, strategy, or operations, it would be impossible to keep your company afloat. But while these areas of a business are essential, they are all impacted by one element that is just as fundamental: your employees. Having a staff that is energized, invested, and compelled to reach goals, and ultimately play a part in the company’s success, can truly make a difference to your bottom line.
Employee motivation is the willingness one has to bring energy, commitment, and innovation to work each day. Employees may have the right skill set, and abilities to manage their responsibilities, but without any driving force, those skills will not translate. This can become problematic because, without motivation, there is a lack of engagement. This, in turn, can lead to a decline in productivity, efficiency, and ultimately profits. Workers who are not connected may contribute negatively to office culture, and are less likely to remain at the company, resulting in the harmful consequence of high turnover.
In order for your company to remain competitive by attracting top talent, implementing strategies to promote employee satisfaction is fundamental. Below are five basic approaches that can aid your company in helping your employees stay motivated:
- Communication: Make sure to communicate with your employees often, as well as in-person. Taking the time to have simple but meaningful face-to-face interactions can have a big effect on making an employee feel valued.
- Lead By Example: It is important to exhibit the behaviors that you expect of your employees. Having a positive attitude, and showing excitement and enthusiasm about the work you are doing, can be contagious to those you work with.
- Empower: In order to facilitate employee engagement, foster an environment in which their ideas and input are valued. Creating space for their ideas to be heard is helpful, but actually implementing their suggestions makes a powerful difference in their attitudes. Allowing a certain amount of autonomy for an employee to dictate how a particular job gets done, without needing prior approval, can help drive their desire to perform at higher levels.
- Room To Grow: A crucial element of an employee’s sense of satisfaction can be nurtured when they feel like there are legitimate opportunities for advancement and that they are working toward an actual goal. Facilitating the professional development of your staff keeps them motivated to work harder to advance their careers, but also positions your company as a great place to work, because of how it values employees.
- Incentives: While cash rewards are nice, there are other ways to motivate your employees, such as a paid day off or gift cards. Getting to know your employees and learning what, specifically, matters to them, can help personalize and make such incentives more meaningful.
In ever-increasing numbers, organizations are focusing on company culture to ensure employees are engaged and motivated. It is a job-seekers’ market and if an employee does not feel connected, they have plenty of options to go elsewhere, and will often pursue them. Companies that avoid the pitfalls of low employee engagement will ultimately be the ones that retain top talent and succeed in reaching full potential.