Happy employees are not just productive employees, they’re also loyal. And when you have productive, loyal people working with you, it’s that much easier to achieve business growth. Luckily, you don’t need to invest a lot of time and money, or even create overly complicated schemes to push your people to work hard and smart. Here are a few simple ways to keep your employees motivated.
Say “Thank You” and “Congratulations”
It feels great when the work you do — no matter how small or simple — gets appreciated and the simple act of saying “thank you” or “congratulations” for a job well done goes a long way of making a person feel valued. When a person feels appreciated for their hard work, they are more likely to continue putting the same amount of effort each and every time.
Create a culture of gratitude within your company and make it a point to share positive feedback, whether it’s coming from you or a client. In turn, this will help your employees appreciate the work that they do and feel more satisfied about it.
Take Care of and Reward Your Employees
A “thank you” is certainly nice, but it’s also a good thing to throw in a simple token of appreciation for certain milestones. It could be as simple as giving customized lapel pins to tenured employees along with a small cash bonus, or treating the month’s best-performing sales team out to a fancy lunch.
For more long-term rewards, you can offer things like a more comprehensive medical plan, additional paid vacation days, bigger allowances for expenses like transportation and telephone bills, or even the chance to work from home. Commissions and profit-sharing are also appealing bonuses. The bottomline is that people naturally work harder and stay longer when they know that they are going to receive something more than their salaries.
Offer Learning and Growth Opportunities
Another form or reward you can give your employees is the opportunity to grow their skills and knowledge. Send your top-performing people to international conferences or ask them to represent your company in an industry-wide event. If someone is performing extremely well in their current position, consider grooming them for a more active leadership role.
This is not just about money or the prestige; it’s also about putting your trust in your people and thus inspiring confidence in their own capabilities. It makes them consider staying longer so that they can establish their career with your company, rather than thinking of their job with you as some interim thing until they can go someplace better.
Make the Work Space a Pleasant Place
If your nature of business does not have strict workplace compliance requirements, such as those in a food manufacturing plant or a semiconductor production facility, feel free to add fun, creative touches to make your office space somewhere that your employees actually want to work in. People already spend long hours at work — you may as well give them reasons to actually look forward to being at work.
Provide updated equipment so that your people can accomplish tasks more efficiently. If you have individual work spaces or cubicles, encourage your employees to personalize. Make sure there’s adequate lighting and ventilation. Add some indoor plants, paintings, and quirky, brightly-hued furniture for a splash of color. Lastly, and most importantly, keep things clean and organized.
Ask Their Opinion
Showing that you care about what they think is another way of letting your employees know that you value them. Whether it’s a work-related meeting or an informal survey about where you will hold your next company outing, give your people a chance to air their thoughts. When your people know that they can express themselves without feeling judged or dismissed, they will feel a deeper sense of connection to your company.
Finally, you as the business owner should be a model of motivation. Positive moods and attitudes are infectious — lead by example, show your enthusiasm, and your employees will be more than willing to join you in achieving your business goals.