As employers, we all want our teams to be engaged, motivated and productive.
Organizations with highly engaged teams show higher profitability, better employee retention, and even happier customers.
Motivation compels people to act and can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. Understanding individual motivation is challenging as each person is uniquely shaped and impacted.
Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivators
Loving your work and enjoying the pride of a job well done, are intrinsic motivators. Extrinsic motivators are external forces, which can be either be positive (bonus, time off) or negative (repercussion, termination).
Typically, engaged employees are intrinsically motivated, which should be the goal, as external motivators are not effective long-term. You can't hand out a special reward for every task. And if employees are only working out of fear of losing their jobs or disappointing superiors, they burn out quickly.
You are left with disheartened, disengaged employees, who can negatively impact your bottom line. According to the Harvard Business Review, one uninspired employee costs a company an average of $12,000 per year.
Understanding how to motivate and engage your team is critical to success.
10 ways to impact employee motivation for an engaged and productive team
1) Clarify how members of your team can directly contribute to your organization’s strategic direction. Employees like to know they are part of a team and that their work has an impact.
2) Share how a given task contributes to the overall goal. The why behind the work is an important motivator.
3) Encourage your team to challenge processes and determine new and unique ways of solving problems. Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best work [Source: Forbes].
4) Highlight opportunities for growth and development through training or participation in job- enrichment projects. Let employees know their hard work can pay off, and that they have a future within your organization.
5) Inspire your team by linking the organization’s impact and the team member’s job to a bigger purpose. Share testimonials from clients or feedback from the community, so your team gets an idea of the end goal.
6) Recognize good work and celebrate accomplishments. Find unique and meaningful ways to pat people on the back.
7) Give employees freedom. Avoid check-in calls and status updates that lack objectives. They will feel like nothing more than opportunities to monitor attendance. Let your employees know you trust them to get the job done well.
8) Focus on the whole person, and not just business priorities and outcomes, or employees will question if you care. According to the same Forbes article, 87% of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing work and personal commitment. Be understanding of this balance.
9) Monitor deliverables and deadlines, not hours worked. Instead of the standard 9-5, trust employees will get their work done when they can.
10) Remember to have fun!
Taking measures to ensure your team is engaged and motivated will pay off for your company in the long run. According to the Aberdeen Group, engaged employees increase customer loyalty by up to 233% and revenue by 26% annually. You will have higher retention, lower turnover, increased productivity, and heightened employee loyalty.