Do you really know the right way to motivate your employees?
If you think that raising their salaries, issuing commissions, or incentivizing them with money or bonuses is the best way to retain talent in the workplace, you’re taking the wrong path. 120 years of research suggests that the correlation between salary and job satisfaction is actually very weak.
So, what is it you need to do to keep morale on the up and up? The answer might be much more obvious (and significantly less expensive) than you think: keep them engaged.
Here are 5 simple, science-backed ways on how you can motivate your employees to perform well and deliver results.
1. Be their mentor, not their boss.
People can’t grow if they are constantly being micromanaged by an overbearing boss. Give your employees room and opportunities to develop their skills and learn new things by acting more like their mentor instead. A good example of how to get started is by creating a personal development plan tailored for each employee. Help them carry out that plan through supervision and feedback.
2. Remember to say thank you.
It’s no secret that receiving praise makes us feel good and driven to go above and beyond! According to Gallup research, people who receive regular praise at work tend to be more productive, satisfied, and engaged than those who do not. They are also more likely to stay with their company. Take the time to recognize your employees and their hard work daily. Making them feel appreciated is ultimately what drives positive workplace behavior and performance.
3. Foster collaboration in your team.
Tom Rath’s book How Full Is Your Bucket reveals the number one reason why Americans leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated. Encourage your employees to actively participate during meetings and discussions. They may offer great suggestions that can help resolve a pressing issue or spark the growth of your business. Furthermore, fostering collaboration within your team makes your employees feel valued and engaged.
4. Empower your people.
Sounds easier said than done, right? The truth is you can make everyone on your team feel empowered in little ways.
- Trust them. Ditch the micromanagement and show them that you’re confident about their abilities. More often than not, most people need a little encouragement to believe in themselves and to realize that they have great potential.
- Encourage creativity. Guide them, don’t control them. Give your people the freedom to find their own ways in resolving issues and continue to challenge them to think outside the box.
- Communicate a clear vision. Make sure that your team understands your goals and mission. Clearly define their goals and offer to answer any questions they may have so they have a sense of focus and direction.
5. Offer plenty of support.
Communicate with your people regularly face-to-face. If they only hear from you through emails and Slack messages, you will find it harder to reach them. Your goal, as the leader and manager, is to foster relationships and create a team wherein everyone is supportive of each other. Speak to each team member one-on-one and hold group meetings. If they feel that you care about them and you support them, they are likely be just as loyal back to you.
6. Don’t punish failure.
When your employees work in fear of being punished for every wrong move, they become less creative and stop thinking outside the box. They will settle to do the absolute least, rather than striving for excellence. Remember that as humans we all makes mistakes. When your workers make honest mistakes, don’t punish them. Let them try again and support them until they succeed.
7. Create a healthy company culture.
More than building a conductive place to work, you also want to create a positive company culture that is fun and encouraging. A culture where everyone makes each other better, where kindness is the hottest commodity, and there’s always room to make and keep learning from mistakes. As the leader, you have the responsibility of building this culture by being a role model and developing programs that align with your values and mission.
Bottom line? Happy workers are productive workers and it takes more than money to keep them satisfied. Be their mentor. Offer praise and recognition. Cultivate collaboration. Support everyone on your team. Be open to making mistakes. Create a culture where they can thrive. If you do all of this, you’ll wind up with happy and productive employees that will remain forever loyal to you and your business.
This article orginally apepared on MyCorporation.