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All right, let’s kick this thing off with a strong nautical metaphor.
You, the manager, are the captain of your company-ship. And your core employees base is the engine.
Well, not all ships have engines. They’re… the sails?
Or… the crew?
Okay, wait, let’s start over.
We all have a core employee base—you don’t need us to explain to you who keeps your lights on. You know better than anyone how important your team is to you, and we’re here simply to emphasize a lesson that we’ve touched on many times before:
There’s almost nothing more important to your bottom line than keeping your core employee base motived and engaged.
We know that the first step to building a great time is hiring the best possible talent. But even if you’ve found the absolute perfect employee, fitting into their dream role, you’re not going to be able to keep them around forever if all they’re doing is punching a clock.
As of last year, employee engagement levels were at the highest that Gallup has ever recorded. You know what that number was?
We can all do better to engage and motivate our teams. And with that in mind, we’ve narrowed down seven simple ways you can motivate your teams this week and beyond. Check them out below!
Speaking of being “more than just punching a clock,” we have to remember that even our top performers are more than just their role. Your employees are aware that there are other skills out there that they can refine—and they’re eager to learn.
According to one survey, among Millennials (who, need we remind you, make up the majority of the workforce), 43% of respondents believe that they feel ‘personally affected by the skills gap,’ compared to 38% of those in Generation X and 23% of Baby Boomers.”
As an employer, invest in your team. Host monthly breakfast meetings where employees can share topics of interest with their peers, or even receive training from guest speakers. It tells them that you care about them from a more holistic perspective.
And what better way to know what skills and interests your employees are thinking about than asking?
We talk about this a lot here on the blog, but effective communication between a manager and her employees is paramount to running a top-performing teams.
This can come in the form of one-on-ones, weekly team cadences, innovative tools like Slack or digital signage—even just the knowledge of an open email inbox. Do your employees really believe that if they reach out to you that you’ll get back to them quickly?
Employees don’t disengage out of nowhere, it starts when they don’t feel heard. And if you don’t already have an open channel of communication, then you can surely bet they’re not going to start talking to you once they start feeling dissatisfied.
Keep those lines open, and you’ll be ahead of the game on your team’s morale.
Another thing that we talk quite a bit about here is the importance of setting and keeping goals—both in the short term and the long term.
The reason for this is that having a vision for what an employee is doing, and why they’re working in the role they are a steroid shot of motivation.
We all go through slumps, but when an employee can be reminded of long-term personal goals (such as a family vacation or a down-payment on a house), along with manageable short-term weekly goals (usually most easily communicated through KPIs), they can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel—rather than having to ever ask the question “what’s even the point?”
Especially in those times where we’re feeling like we’re stuck in a work-rut, even the best job can become extremely isolating—which is why you should make an extra effort across your core employee base to foster an environment of collaboration.
When you put your employees into a team-based, collaborative environment, you’re giving them two gifts: firstly, you’re allowing them to either learn from or teach other employees and show what a great performance looks like. The best example is the one that’s right in front of you.
Secondly, you’re allowing them to see how they fit in more broadly to your organization. Feeling that sense of fitting in allows them to feel a renewed sense of importance in their position—and a sense of ownership within the organization.
And when collaboration starts to feel a little tired, we here at Hoopla are firm believers that there’s nothing better than a little healthy competition amongst your employees.
When employees start to disengage with their work, they lose sight of what it actually means to be a top performer. And there’s no better way to get them reoriented to that than appealing to good old fashioned ego.
When you set a benchmark, allow employees to race to that benchmark, and then broadcast the results, you better believe members of your team are going to reconsider their strategies and step up to a new level of performance.
All of this sets the table for recognizing and rewarding your employees for their work. And nothing’s more motivating than a proverbial pat on the back and hearing that it’s a job well done!
Not your personal schedule, mind you. We don’t have to talk about what you do on your time.
When we say blow up the schedule, what we mean is to stop focusing so much on what conventional work has always looked like.
Can your employees complete their work outside the traditional 9-5 or 10-6 hours? Are they completing it?
Then why are you so worried about what time your employees show up to work?
Whether it’s offering the chance for your remote employees to create a more flexible schedule, or you’re allowing your team to work from home more days a week, it’s become increasingly obvious that traditional schedules don’t make sense for every office.
It’s as simple as this: tell your employees that you trust them, and you believe in them to do their job better than anyone else.
At the end of the day, that might be the most motivating factor of them all.
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