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Tips for keeping your workforce motivated

Motivation levels within the workplace have a direct impact on employee productivity. Workers who are motivated and excited about their jobs and prospects carry out their responsibilities to the best of their ability and production numbers increase as a result. 

Here are 7 tips for keeping a motivated, happy workforce. 

1. Give recognition  

Managers who acknowledge their team’s efforts can expect up to 40% increased productivity. Often, the simple act of acknowledging a job well done or the effort put in is considered more effective than monetary incentives. Giving recognition also has a positive impact on job satisfaction and job retention. How might you give recognition besides verbal or written praise? A handwritten card, taking the person or team for a coffee or a meal, an organisation-wide announcement, or a well-chosen confectionery gift are all small gestures that can make a positive difference. 

2. Give autonomy and responsibility 

There is nothing worse for motivation than monotonous, routine work. You can inject motivation to the most routine of tasks by delegating responsibility and giving your staff autonomy so they develop their most creative side and get involved with what they do.  

 3. Embrace transparency, even the scary numbers 

To make employees feel part of the business, keep them informed about every move of the company. Nothing binds a team more than knowing that they have a shared purpose and direction. Discuss with them market news, opportunities, threats, and the state of the bottom line. By sharing this information with them you are also giving them a ‘why’ to their job so that they can visualise why they are important to the overall success and make them feel part of the process.  

4. Figure out what makes them tick 

A person’s strengths aren’t always on display. It takes careful observation and taking mental notes about what each individual is drawn to and what each person struggles with. Some employees might have been in their job for a long time and they may have forgotten what drew them to it in the first place, or they may have mastered a skill and need a new challenge. Recognise this, and give them an opportunity to use or improve their skills, and watch their motivation soar.  

5. Offer advancement opportunities 

Career progression is a strong motivating factor for many people. If there are real possibilities of advancement within the organisation, make sure that your staff are aware of them and leave the door open for career growth. For smaller organisations, a job promotion where there is a hierarchy structure may not always be practical, but a change in job title to acknowledge skill mastery or a new responsibility is an effective way of creating a sense of advancement without changing structural charts. If an employee feels they are working towards something, their efforts and initiatives will benefit the company.  

6. Remember the benefit of SMART goals 

Everybody has a daily list of objectives or tasks to achieve. When these goals are not well defined, staff can be unsure what they should be doing; when they are so ambitious that there is no hope of the team achieving them, this can be de-motivating. Setting objectives with SMART goals means they are much easier to follow SMART stands for specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Checking your objectives are properly defined in this way facilitates the assignment of tasks and responsibilities for the team members, encouraging motivation, focus and productivity. 

7. Upskill your workforce 

Does your team have the necessary skills to achieve their goals or adapt quickly to a change in circumstances? A company’s ability to upskill creates a significant competitive advantage and will keep your team effective and motivated. Consider training that will benefit the employee more holistically as well as training for specific tasks. For example, learning English will naturally improve your corporate global communications; staff will also benefit from it when they travel for pleasure and access cultural events in English. Did you know that learning a second language improves brain function, memory and creativity? Upskilling your workforce in English will pay dividends for your organisation in many ways! 

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