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Top 10 Tips for Motivating Your Employees

  1. Top 10 Tips for Motivating Your Employees
  2. When business owners try to change the behaviour of their employees, they often use money as a motivator but rarely does it work and when it does, the changes are typically short- lived because the old habits eventually return. Today’s business tip is to make sure you’ve got the right people in the right positions with the right set of goals first, then you can worry about compensation…
  3. 1. You can’t actually motivate your employees What??!?? I know this first tip seems a little counterproductive, but bear with me. You see, motivation is internal, not external. You can motivate people with carrots and sticks for a while, but it can’t last. Long term, people need to motivate themselves. You’re not powerless, however, because motivation comes from inspiration. So offer your people inspirational goals and they’ll take on the job of motivating themselves.
  4. 2. Create a motivating environment What’s it like at your business? Do people hit the ground running on Monday mornings, or do they live for the weekends. Your working environment has a greater impact on your productivity than you may think. The thing is, every business has a culture. But most have evolved through happenstance and that’s a far too risky way to grow your company. Everything from your office décor to your meeting schedules will affect your environment, so evaluate the impact of every move you make on your culture and watch your productivity soar.
  5. 3. Involve your employees in decisions that affect them Your employees don’t just want a job; they want to be part of something more. So let them. It’s a win-win scenario for everybody. Your employees win because their work becomes fulfilling, and the company wins, because it benefits from the contributions of more than just those at the top of the organizational chart.
  6. 4. Share your plans for the future with your employees and get them involved in the process If inspiration is the key to employee motivation, then keeping your employees in the dark about your plans for the future is a sure-fire way to kill your company’s potential.
  7. 5. Hire motivated people Brian Scudamore, president and founder of 1- 800-GOT-JUNK?, says “we don’t motivate our people, we hire motivated people”. Screen candidates carefully, and look for a history of productivity. Technical skills alone are never a good enough reason to give someone a job.
  8. 6. Encourage independent thought, creativity and initiative At Wardell, we have a weekly meeting to discuss our progress as a company. Everyone is expected to participate and contribute. For example, one of our agenda items is set to teach something of value to the rest of the group. Not every idea is going to be as helpful as the next one, but by encouraging this type of “teaching environment”, we keep everyone growing in the right direction.
  9. 7. Profit share In general, money is a poor motivator if you’ve got nothing else going for you, but it can be a great supporting tool once you’ve got your people on board. Profit sharing, of course, is only one of many ways you might do this, but used properly it can be extremely effective. Whether you offer your employees company shares, options, a bonus based on clearly defined goals, a percentage of your margin, or a percentage of your profit, what matters most is that they don’t feel powerless to affect its outcome.
  10. 8. Offer varied and interesting benefits Benefits, unlike bonuses, form part of an employee’s compensation package. And as such, represent an opportunity to impact your working environment. Certainly, standard benefits such as medical and dental insurance can be part of the package, but think outside the box as well. For example, perhaps you can negotiate a discount for your employees at a local fitness club or restaurant.
  11. 9. Fire unmotivated people It’s as important to get the right people on the bus as it is to get the wrong people off the bus. It may sound harsh, but if you have anyone working for you that you would not re-hire given the opportunity, get rid of them as quickly as possible. It’s the right thing to do. If you’re not happy with them, chances are they’re not happy either. If an employee is not inspired by a future with your company, free them to find a place that suits them better.
  12. 10. Thank your employees for a job well done For a hard working, dedicated employee little is more important than genuine appreciation. Show them that you notice how hard they work and they’ll go to the mat for you each and every time. Never underestimate the value of a “thank you”. If your employees don’t feel appreciated, they’ll leave as soon as someone there is a better offer, but if they really love their job, and feel valued, it will take more than a few dollars to lure them away…
  13. Mark Wardell is President & Founder of Wardell International , an advisory group that helps business owners plan and execute the growth of their companies. The author of seven business books, Mark also writes regularly for several national & international business publications. Email him at mark@wardell.biz.