Some of us head off to work each day trying to make the world a better place. Others just … don’t.
Employee morale and motivation can be a tricky thing. Happy employees are usually far more productive than unhappy employees. But with a diverse range of people in your organization, how do you maximize those factors for as many people as possible? After all, people are motivated by different things. Let’s look at some best practices to get the good motivation flowing.
Offer solid benefits packages.
Make sure that employee compensation is at least in line with what others in your industry are offering. If people see that your rival, Company B, is offering a similar salary but has medical, dental, and vision insurance while you just have medical, you risk disgruntlement and turnover.
Remember that employees are not a faceless mass.
They’re individuals, so they should be treated like individuals. Make an effort to get to know the people in your company — not just the executives, or the department heads, or the people who come into your office for help on an issue. Something as simple as learning everyone’s name can help them feel more at home. This can be difficult if you work in a large, corporate environment, but the effort you put into greeting people individually will pay dividends when it comes to employee satisfaction.
Getting to know your employees also helps you refine your practices in real time as you get to know people better, what their challenges and priorities are at work, what they value, etc.
Remind employees that they have a stake in the company’s performance.
If your company offers stock options or profit sharing, that’s a direct way to involve employees; but if even if your company doesn’t offer those things, there are ways to engage employees. Regularly sending out announcements about how the company is doing and emphasizing how employee contributions are driving success can help create a feeling of productive teamwork.
Set realistic goals.
When setting employee goals, make sure they’re both meaningful (specific) and achievable (realistic). Goals that are too vague or too far outside of the realm of possibility will likely fall by the wayside. Specific, actionable goals (preferably with milestones set against them) improve motivation by offering smaller, trackable successes along the way.
Reward good performance.
Nothing is quite as demoralizing as doing a great job and then feeling like no one cares. Providing recognition (with tangible awards) or performance incentives can help nurture employees to reach for successful outcomes. We’re human. We like rewards — it’s the part of the brain that reveled in getting star stickers in elementary school or getting a treat for good behavior. We may not need a cookie, per se, but a token to acknowledge hard work and success is always appreciated.
Make sure employees have the resources they need to do well.
This may seem like a no-brainer—after all, aren’t you their resource? — but people are motivated and more productive when they feel like they have all the tools they need to do a job. Comprehensive training, educational opportunities, leadership seminars … these are all tools that can help employees feel better prepared to do their jobs and grow their careers at your company.
The Denver-based technology company gives unlimited vacation days to its 100 employees. As further incentive, each employee gets $7,500 every year to help pay for a dream excursion.
Video by Nathan Armes for USA TODAY
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