Motivating your employees day-in and day-out is no easy task. But, if you want to keep them engaged, productive, and happy, then it’s a necessity if you want your business to thrive. Not only will your employees give you their all, they’ll also be more inclined to stay with you, which reduces the cost of hiring and training new employees.
If you’re looking for a good starting point, here four ways to motivate your employees to be phenomenal every day.
1. Identify and retain your A-Players.
Arguably the most important way to motivate your employees everyday is to make sure that you have people who are talented and can fit your company’s culture. In other words, you want to surround yourself with people who are, as Brent Frei, executive chairman and co-founder of Smartsheet, describes as “A-Players.”
Your A-players are trustworthy and reliable. They have good communication skills and insatiable curiousity about how things work. They set a high-bar for themselves and are willing to take calculated risks to achieve big results. You increase your odds of retaining them long term by allowing them to take control and accept responsibility on tasks or projects. Challenge them to them to work on difficult projects. Provide them with regular feedback and build trust by being honest and transparent, like sharing day-to-day revenue. Rewarding their hard work with everything from saying “thank you” to giving them a bonus or raise is, of course, essential.
Frei’s process achieves two goals. It inspires your top talent to be the best that they can be and weeds out toxic employees who aren’t pulling their own weight.
2. Live your mission statement.
One of my all-time TED Talks is from leadership expert Simon Sinek where he discussed the value of "why."
"Every single person, every single organization on the planet knows what they do, 100%. . . But very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. And by "why" I don't mean "to make a profit." By "why," I mean: What's your purpose? What's your cause?"
Inspirational leaders provide their employees with a sense of meaning. And you can find that sense of meaning by revisiting the mission statement that won over investors and partners. The reason? It outlined your goals, what you want to achieve, the steps to achieve those goals, and why you want to come into work each and every day.
You mission statement convinced investors to financially support you with their hard-earned money, so it should also be used to motivate your employees on a daily basis to help you achieve your, and theirs, dreams.
3. Tap Into their passions.
When employees are passionate they’re engaged and productive, but how can you tap into their passions?
For starters, regularly meet with them one-on-one to discuss their goals and values. You can then provide them with advice and the resources to harness their skills to achieve those goals. For example, you could provide training or offer to pay for them to take an online course or college class to make them stronger and more well-rounded team members.
Another tactic is to have employees rotate positions. Along the way, they may discover that they enjoy that new position and are now doing a job that they love. Connect their work with something that they love and they’ll be more motivated, engaged, and productive.
Related: 10 Qualities of Authentic People
4. Create a Happy and Productive Work Environment
I am thoroughly impressed with the workplace environment that Google has built. It’s just amazing. Google offers unique perks and benefits like reimbursement of up to $5000 to employees for legal expenses, 18-weeks of maternity benefits for both parents, free lunch and dinners, and on-site fitness center, car wash and dry cleaner. A forum every Friday allows employee to get questions answered by team leaders
The list of what Google does to motivate its team is long.
- Employees have the freedom and flexibility to tackle projects on their own terms, working the hours that they work.
- Google encourages employees to work on passion projects. That’s how Gmail got it’s start.
- The workplace is actually be fun. Google has things like pajama days and employees can take breaks to play volleyball, bowl, or rock climb.
- There’s also unconventional office designs like conference rooms that look like an Irish Pub. Also, Google allows employees to design their own work areas.
Even if you don’t have a budget or the resources like Google, there are simple, and affordable, ways to create a happy and productive work environment.
- Keep your office clean, organized, and comfortable.
- Make sure that it’s well-lighted. Natural light is the best option, but if not, then have light fixtures with filters.
- Create a quiet space where employees can relax.
- Encourage employees to personalize their work areas by selecting their own desks and decorating it how they please.
- Hold fun activities like birthday and holiday parties or weekly events like an ice-cream social.
- Encourage wellness by offering gym memberships or even just doing yoga in the office.
- Create spaces where teams can collaborate with each other to complete a project.
- Be flexible with their work hours. Maybe you can allow them work remotely once a week or leave at 3pm so that they can pickup their children from school.
Here is to making the best office environment possible.