Every company goes through phases of ‘wow, business couldn’t be better!’ to ‘how on earth did we get here?’ and everything in between. For a new employee, the excitement is high and so is the motivation to work and do their best. It could take a few months, or even a few days. But this enthusiasm eventually dies down and work becomes more of a bore than a thrill. Performance starts to drop and you find your employees doing just the bare minimum of what is required of them. What then? Don’t fret just yet, there still is hope. Here’s how you can ignite that spark once again – just ask yourself these questions…
1. Do they think of you as one of them?
Managers are often perceived as cold and hard. Showing your softer side will make your employees realise you’re human too and that you too feel the same emotions that they do. It makes you more approachable and less intimidating. If they’re facing any difficulty at work, talking it out and finding a solution will definitely help things move along positively. At the same time, remember your employees are just people too. Allow them to have bad days and give them their space when needed. This brings us to the next point…
2. How well do you know your employees?
Take the time to talk to your employees one on one and get to know them – their strength and interests, likes and dislikes. A person is more likely to succeed in what they’re doing if they are enjoying their work. If someone’s forced to do something they don’t enjoy, they will be sure to lose interest and drive.
3. Does your team have a say in your decisions?
One of the biggest motivational factors is making the person feel valued. Take feedback and ask for opinions on certain topics before making certain decisions.
4. How interesting is their work life?
Make sure the work place has enough room for recreational activities like games etc. This not only boosts team bonding but it gives them a chance to take a break from work and return refreshed and with a clear mind.
5. When was the last time you said ‘thank you’?
A little appreciation goes a long way. Of course, you probably know this already. But how often do you thank your employees on a job well done? Just saying ‘good job’ in front of a group of people will do a lot to motivate him than you will realise.
6. Plan regular team building activities
When was the last time you all did something together, aside from work? Team building helps break the ice between employees and creates relationships which in turn makes work life easier. Employees will start to see their co-workers as more than just colleagues and hence develop feelings of respect and understanding towards them.
7. Do you know what’s really going on within your team?
Sit down with your team instead of sitting behind your desk, delegating work via email. Have team meetings, find out if they’re facing any problems and try and solve them. This not only shows them that you’re interested but that you’ve got their back too. Aside from this, more importantly you will notice whether there’s any build-up of negativity within the team and address it before it causes irreparable damage.
8. Do you treat them like kids or like the adults they are?
Do not micromanage. If they’ve been assigned a task, set a deadline and wait. Constantly checking up on them will show them that you don’t have the confidence that they’re capable of finishing that task on time. Let them take breaks when they need to, as long as they’re not taking advantage and they get the job done.
Building employee motivation is a huge challenge for most managers. Try paying more attention to the above factors, you will see a considerable difference for sure.
Have you tried any of these before? How has it worked for you?