The clock is closing in on 5pm and your formerly dedicated employees have been eagerly eyeing the door. You get a glimpse of a Facebook page every time you walk by their desks before they have time to hide it with an excel spreadsheet. You’ve begun to accept a yawn as a standard response to a question. These are clear symptoms of a lack of motivation.
It is common for employees at a new company to quickly forget their passion for the business and the reason they joined an entrepreneurial venture in the first place. The novelty and high hopes from the first phase of the start-up have dulled to the doldrums of the daily grind. Here are a few tips to keep their motivation and to help ensure your company’s growth and well being.
Different Motivation Tactics
One of the ways to make your employees love what they do is to link successful performance with a clear sense of achievement. If your program manager is assigned a difficult project, make sure there are realistic and measurable goals attached. Both of those are key – realistic AND measurable. It needs to be possible to reach these goals and you will need to be able to tell when they have been completed.
When each milestone has been reached, make a big deal out of recognizing the accomplishment and show all of your employees you value their hard work. Maybe a bonus or a title upgrade is in order. Or perhaps something as simple as a paper certificate congratulating them will be enough to boost their self esteem. Don’t give out excess prizes or lavish false praise, but be generous with your appreciation for a job truly well done. Your employees will be excited to accomplish something and will enjoy the metaphorical gold star.
Feeling of Authority and Motivation
You may be the founder and owner of your business, but your employees will perform best if they feel a sense of control as well. A sense of authority is a key tool when it comes to motivation of your employees, because when we feel in charge, we tend to exceed even our own expectations.
A few structural ways to make sure your employees feel somewhat in control are to assign a complete process to each one and to divide up subject matter among your employees so they can become “experts” in separate topics. These methods help them feel accountable and give them the confidence to follow through.
Social Environments Help Motivate
There may always be the individual who gets his best work done while sitting in a corner, facing the wall, with his headphones in. However, as humans are social creatures, we tend to only improve our performance when working together with other people. A sense of community and involvement will exponentially increase your employees’ satisfaction and motivation on the job.
One of the best ways to implement this is to create peer feedback groups or pairs, so your employees can support each other. Teamwork and morale-building activities such as a community service day or a happy hour after work are particularly valuable to a happy work environment.
You may love your company and every minute you spend on your work, but to ensure your team feels the same, consider implementing these ideas the next time you see your receptionist filing her nails or your accountant nodding off at his desk. They will thank you!