It doesn’t always take a lot to get your employees motivated to help your business succeed. Sometimes it’s just the simple little things that have them taking a more active interest in their role or the business as a whole and to make them feel like it’s more than just a job.
If you are looking for some ways to help your business succeed by way of employee motivation, here are a few tips and techniques that can help light the fire under your staff and have them taking the initiative to promote and support your business.
Lead By Example
It is often difficult to motivate others if you aren’t leading by example and don’t appear interested in the success of your own business. If you don’t care, why should they?
Therefore, one of the best ways you could discover to motivate your people is by backing up what you tell them with examples -- and more specifically your own example. This way they can’t come back at you and say, “Well you don’t do it, so why should I?”
You’d be surprised at what motivates people. Often, motivators don’t have to be huge bonuses. Sure, that Wall Street tycoon might need a million dollar bonus to get his motor running, but the average person is often happy with just a little token of your appreciation or even just some kind words. Lunch out or catered, a gift card, or a little something special is often enough to motivate employees and show them that you appreciate their work and effort. These attempts at loyalty building might even be more effective than just throwing cash at them and can get them to take some ownership in their role in your business.
The Golden Rule
Most of us probably remember the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” or simply put, treat others as you would like to be treated. If you want your employees to take an active interest in your success and that of your business, you’ll probably have to treat them with respect. This isn’t to say that you should let them take advantage of and walk all over you, but showing people respect, kindness, and putting yourself in their shoes from time to time can help you motivate your employees and help them to help you.
Sometimes employees don’t know exactly how to help you and your business succeed. It might only take a little feedback or constructive criticism to help point out to them what they can do to make both them and you more successful. Communication between you and your employees may help you to motivate them and allow them to provide you with suggestions about how best to do so.
Explore Advancement Opportunities
Sometimes you have to dangle a carrot in front of employees to get them motivated. Using job or career advancement opportunities can be a great way to motivate employees toward success and in the process increase their productivity and their willingness to put in that extra effort to make your business a success. It’s important to note however, that should you promise a position or advancement opportunity or even just a shot at applying for the opportunity that you follow through with your promise, otherwise your employees might resent it and not take you at your word in the future.
Vincent has spent the last 10 years implementing employee recognition programs for Fortune 500 companies throughout the U.S. He currently lives in Houston and writes regularly about motivating employees on his Motivation Stream blog.