Look around at your team. How many of them are going through the motions – and even contemplating leaving? The answer may surprise you: according to CNBC, 40% of workers say they are considering quitting their jobs soon. Even if they stay, though, you’re looking at increased rates of absenteeism, presenteeism, subpar performance, and lethargy that kills culture and innovation.
Take another look at your team. How can you build purpose? Increase motivation? Enhance performance? Ensure your workplace is one that people look forward to going into and contributing their best?
Why Employee Motivation Matters
When discussing employee motivation, inevitably the word “engagement” comes up. While inextricably linked, there is some nuance to consider. Engagement is the emotional connection a person has to their company; motivation is the energy they have to act on that feeling. A lot of us aren’t feeling the energy! In the US, just one-third of employees report being motivated, and this costs companies a collective $550 billion a year.
But if we can flip the switch:
- Motivated employees work 20% better
- Motivated and engaged teams increase business profitability by 21%
- Motivation reduces absenteeism by 41%
- Motivated employees are 87% less likely to quit
The benefits of employee motivation are varied and directly linked to the bottom line. The big question is how do we keep our people motivated so they can do their best work – and enjoy doing it?
5 Strategies to Build and Maintain Employee Motivation
Employee motivation should be as carefully considered and planned as any other business-building strategy. It is critical for your success (and, of course, the success of your people!). Here’s where the difference between engagement and motivation come more strongly into play. Engagement is the feeling, while motivation is the action.
Say you have a motivated employee who is not engaged. They’ll contribute significantly, but without that emotional connection, they’re operating with one foot out the door as they look for better opportunities. On the other hand, you may have an engaged employee who is happy to be part of the team but who is not motivated to give meaningfully. You need both pieces of the puzzle.
Check out our helpful tips to increase employee engagement and show your people they’re valued. Next, work on translating that feeling into action.
1. Recognize Them
Employee recognition is crucial; a leading contributor to the “Great Resignation” is that people just don’t feel as if their contributions are acknowledged much less valued. Thank them. If they love an audience, a public shoutout will be welcome; if they are more private, a simple email (or better yet, handwritten note) or one-on-one chat is a small step that goes a long way.
2. Reward Loyalty
We hear a great deal about sign-on bonuses and other incentives designed to attract talent. What about initiatives that reward work, longevity, and loyalty? Long-term perks, such as bonuses, extra paid time off, increased flexibility, etc., can build and maintain motivation. If budgets are tight (and, really, when aren’t they!)non-monetary incentives can be just as effective.
For example, we know that advancement and development are integral in employee engagement and retention. Why not give a long-time employee the chance to learn new skills, lead a new project, interact in a new way that provides them with the growth and challenge they crave?
3. Create an Environment In Which People Want to Work
Is your workspace inviting? Functional and fun? While you don’t need a Google-sized budget to establish a space conducive to motivation, it is worth it to infuse it with a sense of energy. For example, featuring works by local artists is a great way to express your brand identity, create a positive environment, and increase productivity.
4. Be the Leader People Want to Follow
They say that people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. There is, of course, a lot more to it than that, but it is true that your company’s leadership makes the difference when it comes to both engagement and motivation. Respectful, honest, transparent leaders who provide proactive and constructive feedback, who show that they value their people, and who genuinely care about their team are the types of leaders people want to work for.
5. Remember, It’s Work – Not Family
This may be a controversial statement. We’ve heard for so long, “It’s not just a job. We’re a family.” And what could be wrong with this? Family members go above and beyond to help each other; they are loyal to each other; they are empathetic and kind. (At least in theory!) But when the “family” construct becomes toxic, as it so often can, it leads to feelings of exploitation, lack of boundaries, burn-out, disengagement, lost productivity, attrition, and power dynamics that leave people feeling unempowered.
Your people have lives outside of work. They have families, friends, communities outside of their teams. Yes, work is important and, for many, it is essential to living their purpose. However, it is not the be-all end-all, especially for younger generations. Respect their time, their privacy, and their personal lives and back it up with policies and practices that allow for flexibility and empower them to leave work at work. This is how you boost motivation.
Let’s Build It Together
You are not the only leader dealing with challenges related to engagement and motivation. See what your peers in the home industry are doing to address these issues and foster strong companies. At Home Artisans of Indiana, we build better businesses, together. Visit https://homeartisans.com to learn more.