Employee motivation is one of the primary drivers of business growth and the success of any business. How motivated your employees are depends on many factors, some of which may be beyond your control, but for the most part, as the business owner, manager, or boss, there is a lot you can do to motivate your employees and cultivate a culture of success for your small business, or indeed any organization.
Why should you go all out to motivate your employees – aren’t you paying them?
You want to have motivated employees for a number of reasons:
- Motivated employees are more productive.
- Motivated employees are more creative.
- Teamwork thrives when employees are motivated.
- Customer care thrives when you have motivated workers.
- You need motivated employees to sustain a positive business heritage (or call it growth-oriented company culture) – a business where employees actually like to come to work and provide great customer care, fast service, a great customer experience.
- All of these things drive job satisfaction, and higher profits for your business.
How this Employee Motivation Guide is Organized
In the first section of this guide I have listed the top 10 common reasons why your employees could be grouching behind your back – and not contributing to their full potential. These are the reasons why your employees may be looking to quit the organization, and why you probably don’t enjoy the loyalty you desire among your staff or workers/co-workers.
In the next section after that I will show you 4 ways how to inspire loyalty in your business; and then in the third section of the guide I will give you 7 steps you can take to motivate your workforce for a boost in productivity, job satisfaction, and higher profits for the business…
Don’t worry; it’s just over 2,500 words… easy as pie! But if you prefer, you can download the PDF version here and read it anytime at your convenience…
The Top 10 Reasons Why Your Employees Aren’t Motivated (or Want to Quit)
From an employee’s perspective, management (or the boss) often conducts itself in ways that make no sense to them. During days of recession when the economy is slow and jobs are few, workers/junior employees will tolerate many of the “nonsensical” or harmful behaviors and policies listed below.
But when your employees get together for lunch and they start critiquing their bosses or the management of the business, these are the top 10 reasons behind their lack of motivation and why they could be thinking of leaving the company.
- “My boss is arrogant and believes his own press clippings.” As a result, staff feels taken advantage of.
The Point: “Pride is an admission of weakness; it secretly fears all competition and dreads all rivals.” – Fulton J. Sheen. Are your employees seeing you as a rival? If they did, this will drive a different kind of motivation, not the enthusiasm you are looking for to grow the business!
- “My manager micromanages rather than trusting staff to perform.”
The Point: Your staff probably hates you and they are looking for ways to resist being over controlled. According to business management gurus, not only are hyper-controlling managers irritating, they are inefficient too! This is a big de-motivator for employees. You have to believe in your team.
- “My manager is crushing my drive and desire.”
The Point: Hired because they were smart and energetic, the manager is afraid that he/she will not be seen as the shining light (the reason for success) and crushes the very qualities that made the new employee attractive to hire in the first place – and highly motivated and desirous of joining your company/business!
- “My boss guesses what is needed without resorting to data or facts.”
The Point: Maybe as the manager you have the facts, but you sure aren’t communicating your position, which leaves the impression that “It’s my way or the highway.” Your staff will choose to leave rather than be abused. And if they stay, you will have employees who are unmotivated and unsure how to contribute to the growth of the business.
- “I’m treated like a child.”
The point: Look, there are often generational differences between how you the manager/owner of the business work, and how your employees work. Younger workers in your business may have a “know-it-all” attitude, or unfamiliar techniques how to use technology to get things done. If you insisted on getting them to “conform” to your way of doing things, your employees could feel misunderstood and resent you the manager or boss. Of course this would impact employee motivation.
- “Manager promotes someone from a different function who does understand the job and how to be successful.”
The Point: If you did this, your employees probably do not believe they can learn from this person, they judge him/her to be an anchor around their department and they resent that they were passed over for promotion. And if an employee feels that his/her chances of a promotion are gone, of course motivation suffers, resentment sets in and you have a dysfunctional team.
- “My boss is extremely critical.”
