Tag Archives: employee motivation

Top 5 Ways to Maintain Employee Morale

Happy employees are more productive employees. There’s concrete evidence that proves it. According to research from the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, “Happiness made people around 12 percent more productive.” Achieving high morale is only half the battle. The real challenge is figuring out how to maintain employee morale.

 

1. Encourage Feedback

Transparency and openness are two contributing factors to positive change. You most likely provide your employees with ongoing feedback on their performance, so why not give them the opportunity to offer feedback as well?

Open communication ensures your employees’ voices are heard and issues aren’t allowed to fester. It should reduce any underlying frustration from building. Encouraging feedback can also lead to potential breakthroughs because fresh ideas are continually flowing.

 

2. Make Employee Recognition a Habit

The act of recognizing an employee’s hard work and contributions is simple. Yet it can have a profound impact on productivity and retention. Research from a Workforce Mood Tracker Survey found, 78 percent of U.S. workers said being recognized motivates them in their job, and 69 percent of employees would work harder if they were better recognized. So make it a habit of recognizing the accomplishments of your team and celebrating their successes.

 

3. Consider Flexible Scheduling

There’s been a fundamental shift in the way most employees view their work-life balance. The overwhelming majority of millennials value flexible scheduling and many even demand it.

PwC’s NextGen: A Global Generational Study found, “Millennials have a new approach to workplace productivity and flexibility. This generation does not believe that productivity should be measured by the number of hours worked at the office but rather by the output of the work performed.”

Offering flexible scheduling options such as telecommuting, compressed workweeks, or reduced hours can have a tremendous impact on employee morale and make for a much happier team.

 

4. Offer Development Opportunities

Hardly anyone wants to be stuck in a dead end job with zero opportunity for advancement. This is a recipe for low morale and high turnover. Ideally, practice internal promotion where dedicated employees can work their way up the company ladder. It’s also helpful to offer some type of training to facilitate professional development.

 

5. Create an Element of Play

Everyone needs a bit of downtime to take their mind off of work and recharge their batteries. One way to facilitate this and maintain employee morale is to give your employees a chance to “play” during their breaks. For instance, Google offers its employees ping pong and foosball tables and video games. They’ve found this to be an excellent way for employees to unwind between intense coding sessions.

It may sound silly, but you can’t deny that Google’s recipe works, and they’re known for having some of the happiest employees in the country. An added plus is that playing like this can be the catalyst for relationship building and deeper chemistry.

It should be every employer’s objective to maintain employee morale. Doing so can have a host of benefits including increased productivity, lower turnover, and higher profitability, which all contribute to improving your overall bottom line.

motivates your employees

What Truly Motivates Your Employees?

Employee engagement is directly linked to motivation. Highly motivated employees tend to be more motivated and therefore more productive. Unfortunately, employee engagement levels are by no means ideal.

An infographic from Office Vibe states that, “70 percent of U.S. workers are not engaged at work.” To extract the most from your workforce, it’s crucial to know what motivates your employees.

 

Main Motivating Factors

In his book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink suggests that there are three things that truly motivate employees.

  1. Autonomy – the freedom to choose task, time, technique, and team
  2. Mastery – the desire to get better and better at something that matters
  3. Purpose – the desire to pursue a cause larger than ourselves

According to Pink, most workers have an innate desire for empowerment and seek to continually grow in their career.

An article from Psychology Today also examines employee motivation and highlights some key factors that motivate workers to go the extra mile. In a study, participants were asked to identify major motivators:

  • Camaraderie, peer motivation (20%)
  • Intrinsic desire to a good job (17%)
  • Feeling encouraged and recognized (13%)
  • Having a real impact (10%)
  • Growing professionally (8%)

As you can see, there’s a considerable amount of overlap with these factors and the ones mentioned by Pink. When you break it all down, most employees want to feel a sense of purpose and that they’re genuinely contributing. They want to grow and progress and not merely be cogs in a wheel.

 

Is it Time for a New Approach?

In the past, many employers assumed that in order to run a company successfully, they needed to maintain a high level of control. Employees needed to clock in and out at a certain time, be given specific tasks, be told to follow exact directions and so on. There was little wiggle room, and employees were often regarded as subordinates or simply resources.

As of late, more and more employers are switching tactics and choosing to take a results-oriented approach that’s all about the bottom line — getting things done and being as productive/profitable as possible. A new approach revolves around viewing employees as trusted partners, not resources.

Some managers even give employees freedom of when they work, how long they work, the tasks they work on, etc. as long as everything is completed correctly and on time.

 

Finding Middle Ground

While it’s probably not realistic for most employers to give their employees this type of freedom and the logistics may not compute, it shows that perhaps a new approach is in order. If Pink’s thesis is correct, it would be in an employer’s best interest to give employees some level of autonomy and allow them to develop mastery in their career and realize their purpose.

Rather than viewing the whole process like an assembly line and controlling every aspect of operations, it would make more sense to treat employees as trusted partners and provide them with the tools needed for empowerment.

I think what Pink is trying to say is that employees don’t want to be managed by a strict taskmaster controlling their every move. Knowing what motivates your employees is the key to unlocking their full potential. By letting go, being flexible and giving employees some degree of autonomy over their work, this can increase engagement and create a more unified workforce where everyone contributes in their own unique way.