Motivation is defined as the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. Motivation in the workplace is no different. It’s your employee’s desire or willingness to produce great work. And when you think about it that way, it’s the holy grail that all managers strive for.
So how exactly do you motivate your team? In this article, the experts at Sling share 12 tips to help you keep your employees motivated, engaged, and productive.
Tips For Improving Motivation In The Workplace
1) Have A Positive Attitude
It’s the old dilemma of the carrot or the stick. Which do you give your employees? Do you focus on the negative (the stick), or do you highlight the positive (the carrot)?
To improve motivation in the workplace, strive for positive reinforcement as much as possible. Yes, there may be a time when bad behaviors or results need to be pointed out, but for the most part, you can attract more flies with honey.
2) Define The Purpose Of Your Work
No one likes to do work for no reason. If they did, it wouldn’t be called work; it would be called play. But it would be monotonous play, and eventually, everyone would tire of it.
When you define the purpose of the work your team is doing, it helps them recognize the impact that it has on your clients and your company. This helps them feel like they’re making a difference and goes a long way toward keeping them motivated.
3) Don’t Micromanage
If you really want to improve motivation, don’t micromanage. Instead, give your team an assignment and a deadline, and then turn them loose. This gives your employees the freedom to work when their motivation is at its highest.
For some, early in the workday might be their most productive time. For others, it may be closer to the end of the day. For yet others, it may be overnight or on weekends. When you allow your employees to decide when and how they will work, you establish a framework for improved efficiency and motivation.
4) Focus On The Big Picture
Regardless of what business you are in, there are always small tasks that may seem insignificant. As a manager, you know that those small tasks play a large role in the productivity and success of your company. Unfortunately, your team members may not be aware of that fact. You can increase motivation in the workplace by helping your employees focus on the big picture rather than the small job in front of them. Show them exactly how that seemingly insignificant task can have a huge impact on the success or failure of the project or business as a whole.
5) Be Clear About What You Expect
To improve motivation in the workplace, be very clear about what you want done. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. So focus on that first step, be clear about what it is and how it can be completed, and then set your team to the task.
A clear and concise mission can light a fire of motivation under any team.
6) Set Small, Easy-To-Measure Goals
Remember the journey of a thousand miles? Each step along that road should be a measurable goal. That way, your team members can see what needs to be accomplished to get to the end.
Small, measurable goals are often easier to complete than one huge goal. When your team members make visible progress on a project, they’ll feel a boost of motivation that can carry them through the next step.
7) Recognize Results
Small goals provide plenty of opportunities to recognize your team’s hard work and the results they produce. You don’t have to give anything tangible just yet (we’ll deal with that in the next section), but do supply specific reasons why they did a good job.
Try something like, “Great job on that article, James. It’s already increased traffic to our customer’s website tenfold over last month.” When you show your appreciation and give particular reasons why the job they did was good, your employees will be motivated to do it again.
8) Reward Great Work
This method to improve motivation in the workplace is usually reserved for the end of a big project or the end of the year, but you can choose to do it any time. You can certainly reward excellent work with a bonus (i.e., money), but don’t limit yourself to that.
Get creative, think about what your team members need, and come up with a reward that fits each employee.
9) Stay Healthy
Your employees’ motivation depends, in large part, on their health. That may seem like common sense now, but you’d be surprised how many members of your team neglect to take care of themselves in the middle of a difficult project.
Encourage everyone to sleep eight hours whenever possible and to get regular exercise. When you promote the health of your team, you’re also promoting and improving their motivation.
10) Stay Fueled
In order to stay healthy—and in order to keep motivation high—your employee’s need to stay fueled. That means eating healthy and drinking plenty of water.
If you’re spending long hours in the office hammering out a big project, make sure everyone has healthy snacks. Pass out a bottle of water every hour or two. You can even order in lunch or dinner to keep energy levels, and motivation, as high as possible.
11) Take Regular Breaks
Regular breaks are a great time to relax and refuel. They’re also important for motivation. Taking a break every hour gives your team member’s time to de-stress and unwind. Not only does this keep them physically healthy, but it also helps keep their creativity firing on all cylinders.
Think about this: how many times have you come up with a great idea while shooting the breeze in the breakroom? You may have to make regular breaks mandatory, but the performance and motivation of your team will benefit because of it.
12) Have Fun
Not every project is going to feel like a game of kickball on a warm spring day. That’s to be expected. Some projects are going to feel like getting your wisdom teeth out. When those difficult projects rear their ugly heads, make it a point to find some way to have fun.
Of course, big things like ping pong or air hockey in the office do work, but there are other, smaller ways to make the workday fun and keep your team members engaged and motivated. Get creative.
Start Improving Motivation In The Workplace Now
There’s no time like the present to begin improving your team’s motivation. We suggest picking one or two methods from the list above and implementing them in your business. Once you’re comfortable with those, pick one or two more. Soon, you’ll be a master of motivation and your team will be performing at a higher level than ever before.
For more restaurant-management resources and for help scheduling your employees, visit GetSling.com today.