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How to motivate employees and boost your bottom line


Your team is excellent. But how do you motivate employees to make the most of their day? By allowing a few perks and promoting a positive atmosphere you can keep them motivated without breaking the bank.

Here are some ideas to give your workforce a boost.

Empower employees

Employees want to be engaged in the process. Entrusting them to be responsible for their work and reach company goals can go a long way toward motivating them.

Have weekly or monthly meetings to let employees know the company outlook and how each plays a role in its success. By showing them the challenges you face, they become more thoughtful about the big picture and what it will take to overcome obstacles.

Those who champion the company’s vision will have ideas on how to make it happen. Welcome these ideas and allow employees to have input and control over how the plan is executed. Having a goal that everyone works toward is a terrific team builder and employee motivator, with the business being the ultimate beneficiary.

Using a system such as FranklinCovey’s Four Disciplines of Execution can help clarify, organize and assess the steps to success. Using this method, employees control and have autonomy of how they’re working. They know what they need to do to achieve a goal, how they’ll be held accountable and how success is measured.

When your staff understands their goals, how they align with overall business objectives and they have a clear plan for achievement, there are fewer disruptions, giving you more time to take advantage of key growth opportunities.

Offer opportunity

You don’t have to do everything yourself. People want to be involved and know their talents are being used, too.

Encourage employees to serve on committees, get involved in professional associations and give back to the community. Publicly representing your business allows them to take ownership and pride in what they do. And as we all know from personal experience, you’re more willing to put in extra effort on projects you take pride in.

Employees also want to learn more. Offer them ways – either through mentoring, job-shadowing or taking classes – to grow professionally. A program where people are cross-trained can fill gaps and cover positions when someone is ill or on vacation can be especially helpful for small and midsize businesses where staffs are smaller.

Be open

Be open and available. We’ve all heard about the bosses who hide behind closed doors, but employees need someone to go to. Recognizing a need for collaboration, more companies are opting for open-concept work areas, where everyone – including bosses – shares a space. This leads to heightened employee motivation, dynamic discussion and creativity.

Be frank and transparent: Where does the company stand financially? Where does the employee stand professionally?

Let’s take a look at John, a junior employee who applies for, but doesn’t receive, a promotion because he’s just not ready. What you do in response is crucial in retaining him. Let John know that you recognize his value to the company. As his manager your job is to help him reach his goal. Clearly he wants to succeed. His success is your success, so keeping him on your team and helping him get to the top can be good for your bottom line.

Show appreciation

In the world of texts and email, stationery makes an impact. Send a handwritten note of thanks or praise to employees who have worked especially hard. People will remember that you took the time to put pen to paper.

Another great way to motivate your employees is to acknowledge the extra hours or time away from family that they spend. Recognize that employees need a work-life balance, and allow them the time to attend a wedding or child’s soccer game.

Spend time away from the office with the team: Take a half day off to attend a baseball game, treat everyone to lunch, have an Easter egg hunt or Halloween party where employees can bring their children.

Have a company awards or rewards program, offer a premium parking spot for outstanding employees, or give an extended lunch or early release for someone who goes the extra mile.

Community involvement

Inspiration can come in many forms. But, giving back to the communities where you do business can be one of the most meaningful for you and your staff.

Volunteering at a school, walking dogs at the local animal shelter, supporting the armed forces or donating blood are all ways that companies can be involved in helping communities prosper.

When people come together for a common goal, amazing things can happen, and that spirit of goodwill can be carried over into the workplace.

But philanthropy can do more for your company than help motivate your employees. Read How being a “good guy” does your company a lot of good to find out how it can give your business a boost.

Keep their creativity flowing

Taking a break, once in a while, to do something light-hearted and fun can increase creativity and focus. Certainly there will be times – even days on end – when everyone will be in heads-down work mode. Even more reason to welcome a little levity.

You know that odd corner in the office? Why not put in a Ping-Pong table? Have “dress-up day” where you wear a wacky wig or dress in ‘80s clothes. Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or other special days by decorating a cubicle. Play funky music to get the day started. Or at the very least, have a “jeans day.”

Taking a break – whether it’s a matter of minutes or days – works wonders on the attitude.

Some companies offer nap areas or provide weeks-long sabbaticals. While we can’t all afford to go to those lengths, providing a 15-minute group break, a quiet area or time outside can rejuvenate your staff and make them more productive when they return.

Do you want to have time to motivate and inspire your staff to take your business to the next level? Click here to see how Insperity can help.