Do you work alone or do you have a team?
When you have a team, that team is the key to all of your productivity. However, it doesn’t just start and stop with “hiring a good team.” Keeping employees motivated and engaged is the job of their team leader. This may be you or it may be someone else that you’ve hired to help. In this article we share 15 ways to not just keep employees productive, but increase your productivity by a 1000%.
If you work alone, we’ve got your back as well – next week we’ll release the solopreneur version of this article so, stay tuned!
Okay, back to the team…
Employees can be hard to motivate. There are 16 personality types out there (and far more sub-versions of each), and chances are your employees are comprised of many different versions these.
If you want to increase productivity – you have to motivate these employees. Simple as that. With these 16 personality types, there are many ways to motivate people. The tricky thing with staff is that since not everyone is the same, not everyone is motivated the same way. So, you need to employ a number of techniques to ensure that your motivational message is getting across. Below are the top 15 ways to get your staff motivated today.
1 – Incentivize
Incentives can do wonders for getting your staff motivated. Be it extra vacation, or movie tickets, or dinner reservations at the hottest spot in town; there are many things that you can do to incentivize your staff to hit their marker. This can work for sales and marketing roles, as well as customer service. The clearer you make their marker, the better. That way they know exactly what they need to do to reach that incentive.
However, some people do not respond well to being given something. Some are more language-based when it comes to receiving compliments. So, for those people you don’t have to change the whole game but it will mean a lot to them if you throw in card, or express thanks with your own words, when awarding them their incentive.
2 – Instill Trust In Your Staff
Letting your employees know that you trust them is something that not only motivates them to do their job, but it creates an atmosphere of mutual respect. If you have ever worked for someone who was domineering and never complimented any employee, you know what it’s like to feel undervalued. It may actually be part of the reason you became an entrepreneur in the first place.
A lack of trust can demotivate an employee completely, causing a decrease of productivity, business losses and more. From errors to snapping at a customer or another employee, a frustrated and under-appreciated employee is bad for not just you but your entire team. And can start a negative domino effect fairly quickly. So, trust them and appreciate them. Not sure how to do that? Verbally is a great start. Don’t make things complicated. Simply let your employees know they are trusted by telling them exactly that and asking for their opinion on projects. A little will go a long way.
3 – Have Smaller Goals for Your Staff
Most companies set big monthly goals, especially for their marketing teams. While one large goal per month can motivate some, others are scared away. Smaller weekly or monthly goals work better because they immediately boost morale and confidence in a team. As a result, productivity and numbers grow after a few weeks or months of the employee hitting their smaller goals. They catch the bug. Hitting targets is contagious! As they gain confidence, and you gain sales, so it’s a huge win-win for everyone. Smaller sales goals are also great for when business is slow – so don’t be afraid to have your staff hit the town with business cards and a good conversation piece.
4 – Give Them a Purpose For Working
Sure, a paycheck is a purpose, but a paycheck can be found anywhere. When people are given a purpose or a why, they can better realize and contribute to your vision of the company. This not only boosts productivity but that helps build mutual respect – and that is huge in the business world. Even if it is someone who cleans your salon every week, mutual respect is a big deal. Let’s be real here: People talk – and the more clarity you offer around WHY your business does what it does, the more that talk is about that why. A ‘why’ brings in more business, motivates employees and provides purpose, drive and energy for growth. Do you share your ‘why’ with your employees enough?
5 – Radiate Positivity At Work
Being positive all of the time is impossible. But it’s important to acknowledge and understand the effect it has on your employees; even the ones you interact with virtually. Sharing a ‘best foot forward’ personality and being positive in the workplace works wonders for your staff morale. They not only see that you are energized by the business, but that you realize that minor issues are just that: minor. You move on from the little things and continue with the bigger mission. When you bring a ‘solutions based’ way of thinking to the table, negative vibes go out the window. You’re job as a leader is to be pragmatic and motivational. Positivity will fuel that.
