Motivation has long been a challenge for employers in the workplace. It’s likely that when you first started your own business, you gave little thought to motivational issues since you probably worked on your own at a business you love.
But employees are a different story: they have lives outside of work and may not have the same passion for the business as you. They show up to work, do their job, and collect their paycheck, then go home and “live the rest of their lives.” For many people, work and life are two separate things and corporate America is working hard to promote a work/life balance among employees who value both sides of the equation for different reasons
For the employees who show up, do their job, collect their paycheck, then go home to live the rest of their lives, you need motivational tactics to encourage them to go above and beyond their bare minimum requirements. (That’s not to say that all employees will only work the bare minimum, but most of us would agree that if there is little incentive to do so, we may not push beyond only the base level of what is expected of us).
Studies have shown that more money is not necessarily a motivator. Here are some motivational tactics you can use to help employees perform for you:
- Create opportunities for advancement through promotions and pay raises. Make both contingent on measurable performance and not on tenure.
- Create opportunities for leadership. You don’t necessarily have to create opportunities for advancement if you simply challenge them to lead a team to do something
- Ask them for input in major business decisions, even ones that don’t affect them. This will help them feel the valuable sense of business ownership.
- Take an interest in them and in their life. Ask about family and children periodically (as appropriate). Send birthday cards.
- Praise your employees lavishly.
- Reward employees for good work with something they value; time off is often far more welcome than a monetary bonus.
Motivation is a challenging topic for every business owner – inexperienced or seasoned. You can get a greater performance out of your employees by implementing some of these motivational tactics right away.