The Point: It’s not good for the organization if the only way your employees interpret that you are pleased is when you are not nagging and nit-picking. There are even bosses who hold everybody else in the organization at fault when things go wrong – but never themselves.
As a leader you have to learn to juggle compliments and complaints like a master magician. Leaders who pass the credit along, and who use mistakes as a learning experience, always seem to be the ones who are most successful. They become successful because they know the value of their employees, and they stay successful by earning the love and loyalty of these employees.
- “I get ideas lobbed at me with little clarity and I have to figure out what is really wanted.”
The Point: Your employees can find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place if they don’t know the target of the task or you haven’t given them a clear idea of what needs to get done. Otherwise you will create frustration, and frustration kills motivation most of the time.
- “I don’t have sufficient resources to get the job done.”
The Point: Employees often believe they have inadequate resources to get a job done, leading to frustration and loss of motivation.
And the number one reason employees may be so stressed they may even be considering to quit:
- “My company is grossly underpaying me.”
The Point: Employees can read job ads online and learn what their real value is. As much as they may love you, the business, and their work, eventually people realize they need to pay their bills and if they feel squeezed their motivation to work will nose-dive – or they may start to think of leaving.
The short summary…
Your staff, the ones you could be mistreating or taking for granted are your competition’s staffing solution (just as theirs is for you). Rather than taking their continued employment for granted, motivate them, excite them, coach and encourage them and they will go do anything for you (at almost any price).
Effective Management – 4 Ways to Inspire Loyalty in Your Business or Organization
Today as people become increasingly conscious of their worth, they are no longer willing to stay in a job that has become intolerable and impersonal to them.
This means that in the corporate or business world, it’s not enough to have a system in place and expect people to perform and deliver.
Relationships between you and your employees are as important within the organization are they are in your personal life. How you interact with your employees impacts the level of commitment to the business and how motivated they will be to work for the growth of the business.
Whether you’re an executive or a small business owner with employees your biggest asset is the people you employ, and the number one key to ensuring that your business runs smoothly is to secure the loyalty and trust of the people on your payroll.
The days of people working for altruistic reasons have long passed. People want to feel appreciated and emotionally connected and without loyal people at your side, your business will go nowhere and die.
Below I have listed 4 very simple ways to keep the loyalty of your workers and co-workers. When you implement these practices, you’ll reap substantial benefits for yourself – a loyal team that works to advance the interests of the business, more productive employees, and satisfied customers.
- Make an effort to know the people who work for you.
When you find a way to get to know your workers and to approach them as individuals, people feel appreciated and become devoted to you.
Too often, many top managers forget too quickly where they started from. Don’t be like that. Put yourself in your employees’ shoes. Maybe you once had to slowly work your way up the corporate ladder yourself. How did you feel, working persistently away in less than optimal conditions? Maybe you sometimes ached to be noticed and get an encouraging word from your former boss! Well, if you did, you’re not alone… other people also long for the same things you once yearned for.
It’s easy enough to think, well I ‘m not a psychologist, plus, I’m paying them a salary. Just think again. If you want dedication, you certainly won’t get it by refusing to pay attention to those who work for you. And if that’s what it takes, then it’s wise to become proficient at it.
- Be open and straightforward with people.
Show people you care, and tell them what you expect of them. Be upfront and clear about your position in relationship to them and their work. Let them know exactly what they can expect from you in return.
Here are 2 very important things to learn about people and how to get along:
- a) Humility: No matter how high you may get, without people you are nothing. This is because it’s people who made you what you are.
- b) Ingenuousness: When you hide your true self from people, you end up not knowing yourself.
- Encourage and support your employees.
In order to encourage people, you need to know their strong and weak points.
Many people have great gifts and talents, but feel timid and are self conscious as a result of their pre-dispositions or the environment they grew up in. Do yourself and the society a favor and support people to grow and you’ll be greatly rewarded in return.
Also save yourself and your business a great deal of unnecessary suffering. Find out what people are truly good at and place them in the position where they feel nurtured and can fully implement their abilities.
