Poor management and lost productivity from employees who are not engaged in a company’s success cost huge sums of money, according to a recent Gallup study. The total price tag was estimated at between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion a year. To improve this aspect of a business, managers must actively engage with employees. It’s not enough to sit down for an annual review and set goals. Managers must find actionable ways to connect with employees and provide motivation.
Here are a few tips:
People are motivated by emotion
Managers often want to take a completely rational and objective approach to management. They can become detached and focus on the numbers and performance. That’s not the best way to motivate employees. People are motivated and engaged by emotion. It’s the mantra of anyone who works in advertising or marketing. Managers must use emotion to build and motivate a team. They need to get employees excited about the company and their role in its success.
Create a positive company culture
“Culture trumps strategy every time” is common saying in business. It’s true. Your company can have the best strategy for reaching goals, but without a culture to implement the strategy, it means nothing. Managers and senior executives should place company culture at the center of most decisions. That means thinking about the values, practices, and shared beliefs within the organization. Employees thrive in an environmental where they feel appreciated and a valued member of the team, and that comes from a company’s culture.
Involve employees in goal setting
Managers need to set achievable and worthwhile goals for employees. Those goals must fit into the larger context of the company’s strategy. To set these goals, managers must involve employees in the process. Managers need to solicit suggestions from their employees. The process needs to be a dialogue rather than the manager just sitting down with employees and telling them their goals and objectives. A collaborative process will engage and motivate employees.
Create a culture of greatness
Managers must establish high expectations to motivate employees, and that means creating a culture were greatness is the expected norm. Managers must make sure that everyone in the organization is committed to greatness, and that requires only hiring employees who are willing to put forward maximum effort. The right employees are the foundation for creating greatness.
Trust your employees
Empower your employees. Employees will work harder and be motivated when they are able to make decisions. They don’t want someone who micromanages every decision. Managers need to trust their employees. A company hires good people to do good work. Let them do the job that they were hired to do.
Practice team-building exercises
An office can be a competitive environment. Employees compete for promotions and pay raises. Sometimes, it’s good to bring everyone together in a less competitive environment and focus on team-building exercises. These types of activities increase the social interactions between employees and improve company morale. They can also increase productivity and foster innovation and creativity. Team building is often games or activities, but it can also be touring a museum.
Listen and smile more
A smile is contagious. The act of smiling activates happiness receptors in the brain. A manager who listens and smiles often can engage and motivate employees. Employees will feel positive when managers take the time to listen and smile when the employee makes a positive comment. Good managers don’t berate or talk down to employees. They lift them up and make them feel like a valued member of the team.
Invest in training
Employees want to advance their career and learn new skills. An important part of that process is training. Companies can send employees to conferences and hire someone to do an in-house training. The investment pays off. The Association for Talent Development surveyed 2,500 firms. The organization asked companies about the money spent on training and the time devoted to it. The results show that companies that offer comprehensive training programs have 218% higher revenue per employee than companies without formalized training.
Share organization’s vision
Communication is the key to understanding the company’s directions and goals. It’s not enough for executives to talk in a conference room about the vision for their company. They need to communicate the message across the entire organization. Employees will be motivated and engaged when they understand the company’s direction, and they can determine their parts in the journey.
Employees share in the responsibility for motivation
Motivation is a two-way street. Managers must work to motivate employees, but employees share some of the responsibility. Employees must be self-motivated and driven to succeed. A company does not want lazy team members. It wants a group of people who are driven and focused on success and greatness.