How to motivate your staff

You may be surprised to hear that 76% of Australian employees are unmotivated at work.

According to a recent Gallup poll, 60% of Australian employees are ‘not engaged’, meaning they lack motivation and 16% are ‘actively disengaged’, indicating they are not only unhappy and unproductive at work, they are liable to spread negativity to co-workers. This means that only 24% are ‘engaged or motivated’.

So how do you motivate staff?

Although it isn’t a foolproof method, staff motivation can be improved by working on two main areas:

Involve them

Too many business owners/managers think they know what motivates their staff. Instead of guessing, try using a survey. You might be surprised what you discover.

Ask staff for their input about the organisation and how things are done. Ask them what they would change and how. Ask about the things they enjoy and don’t enjoy about their job. Sometimes mundane and repetitive tasks can be eliminated or performed in some another way. Ask about their skills and, if they aren’t currently doing so, how they might be utilised in their job. No matter what size the organisation, people want to feel like more than just a number.

But remember, employees quickly lose faith in managers if they don’t see change from a survey process. If you don’t have the motivation to carry this through don’t bother starting.

Reward them

While most employees are more than happy to receive a pay rise, more money won’t be enough to solve the problem or engage a staff member who doesn’t want to be there. People like to feel valued for their knowledge, accomplishments and their input towards the advancement of the organisation and client experience.

Employees are generally happier and more motivated at work when they feel acknowledged for their input. Most employees need to feel that what they’re doing is important.

There are many ways to reward employees for a job well done, for going above and beyond or for contributing a creative idea. A personal thankyou goes a long way. Or if you want something more tangible a certificate, an acknowledgement in an email or newsletter, monetarily, or with a small gift/gift certificate.

If you’re stuck for ideas you could ask your staff how they would like to be rewarded as part of the employee survey.

The bottom line

Happy employees go the extra mile, especially when you’re under the pump. So ask for their input and thank them for their hard work. Make sure they know you appreciate their efforts.

For more ideas on creating a happy workplace click here.