If your employees are slacking on the job, the key question to consider is: why? Employees who are unmotivated or unhappy tend to do the bare essentials just to pass the time before 5pm. Here are 10 positive ways to engage your employees – to create an environment that fosters motivation and creativity:
1. Keep them informed: Let your employees know how the company is doing in terms of business goals. This type of communication is the key to making them feel they are part of the process and that you’re all in it together.
2. Ask for their opinion: Before making “top-down” decisions, seek out input from the front line. In developing a campaign or program, consider sending out a survey or running a focus group with your team to find out what their thoughts are.
3. Ask them what they want: Find out who your employees are both professionally and personally, and what motivates them. Keep this in mind when creating an employee incentive program.
4. Compensation: Make a pitch to senior management to re-evaluate salary bands if they are not at par with your industry. Employees who are overworked and underpaid will inevitably begin searching for recognition elsewhere, and the best workers often get “scooped up” first.
5. Practice what you preach: If you expect a certain level of commitment and passion from your staff, ensure the team sees that same work ethic in management’s day-to-day activities. Engage them on a consistent basis so they see that you are working just as hard as they are to reach a common goal.
6. Recognition: A simple pat on the back goes a long way. Employees who are recognized for their efforts will continue to deliver that same work ethic in future initiatives.
7. Have them measure their performance: Employees may not be aware of their daily productivity. Put the onus on them. Ask them to measure their work so they can see where their biggest efforts are being allocated.
8. Cultivate a strong development program: Training and development is key to keeping employees passionate and motivated. Ensure they are receiving the learning opportunities they need to remain challenged.
9. Earn their respect: Employees will work harder for managers that they respect. Earn their respect through your actions, and keep them informed about all the work you and senior management do – which they may not see everyday.
10. Trust them: Employees who feel watched constantly or micro-managed tend to become resentful or fearful around their managers. Trust often leads to empowerment, resulting in better employee performance.