You can generally expect your staff to be injecting less than 70% of their effort into their role, on average, at any one time. No matter how hard we work or what we think others are doing, that is simply human nature and a productivity issue shared by businesses in all sectors. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to engage your staff and keep them motivated to work harder. It’s essential to think creatively when deploying motivational strategies, and with that in mind, this recipe looks at some strategies you can use to boost motivation among your employees.
Incentivization and gamification
Gamification is a relatively modern phenomenon that is proven to boost motivation significantly. We are used to seeing gamification at work when we feel a sense of achievement for reaching a certain step-count on our fitness tracker, or for meditating for long enough on a mindfulness app, or perhaps for reducing our calorie intake using a food tracker app. We gamify many areas of our life to help motivate us to reach specific goals.
In business, we can use this method to encourage staff to engage with training materials, meet customer satisfaction levels, or any specific business goal. People love being given badges, points, and leveling up, so explore ways to gamify your reward structure and better incentivize your team.
Figure out what’s under their hoods
Truly knowing how your workforce tick is a huge step towards a better understanding of what motivates them to work harder. You need to communicate with them effectively, asking the big questions, listening to their feedback, managing their expectations with the resulting actions and even possibly opening the discussion on salary negotiation. Knowing their goals, their likes/dislikes, and what challenges they’re facing is critical to getting the best out of them. Consider using a staff engagement platform, such as inpulse.com, for example, to support your efforts to understand your most valuable assets.
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Treat them with respect
We all know when we are being treated respectfully or not, and we have a habit of reacting accordingly. Staff who feel like they are valued, heard, and respected are going to feel more motivated. Speak to them as you would wish to be spoken to, certainly not ‘down to’. Makes sure they know their voice is essential and that your door is always open to their feedback, concerns, and ideas. When they feel part of the bigger picture, then they know they are invested way beyond just their salary and are integral to the success of the business; that’s a pretty motivating force.
Put them in charge
Finally, let everyone have their time upfront. Let different staff members lead various meetings so they can see how much they matter and are valued. People who have their ideas heard and engaged with will always be more likely to turn those words into actions, boosting productivity and your bottom line.
Motivating your staff is best described as actively listening so that you can actively understand them and ultimately act in their best interests, giving them the confidence and the will to work in the best interests of your business.