Study after study seems to confirm that happier employees tend to perform better at their job. Beyond this, a happier employee is more likely to work harder at their job.
There are plenty of books on personal motivation and success from Chet Holmes to Tony Robbins. But what about motivating your own employees to work harder?
As much as we hate to agree, some of us do bring our personal problems into work. Others tend to look at work as a retreat from their personal life and as a place of solace.
Regardless, the best managers always seem to be the best motivators and can get their employees to jump off a bridge with them if they ordered so. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but one study did find that 10% of employees would turn down a pay raise if it meant sticking with a good manager.
Looking for ways to motivate your employees to perform their best? Well, the answer is a little more complex than simply being a good motivational speaker. Let’s explore further.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Sure, a motivated manager makes for motivated employees, but actions speak louder than words. If you want more production from your employees then you need to be on the frontlines grinding it out with them. When they see you making motivational speeches, only to retreat to your desk for a quick nap after, you become more of a joke than an authority. Set an example!
Beyond setting a good example for employees, it’s key to provide them support when needed. Mentor them on projects so that they feel comfortable with the task at hand. Afterwards, they will be confident enough to eventually complete tasks independently and more productively.
Give Employees a Voice
One new innovation that’s often overlooked in modern business world is the horizontal corporate structure. Instead of establishing a bureaucratic state in your own house, why not give your employees a say? Let them lead on projects, offer feedback, and work together to collaborate on projects.
This has many obvious benefits. Gatekeepers tend to slow the flow of information and productivity. Instead of assigning tasks to individuals willy nilly, why not gather feedback to discover your employees strengths and work together to create a replicable process that is beneficial to all of your employees.
Offer Incentives to Work Harder
People don’t want to feel stagnant in their career path and many people desire to move forward in life, either through the corporate ladder at their company or another. The best incentives for productivity are tangible, such as increased pay rates, promotions, or greater responsibility over projects
Other incentives could include employee perks that don’t just revolve around pay. This could include competitive benefits packages, increased vacation days for reaching personal goals, and even giving people more time off as a reward for hard work.
Provide Positive Reinforcement
You might have noticed that mostly each tip so far has focused on reward. Rewarding employees for hard work motivates them and other employees to work harder for rewards. Even if it’s not a tangible reward, such as a raise, offering praise in front of other employees is its own sort of reward. The jury is still out, but I think most of us would agree that positive reinforcement is more rewarding then negative reinforcement.