Are your employees motivated to work?
As business owners and managers, we want to believe that our employees are eager to arrive promptly to the office everyday and get right to work. Unfortunately, when we ask ourselves whether our employees are as excited about work today as we are, our uniform answer would likely be a resounding “no.” The question then must arise, “How do I motivate my employees?”
Well, let’s look at the definition of motivation. According to Merriam Webster, the definition is “the condition of being eager to act or work; the condition of being motivated.” Let’s face it: some jobs are easier to get motivated for than others. If your employees are doing something mundane, you will have a more difficult time in motivating them. Many people become bored and look for alternatives in the job market just to stay engaged and interested in what they do.
What Causes Boredom?
So how do employees become bored? Sometimes the work is not challenging enough to satisfy an employee’s creativity. Sometimes, employees do not feel respected by their managers or peers. They may feel that their job function does not play an important enough role in the overall success of the company. And other times, employees are bored because their work styles do not align with the processes you have established in your office and they feel bogged down by rote tasks.
Whether it’s not seeing the bigger picture, not feeling valued or not feeling challenged, boredom in your employees can wreak havoc on productivity and put a damper on office culture. Here are some tips for preventing your employees from becoming bored.
Eliminate De-Motivating Habits
Buzzwords don’t work. Employees are smart – that’s why you hired them. Using a wealth of buzzwords when you discuss projects makes you seem less like a confident leader and more like someone who reads a business magazine cover-to-cover and has decided to become a “guru.” Your employees deserve a more honest effort at communication than just spouting off the most popular (often meaningless) words in your industry. Have a real conversation with your employees and you will get real outputs as a result.
Change is good; too many changes are bad. Your employees crave the kinds of changes that make their jobs easier and more efficient. Unfortunately, many of the changes that occur within a company tend to disrupt office flow and make employees feel frustrated. You need to have a plan that management agrees to and you are willing to stick to until there is evidence of a better solution.
Manage your employees. Ensure that your employees are aware of their job responsibilities. Likewise, they should know what they aren’t responsible for. You should also make an honest effort to communicate with them about their job performance. An employee who is unaware that he is making mistakes will likely continue to make them. Take the time to tell your employees where they can improve so they can at least make the effort to do so; firing someone because they didn’t meet non-verbalized expectations is a mistake. Similarly, your employees should be told when they exceed your expectations. Your employees should now that they can ascend to a higher rung of the company if they do a consistently great job; acknowledge their hard work and offer promotions where they’ve been earned.
Ask your employees for their input. All too often, company owners are quick to bring in people from the outside to get perspective on their business. What they fail to do is use the very valuable resource sitting right inside their office: their workforce. Your employees have far more knowledge and opinions than you may give them credit for, especially when it comes to their own jobs and corresponding improvements that may be made within the company they work for. Why not create a suggestion box for your employees to submit their anonymous opinions? Every suggestion should be evaluated and considered, no matter how small. If the suggestions cannot be implemented, management needs to offer a reasonable and articulate explanation as to why. Communication and accountability is key in this type of situation, and while it’s easy to just say “no” and move on, your employees will be far more engaged with an actual explanation.
These are, of course, just a few tactics for keeping employees motivated and fending off employee boredom. Show your employees respect and consideration and listen to their suggestions. Even in times of frustration, don’t expect a tactic of instilling fear to serve as an adequate motivation technique. The Machiavellian management style is long past.