Employee motivation can be tricky around the holiday season. Here are some ways you can win their attention back.
During the holidays and even at the end of the week, does your team look a little bit like the set of a western movie?
The atmosphere is dry and barren. Random objects are strewn across the office like tumbleweed. Team members are staring blankly into the distance, eyes burned by the constant glare of their monitors, tired and reeking of apathy. It’s likely been a heavy week and people are feeling ambushed by last-minute projects. Not to mention, it’s the most wonderful, (ahem) busiest time of the year!
Pinned to the notice board is a sign, “Wanted: Employee Motivation.”
Looking around at your team you start to wonder when the employee motivation disappeared—oh yeah, Thanksgiving—but it’s no good following the hoof prints back down the already well-trodden path. Instead you need to get back on your horse and rally your riders.
Here’s a few suggestions on how to re-motivate your team to face another week, month, or even New Year.
Listen Up, Partner!
Communication is crucial—listen to your team and instigate a collaborative feedback cycle. According to research by weekdone.com, 39 percent of workers don’t feel that their input is appreciated.
By asking your team members for their input and involving them in the decision-making process, it will make them much more likely to support day-to-day activities, improvement projects, or your decisions. Once you have gained their feedback, visibly follow up to show them that you’re actively taking their opinion onboard.
Have One-On-Ones, but Hopefully Not Standoffs
Recognize each member of your team as an individual.
And that your team’s motivation level is directly correlated to your management style. Did you know that 75 percent of people voluntarily leaving jobs don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses?
In addition to more one-on-one time, you could also learn (preferably before or after the holidays) what motivates individual staff members through psychometric tests. Try to understand how they like to be managed to optimize their productivity. Then, as their manager, create attainable goals and clearly communicate plans to keep staff engaged and in the loop.
In the Workforce Mood Tracker™ Spring 2014 survey, 73 percent of respondents credited recognition for having a positive impact on their happiness at work. So wherever possible, recognize work and even personal achievements to make your team feel valued.
Shoot ‘Em Up!
Gamify your company’s goals to help employee motivation. This will help your team hit their KPIs. Reporting on work performance can quickly decrease employee motivation. Make reporting less daunting and more fun by fostering a little healthy competition and regularly recognizing excellence versus key business objectives.
You could choose the quickest, the best, the most, the highest rated this or that, etc., and offer up an incentive for the winner such as leaving early, a free lunch, or gift card. The reward part of “reward and recognition” doesn’t need to be costly, but it does need to be desired.
Hitting targets should be fun. Yes, recognize underperformance, but don’t let it override the great job your team does on a daily basis.
Did Someone Say Rodeo?
Increase employee motivation by injecting friendship and fun into your working environment. This can be achieved by organizing regular socials.
Gallup research has shown that close friendships at work produce a 50 percent increase in employee satisfaction, and having a close friend at work increased the likelihood of engagement by seven times.
So try to support the cultivation of friendships within your team through social events such as team building excursions, casual team lunches, or networking events. Remember that happy employees are more productive employees. Research from the University of Warwick has confirmed that being happy made employees about 12 percent more productive and, you guessed it, increased employee motivation.
Banish the Barren Work-land
Ensure that the work environment is pleasant and inviting. Research by the International Journal of Science and Research has shown that: “The quality and quantity of work generated by employees are influenced by the work environment while poor environmental conditions can cause inefficient worker productivity as well as reduce their job satisfaction.”
So assess the environment your employees work in. Hopefully your team isn’t packed into a dingy office filled with old equipment. Consider the lighting, temperature, noise, layout, decoration, cleanliness, equipment, furniture, and air quality. Let team members give you input to sensible environmental and ergonomic improvements.
Help create a sense of pride in the work area by allowing your team to embrace their individuality and feel ownership over their personal workspaces. Invite them to make the workplace their own, and if you can find the budget, spend some company money on making it a better workplace.
Time to Round It Up, Cowboy…
Happiness and job satisfaction have been scientifically shown to increase productivity and employee motivation in the workplace. Try to create the kind of atmosphere that makes your staff come to work every day, not because they have to, but because they want to.
- Listen to your staff and instigate a collaborative feedback cycle. Communication is crucial.
- Recognize each member of your team as an individual.
- Gamify your metrics to motivate your team to hit their KPIs.
- Inject friendship and fun into your working environment by organizing regular social events.
- Ensure that the work environment is pleasant and inviting.
Sarah Lahav is CEO of SysAid Technologies. As the company’s first employee, Sarah Lahav has remained the vital link between SysAid Technologies and its customers since 2003. She is the current CEO and former VP of Customer Relations at SysAid—two positions that have fueled her passion in customer service. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.