Every business owner wants to get the most from their employees. Having workers on their team who put 100% into everything they do is the company ideal for most CEOs. A company that is struggling with employee motivation, therefore, may be wondering what is going wrong, or what those up at the top have done wrong.
Many of us find it embarrassing to talk about pay. It’s a squeamish subject for many, often seen as improper and too sensitive a topic. When it comes to your employees, however, pay should never be seen as off-limits. One of your lowest-paid team members who works hard in their role to progress could head for the door if they feel if their pay grade isn’t going up any time soon. If you can afford to promote employees who have worked hard for you for a number of years, then do, they deserve it!
Feedback and praise
Constructive feedback is invaluable to your team; it’s the only way that they will progress through the company. It is important, too, to ensure that your line managers are good at providing feedback that comes across as fair and well-reasoned. A line manager who takes an accusatory or condescending tone could create a feeling of resentment within their team. It’s also important to let colleagues explain why they feel they were at fault or could have done it better. It’s too accusatory to see responses to feedback as ‘excuses’; instead, let them explain and help them to improve.
Giving each employee set goals and a sense of purpose is great for helping everyone feel as if they are on a course for progression. Setting specific targets will give them something to reach for, and help you, as a manager, to accurately track their progress. Your colleagues will thrive if they feel as if they are being assisted with their progress and that their end-goal is within reach. A great way to check line managers’ progression and understand how your employees feel about them are Inpulse engagement surveys, which help you to monitor feedback. Online platforms prevent you from having to sift through endless amounts of paper surveys.
Don’t just be ‘the manager’
Just because you are in a position of power doesn’t mean that has to be your defining characteristic. Try and be yourself; authenticity and genuine emotion will resonate well with your team. If they see you as a human being just trying to do their best, you are far less likely to generate resentment or annoyance. Try and chat about your interests, what makes you tick and maybe even some details about what you have planned for the week; you might start to form a more meaningful connection with your team.
In order to help your employees progress, you will need to give them more responsibilities as they move through the ranks. It can feel risky and nerve-wracking to hand an underling more demanding tasks. However, it is important that you do not micromanage them. Micromanaging is incredibly damaging to productivity, and it also implies that your position of seniority equates to equal knowledge. You may be micromanaging someone who has a greater area of expertise than you, and so it is vital that you let your employees get on with their work.
A pleasant environment
Be honest: is your office truly conducive to a productive mindset? If your break area is unpleasant, the kitchen is untidy, and the furnishings are bland, your employees may be itching to get out of there at the end of the day. Creating a pleasant environment to work in could give your employees a surprisingly large motivation boost. Sometimes the atmosphere of a business is enough to show your colleagues that you value their contributions.
Getting the most from your employees is not about driving them into the ground and working them to their absolute maximum every single day. Instead, the best values to uphold are those of listening, educating, and rewarding. It’s important, too, that you don’t micromanage those who work under you. It’s helpful to remember that you got to your managerial position as a result of being trusted with your workload. It’s never too late to change your strategy for educating and motivating employees. Engagement surveys can be used to analyze feedback and work out where you as a business could improve when it comes to getting the most out of everyone.