If there's anything business leaders can count on over the last few years, it’s that you can’t count on anything. With a volatile job market, changes in employee priorities, and the lasting effects of COVID-19, there’s no way leaders can guarantee employee satisfaction, motivation, and retention.
Company executives learned quickly that their efforts to retain and motivate employees must be continually addressed and shifted to succeed in today’s climate. With hybrid or fully remote work options being the new norm, knowing the feelings, needs, and motivators of employees has become even more critical.
5 strategies for motivating your team
There are some practices, however, that can help to encourage engagement from employees and foster optimism about their current role and future growth within their company.
1. Offer continuous training and professional development opportunities
People respond positively when they feel you in their corner. Providing employees with the encouragement and resources to continually hone and expand their skills gives them the confidence that what they are doing and working towards matters and gives them the confidence to grow within (or outside of) their career path.
[ Also read How to hire (and retain) Gen Z talent. ]
2. Reward your employees for hard work and their successes
There is no age limit on the importance of being recognized and rewarded. At every level of a company, employees should be acknowledged and rewarded for their successes. While an award and trophy ceremony for every achievement may seem excessive, there are many ways to reward employees for milestones in other ways. Whether through promotion opportunities, compensation increases, or public recognition, supportive leadership has the potential to instill pride and motivation in all workers.
3. Provide the best tools for employee productivity
Company resources are pivotal to an employee’s success and desire to continue succeeding. With the rising number of employees working from home, it has certainly become more of a challenge, but not impossible, to ensure employees have all of the tools and resources available that they need to seamlessly get their jobs done.
From online resources and help-desk chats to in-person meetings and support teams, having accessible, reliable tools makes a world of difference to employee motivation. These types of tools are also important when it comes to fostering better communication – both with customers and within your company. When an employee has access to the information they need and the ability to communicate their information effectively, they will experience more efficiency with less frustration.
4. Instill a positive work culture
It is crucial to create a healthy, productive, and compassionate work culture for employees. This may seem vague as it can include everything from flexible time off to company happy hours, but its importance can’t be overlooked, especially in the age of remote work.
Outside of “fun” perks, recognition and creating a growth-oriented environment can also directly affect morale within a company. Fostering positive engagement between employees makes for a more comforting and productive day-to-day environment. Unhappy employees can potentially exude negativity, and it can be easy for teams to feed off of that negative energy.
[ Related read Hybrid work: 5 tips for prioritizing the employee experience ]
5. Provide company transparency
Motivation for a successful company starts at the top but is necessary for every employee at every level. When high-level executives keep all employees informed of company happenings and goals, workers realize they are part of the bigger picture and the future of the company. These shared goals are what unite a workforce and motivate employees.
Concepts like The Golden Rule are a simple way to consider employee motivation. Every executive and company leader has worked their way up from the level of their employees, and it’s important to remember what motivated you at those levels. Feeling inspired and encouraged to perform doesn’t change as one climbs the corporate ladder or as times change and suddenly everyone is working from home.
The themes that unite a company are inspirational at every level. Motivation comes from within, and with a unified feeling of encouragement, there’s no slowing down a company’s potential.
[ Leading CIOs are reimagining the nature of work while strengthening organizational resilience. Learn 4 key digital transformation leadership priorities in a new report from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. ]