If your employees come to work each morning motivated solely by the need for their next paycheck, there’s no way that you’ll be receiving their best effort. We’ve discussed this before, and it’s true: employees who are working solely for a paycheck typically do just enough to get by and to avoid negative attention. They don’t generally go the extra mile, they don’t employ their creative energies to find a solution for a tough problem, and they don’t look for opportunities to innovate or provide additional value to customers.
On the other hand, an engaged and motivated workforce is an invaluable asset to your business. So how can you keep your employees engaged and productive? Here are three suggestions:
1) Provide incentive. Give your employees incentive to produce at a high level. Performance bonuses are often thought of as the only way to do this, but there are plenty of other methods you can use. Reward high performing employees with additional responsibilities and opportunities. Make sure that employees understand that your standards are high—do not tolerate subpar work. When an employee does a great job make sure that they are publically acknowledged. It’s human nature to desire praise and positive feedback, so provide it when employees deserve it.
2) Develop teamwork. A good team is more than the sum of its parts. When you create a strong team, your employees are more productive working together than they are by themselves. Each individual has strengths and weaknesses, and working as a team allows employees to focus on their strengths. In addition, the strong bonds that form between team members will provide additional motivation to get the job done right. This will take some effort from you at the outset. Team Building activities or even a night out as a group can be a great beginning.
3) Empower employees. You can’t expect great things from employees if they don’t have what they need to do a good job, so be sure they have both the tools and the confidence they need to succeed. Encourage creativity and allow them to make decisions without consulting you first. This will make them feel less like brainless robots and more like important members of your team. All of us naturally desire a sense purpose, and by making it clear that you’re depending on them, you’ll be giving your employees a reason to wake up each morning excited to go to work.