When people know that you care and that you have their interests at heart, they will naturally strive to apply themselves. This is because people want to belong – to find an identity with the business, the organization, etc. But if they don’t find their care and love reciprocated, if you are the owner of the business or the boss, they will start to back off – from you and the business.
- Go the extra mile, show interest in your workers’ families, insinuate yourself in their lives.
This serves two purposes: it is a good way of keeping the path of communication open, and it shows you care for them as people. People trust someone who takes the time to ask after them and really listen to what they have to say. One reason why psychotherapy flourishes so well is the attention people get.
I know of some business owners, who make it a point to seek out their employees on their birthdays. These days you could even install apps that remind you of things like that…
People have natural needs which include acknowledging their existence. If you as a small business owner or CEO forget to cater to these needs, you may end up scratching you head when the business stagnates or fails, wondering what went wrong. If, on the other hand, you make time for your employees, you’ll be rewarded with great gratitude through, relentless and undying loyalty.
How to motivate your employees – 7 great tips
How do you motivate your employees?
First: Motivate yourself.
Are you being all you are capable of becoming? Are you as good a leader as you should be? Are you actively working to become a better leader – learning, reading, trying to understand your business and how to approach it?
After all, more businesses have been killed by bad leadership than by poor employees!
If you’re not motivated, you can’t expect your employees to be motivated themselves. If you’re not actively working to grow, improve, learn, you really aren’t setting much of an example for your employees to follow. Example is a powerful motivator. Here’s a great quote:
“Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” – Mark Twain.
It’s almost funny, eh?
Second: Help your employees see what benefit they will gain. It may be money, it may be fame, it may be recognition – whatever they want, it’s up to you to help them understand how to gain it. As Dale Carnegie wrote, in order to motivate others, help them to understand how it serves them, and what they will gain from it. In fact I have prepared a complementary guide to this one to help you do just that, where customer care is concerned: “5 Reasons Why Employees Should Concern Themselves With Providing Awesome Customer Care.” The report shows your employees what’s in it for them to provide excellent customer service.
Download the pdf version and give it to your employees, or give them the link. If you don’t, business owners who give this report to their employees will steal your customers! J
Third: Get to know your employees. Learn what makes them tick; learn what makes them think the way they do. Talk to them, get to know their names. Obviously, the bigger the company, the bigger this challenge will become – but at least get to know the people you see on a day-to-day basis. A byproduct of this can be that you will learn more – as you learn to see the world and the business through their eyes, you’ll learn different, possibly better ways to do something.
Many companies lose their way because the CEO is only listening to himself – and to the yes-men he has surrounded himself with.
Here’s another great quote: “If everyone is thinking alike then somebody isn’t thinking.” – Gen. Patton.
That someone could just as easily be you.
Fourth: Help your employees to understand your point of view. And motivate them to contribute by teaching them about the financial challenges that face the company. Help them to understand how they can make a difference. Co-opt them into helping you solve those challenges.
Fifth: Set a path they can follow, and help them see the vision you possess – assuming you have a vision. The best leaders help their followers to see their vision – and they have so much enthusiasm about that vision, they light a fire within their followers (infecting them with their vision).
Sixth: A good way to motivate your employees is to ask great things of your workers/co-workers. Show them what great goals you have set for the growth of your business/company and motivate them to contribute to their fullest potential.
Seventh: Remain positive, and expect others to do so, as well. Too many managers try to motivate through fear. Although fear is a powerful emotion, and a big motivator under the right circumstances, its results are only temporary. Using fear as a motivator only encourages more fear – until your employees are so afraid that they refuse to move.
Always remember that fear breeds fear, courage breeds courage.
This is how you motivate your employees. None of these steps above are hard to implement, but some of them may require a few changes/improvements in your personality – but that’s the whole point. If you want to be great at your business and to become a better boss and a happy business owner, you have to become a better person. Only shortcut that I know! J