A learned superpower for human resources personnel is understanding what motivates workers to be top performers, and giving them the resources they need to succeed. However, the journey to a motivated and engaged workforce isn’t seamless. Each employee is different, which means how you motivate and inspire them will also be unique.
Let’s explore seven employee motivators and how you can implement them.
A Thriving Wage
When employees are underpaid, they’re stressed out, unable to focus on their duties, and constantly looking for a way out of your company. Additionally, they aren’t motivated to do anything for a company that can’t even pay them a livable wage.
However, when you pay your employees a thriving wage, they can live comfortably. Instead of worrying about how they’re going to pay the bills this month, they can focus on doing more for a company that cares for them.
It’s essential to find a way to pay your employees above and beyond their expectations. Work with company leaders to strengthen compensation packages and cut costs if necessary.
Flexible Work Schedules and Duties
Flexibility is a huge employee motivator. Allowing employees control over where, when, and how they work perpetuates trust in the employer-employee relationship.
Working from home on a full-time or hybrid basis comes with a unique set of challenges. For instance, remote employees may not have equal access to resources or have the same leadership support as in-office employees. Still, offering your employees the flexibility of working from home is key. When your employees can choose what’s best for them, they can do first-rate work for your company.
An Inherently Positive Work Culture
Various factors impact workplace culture. For example, the social causes a company stands for and its commitment to closing the wage gap can influence how positive or negative its workplace culture is.
Welcome your employees into a positive, healthy company culture to ensure they’re as motivated as possible to produce at a high level. Build your workplace culture around empathy, support, kindness, and recognition to significantly improve your employees’ work ethic and quality of life.
Nothing sucks the motivation out of your employees quite like a lack of recognition. Unfortunately, most people will work at least one job in their life where they feel overworked and undervalued. It typically leads to disengagement – which can negatively affect the bottom line.
On the other hand, let’s say you show genuine appreciation for your employees’ efforts and recognize them often. This leads to feelings of pride in their individual achievements and influence on the entire organization, thus boosting their productivity and engagement.
Here are a few ideas to ensure your employees get the recognition they deserve:
- Give out gift cards, extra time on lunch, or paid days off for achievements.
- Reward employees with certificates of achievement and recognition at company events.
- Celebrate milestones like birthdays, baby showers, weddings, promotions, and work anniversaries.
- Have frequent one-on-one meetings with your employees to create deep, meaningful relationships with them.
- Design a rewards system and enable peer-to-peer recognition.
- Trust high-performing employees with more responsibility (and higher wages.)
Stable and Secure Leadership
Employees want security and stability in their jobs, but they also want it in leadership. Unfortunately, many companies promote managers who take a dictatorial role rather than an empathetic one. It’s nearly impossible to feel secure and stable when your boss is constantly threatening punishment or firings.
If you want your employees’ motivation levels to rise, stack your company with empathetic, respectful, honest leaders committed to staying long-term. Additionally, your company leaders must develop meaningful relationships with employees to learn how to best motivate and inspire them to achieve every day.
One of the best ways to motivate employees is to offer them ample advancement opportunities. Employees are encouraged to do their best work when they know their employers provide resources to drive their personal and professional growth. Most will appreciate being challenged and stay loyal to your company because you continue to help them achieve personal and professional goals.
Show your employees that you care about their futures. For example, regularly provide them with upskilling, training, and mentorship opportunities. You could also offer to pay a portion of their tuition if they want to get a traditional education. Furthermore, when new roles open up in your company, advocate for employees who would be an excellent fit for the added responsibility.
A disengaged employee is usually an unhappy one. When your workers are unhappy, they aren’t likely to do much more than their minimum job requirements, nor will they work well within a team.
It’s wise to motivate your employees by prioritizing their happiness. First, ask your employees what happiness means to them and what you could offer in the workplace to help get them there.
If they say a healthy work-life balance, offer flexible work schedules, give ample vacation and sick time, and implement a four-day workweek if possible.
If they state they’d be happier with more resources that support their holistic health, offer dedicated health and wellness resources like:
- Child care stipends
- Access to various support groups
- Company events that connect employees
- Discounts on counseling and therapy sessions
- Access to meditation, yoga, and other mindfulness classes
- Free gym memberships and sessions with a personal trainer
- Comprehensive healthcare benefits package that includes short and long-term disability coverage
Ultimately, your employees are more likely to be motivated to do their best work consistently if they’re genuinely happy.
It isn’t easy to motivate employees. However, it can be done so long as you’re genuine about caring for your workers and helping them thrive. Start with the motivators above if you want your employees to feel their best, find meaning in their work, and be as productive as possible.
By Indiana Lee, BOSS contributor