Wouldn’t it be just perfect if we could hire employees that had the same passion and drive to move your business forward that you as an entrepreneur have? You may be surprised to discover that this can be easier than you think; especially if you consider inspiring an “ownership attitude” right from the first interview with a potential new employee.
In our previous article, we discussed some of the most important motivators for employees and you probably realized that employees are often motivated by factors that go far beyond compensation.
Imagine for a moment the vision that you have of your business as you move into the future. If you could write the script for how your business looks a year from now, how would that movie play out? Can you envision happy, motivated, creative employees working like they own the place?
Here are a few tips on how to motivate and inspire employees:
- Start at the Hiring Level – We’ve all heard the old sayings: “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” or “you can lead a horse to water….” Similarly, it takes a lot more effort to shift an employee who already has a “less than ideal” attitude into the right place in your culture than it does to simply hire the right people from the onset. Sometimes the perfect skill set is far less important that the right attitude, especially if your intention is to create a particular culture of inspiration and engagement in your business. You can usually train a person with the right attitude in a new skill set far more easily than you can you train someone with the right skill set but who exhibits the wrong attitude. Attitude is everything! When you’re hiring new employees, consider the energy, attitude and general motivation of the person you intend to hire. The goal is to match your culture with the attitude and values of the employee. Skills can be taught; attitude is usually a natural trait.
- Inspire “Ownership” by Letting Employees Own Their Work – To the extent it is possible in your business, allowing your employees to take complete ownership of their particular task level, or department, or management processes has proven to be one of the most motivational steps you can take to inspire your employees. This can mean allow your employees to have more decision-making power and autonomy in their work or providing opportunities to increase responsibility and management of their own projects. Of course, you will want to make sure there are checks and balances in the process and accountability, but there are very few things more motivating to your employees than having responsibility and autonomy in their own projects, even for smaller task work.
- Actually Give Your Key Employees Ownership Through Profit-Sharing – Do you really want to inspire the highest levels of “ownership” attitude and engagement in your business? Consider an alternative model of compensation that includes a profit-sharing plan through your benefits package. There is nothing that will inspire a sense of ownership with your employees than actually feeling like they are owners. If part of the vested employee compensation plan includes profit-sharing, the level of motivation and accountability for your company’s outcomes can increase tremendously. We’ll explore in more detail various profit sharing models and options in an upcoming article.
A business can only be as successful as the motivation level of its owners, managers and employees. Making just a few adjustments in how you create that culture of motivation and inspiration around your business can reap huge benefits to your overall success and bottom line. You’ll be able to inspire the very best from everyone in your organization and your increased profits will be well worth the time that you take to make these improvements in your organization.