Here are a few cost-free ways you can keep your employees motivated:
Regardless of how old or young someone is, everyone responds well to praise. A simple “well done” or “nice work” makes the employee feel like they have done or are doing a good job which in turn, will spur them on to continue to do well, if not better.
Praise boosts confidence and provides encouragement, so the people who aren’t doing so well should not be overlooked. Here diplomacy works well, whereby you can praise them on the elements they are successful at and give them ideas on how to do better in their areas of weakness.
2. Make them feel appreciated
Often a simple “thank you” makes an employee feel that what they are doing is being recognised, even if it is just a standard part of their job. Consequently, they are more likely to continue to do it happily which produces better results than staff who simply go through the motions because they have to.
There are more ways however to make people feel appreciated. Setting up a recognition system like ’employee of the month’ not only makes people who are doing well feel appreciated and awarded, but also incentivises everyone to do better. The element of healthy competition enters the equation which produces a team where the overall performance reaches a higher standard.
Other small gestures which make staff feel appreciated are things like, knowing their names, asking them how they are getting on and so on. Basically show interest in them, make them feel like you care, and in turn they will feel loyalty towards you and will want to perform the best that they can in their job.
Whilst too much competition can breed a ‘dog eat dog’ environment, a little dose usually motivates people to do better. For example, if performance can be quantified, putting up an end-of-month performance table or graph on the wall, which highlights those that are doing well and those who need improvement, will make those who are on the top want to stay on the top, and all others will want to reach the top.
4. Open door policy
A good management technique which increases motivation is having an open door policy. This means that you are accessible to your staff, eliminating the ‘them and us’ atmosphere and employees will know that they can talk to you and that you will listen. The aim is not necessarily to provide a counselling service, but to make staff feel like you care.
Appraisals are a great way of motivating employees as it is their opportunity to hear compliments and constructive feedback from you, as well as it being an arena where they can voice how they feel about their job and where they want to take their career. It makes staff feel like they are receiving the one to one attention, as well as making them think more towards staying in the company and what they need to do to progress.
In turn, they will leave their appraisal meeting knowing how to improve in their job and in what ways they need to perform even better to achieve the career progression that they want. Without having the opportunity to speak about this, employees feel like no seniors understand what they do, how they feel about what they do and, if they want career progression, they will simply start job hunting rather than consider their future in their present company.
The described are just a few ways to motivate staff without spending money. The basic principles like showing appreciation, making employees feel valued and so on, should be utilised and built upon to be tailored to your situation. Either way, they are guaranteed ways of making your staff feel motivated which in turn produces better results.