Employees are motivated to work for various reasons. For some, making money to support themselves or their family is enough. Others find meaning in the work itself and wish to advance their careers in order to accomplish even more. Of course, not every employee will feel motivated all the time. Stress, external responsibilities, and/or a feeling of stagnation can all significantly decrease office productivity. Let’s see how managers motivate employees and increase productivity.
Communication is Key
Communication is one of the most important leadership qualities. Nearly every problem in the office stems from poor communication. Without the proper channels for communication, information gets lost or misunderstood. Employees and managers struggle to see each other’s point of view, leading to further problems in the office.
Conversely, good communication (listening intently, sharing ideas, being honest) can resolve many issues between employees and managers. Better yet, proper communication can help generate ideas that push a business forward. When every employee feels open to sharing and receiving ideas, they will feel more motivated to do the best work.
While some employees prefer working on their own, there is something to be said for a strong team. A business that promotes collaboration is bound to see an improvement in employee productivity. Of course, teamwork only works if every team member can work together. A bad matchup or poor communication can lead to arguments, passivity, or sloppy work. Managers should take the time to get to know employees to build the best teams within the company so that people build off each other’s strengths to promote more productivity.
One of the reasons for decreased productivity is that employees don’t feel their actions or ideas make a difference. This lack of self-esteem, warranted or not, can become contagious, affecting the whole office. Effective leadership means empowering every employee, regardless of job title. Employees should feel that they have the right to speak up, be heard, and take action. Of course, guidelines should be set to delineate certain responsibilities. But within these guidelines, people should know that their work matters and that they have the ability to make changes that will benefit the whole office. This sense of empowerment will encourage productivity.
Highlight Good Performance
Recognition is a key element of employee productivity management. Employees who work hard, try new things, and treat others well deserve to be recognized. These accolades can be inputted into an employee management system. Complimenting people regularly has major positive effects that go beyond the individual. Not only does the person feel good for this recognition, but others will also see that hard work and decency doesn’t go unnoticed. While most people do good deeds altruistically, this added incentive creates a more positive atmosphere all around. Employees will feel that their work really does matter.
Build a Culture and Community
Work isn’t always fun, but a workplace can promote fun activities both inside and outside of the office. Friendly competitions, group lunches, parties for milestones or holidays, and voluntary programs all contribute to establishing a stronger office culture and community. Employees and managers will find new ways to bond beyond office duties. Strengthening this work culture promotes productivity, as each staff member feels a sense of obligation to everyone else. In this way, the whole office becomes a team where every individual plays an important role.
No two people are motivated by the same exact set of things. However, these five practices tend to increase employee productivity across the board. In the end, it’s all about communication, collaboration, empowerment, recognition, and culture. People who work in environments that promote these things will be happier, have higher self-esteem, and be more productive.
If you’re a leader, you should focus on developing these practices. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more.Read More
Everyone wants to earn more. No surprise there. Money can certainly incentivize employees to work harder, seek promotions, and clinch more commission-based sales. However, compensation has its limitations when it comes to how managers motivate employees. Why is this? And what else can managers do to encourage hard work and participation?
Why More Money Loses its Appeal
One might feel extremely motivated when first getting a promotion or a new higher-paying job. Over time, however, things change. It doesn’t take long for most people to begin getting used to their new wage or salary. Once a huge perk, this pay raise becomes normal and perhaps feels as restrictive as a previously lower pay rate. In this scenario, the worker might attempt to earn another raise by working harder – but even then the cycle tends to repeat. Eventually, money becomes secondary to a worker’s overall happiness and sense of meaning in the workplace.
If you’re a manager in charge of employee productivity management, this should raise alarm bells. But if more money doesn’t equate to more productivity, what does?
Reward Systems in the Brain
The human brain is wired with reward systems. These systems help humans learn, interact with others, and behave in certain ways. Money certainly ties in to these reward systems. The human brain lights up when receiving rewards with perceived value (such as cash, gift cards, rare items, etc.). But money alone doesn’t trigger this response. Something as simple as receiving a compliment or affirmation can yield similar results. Hearing a “Good job,” or “I appreciate you” can go a long way in motivating employees. In this way, creating a positive work environment might be one of the best employee management tools available.
Finding Meaning in Work
Cash and kind gestures feed the brain’s reward system to a certain extent, but humans also want meaning in their lives. Since so many people spend the majority of their time at work, they often seek meaning there. If they can’t find it there, they’ll look to their family, friends, hobbies, or other interests. Meaning can be found in any and all of these places. Still, work can begin to feel like a drag if an employee lacks a sense of purpose in the office or at the job site.
A good employee management system should incorporate information on every employee’s interests, goals, preferences, and unique abilities. This way managers can get to know their people more personally and better find ways to make their work more meaningful, even if it’s just a small way. This might mean creating events for employees with shared interests, asking employees for feedback on how certain tasks get accomplished, or simply utilizing each person’s unique capabilities in the workplace if applicable.
People want to do a good job, but more than that, they want to be recognized for their hard work and feel their work is purposeful. Financial compensation can and should reflect an employee’s value to a company, but without the sense of meaning and gratitude behind it, the money will feel cold and worthless. Managers tasked with overseeing performance management should know that employees will feel more motivated when they feel valued as people.
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