6 – Be Transparent – With Everyone
This can be hard, especially if you are an introvert, but being transparent with your staff is one of the best things that you can do to help keep everyone and everything on track. Give an “open door” policy, so they feel comfortable coming to you with a work issue. This not only helps resolve or avoid issues, but it helps your staff recognize you as a human – and not just as the boss. How does this boost productivity? When people feel more like a community with a leader and less like minions with a boss, work becomes the reason you ARE a team, and not a burden you share as a group.
7 – Motivate Individuals, Rather Than the Entire Team
Going back to the 16 personality types, as a leader you’ll need to understand that everyone responds to motivational techniques differently. Some respond to actions, while others respond to words. Some absorb what you are telling them, and others take a little more prodding for the words and actions to take hold. One way to avoid jumping through hoops to figure out what motivational technique your staff responds best to, is to have the entire group take a Meyer-Briggs personality test. Including yourself! This is a great tool to get everyone tp better understand each other, and create a work environment that will be a more productive, more positive place for everyone.
8 – Learn What Makes Each Employee Go Red in the Face
Everyone is different, and sometimes people do not tell you upfront whether something is wrong. So, you may have to take the lead and be the first to talk. Ask questions. Be inquisitive. Ask what they do and don’t like working on, share the big picture company goals, respond to their questions and ask your own questions. Discern their goals and then invest in their professional growth. Be a leader. During one-on-one check-ins listen to their ideas, because they know the best about what they do. Respect them and they will respect you, and give their all to you company’s purpose.
9 – Practice Reward-Based Feedback
This is something that works well for those with or without commission-based sales. Some of us are simply not good at selling anything, so missing out on commission-based rewards can be demotivating. One way to rectify that issue is to have a reward for the friendliest staff member, or the staff member who has worked overtime without any negative comment. You will be surprised how much motivation and productivity this boosts. Do not underestimate the power of a smile and some positive motivation.
10 – Prioritize Their Work-Life Balance
Fun is important. Especially at work. Are you encouraging your employees to have fun with their work? The simple fact is, the more we look at work like play, the better, more productive we are at it! Encourage a little silliness in the office to instill this practice; Be sure to be it special dress days, or themed dinners for the staff. All work and no play will drive anyone mad and to complete burn out. Be silly, encourage play. It’s all about the mindset after all.
11 – Have an Open-Door Idea Policy
It’s amazing how much rapport a “please” and “thank you” can establish amongst a team. When people feel respected and acknowledged, progress and motivation come more naturally. An open-door policy when it comes to suggestions and ideas also works – and you can learn some cool new ideas from your staff. When employees feel that their voice matters, they feel confident about their positions in the company and that they have more at stake than just a paycheck.
When people feel important, their work reflects that. They are energized and feel full of purpose.
12 – Let Them Lead
Motivating employees is not just an exchange; It’s about showing them they make a difference and are valued – and a lot of leaders, bosses, and company owners completely miss this point. Every time you have a meeting, be it large or small, let a different team member lead the conversation and the topics discussed. Not only can they share their opinions and be heard this way, but they are motivated to make their words and ideas happen afterwards. It’s also nice to see if they have a shared view as the others staff, and it makes them feel appreciated.
13 – Produce The Bigger Picture
It’s important that employees understand the big picture purpose to their work, and can see that what they are doing in the moment will eventually contribute to an end goal. Sometimes is can be hard to do this, especially in an industry where it doesn’t seem like there is an end goal, but there is always a why. Whether it was to create better marketing plans, provide training on how to sell something online or just give AMAZING hair cuts; bring this point up with your team constantly and remind them that what they do impacts this. T Give them tasks and projects to work on and make sure they understand how this fits into the big picture. Talented employees will go above and beyond what you expect of them – and that will show itself off to the customers, too.
14 – Have Recognition Rituals
Whether it’s a monthly meeting or a dinner or a special event, make your employee recognitions known and a ritual. It makes it even more special to the person receiving the recognition when it’s done publicly – and it is a good motivator for getting your staff onboard for future projects. Those not being recognized will also feel the energy created by the recognition. Gratitude is contagious.
15 – Assume That People Want a Good Job
Sounds odd, huh? It shouldn’t. People innately want to do well. They want to do a good job and feel accomplished, and feel like they are a part of something. Give the them the opportunity to fulfill on this and enlist a little faith that their main objective matches yours.