A motivated team will complete tasks more quickly, produce work of higher quality and be far more enjoyable to work with than a team that simply follows the rules and routines. A motivated team will have real desire to achieve the company’s goals and ultimately this improves productivity and profitability. So how do you motivate your employees?
The simplest solution is to ensure you hire individuals for your team who are self-motivated to begin with. This may sound obvious, but most job hunters will describe themselves as driven or enthusiastic on their CV. It is your task to discover who really means it, before welcoming them as a colleague. Ask for prospective employees to give examples of the goals they have worked towards, how their efforts paid off, and what prompted them to initially set them. You are looking for a candidate to reveal that they have high expectations of themselves and have made purposeful and proactive decisions out of dedication towards their goals. Body language can also be a good indicator of a motivated candidate, as well as how prepared they seem for their interview. If they appear passionate and determined to do well in your interview and secure a job offer, chances are they will remain passionate and motivated once they have successfully been hired.
For those looking to motivate existing employees, the best technique is to hand over more responsibility. If an employee has little or no control over their day-to-day activity they will be far less invested in their work. You should ensure each of your employees has a degree of freedom to choose which tasks to focus on each day, and is held accountable for their actions. This will motivate them to care about best practices and take more pride in their work. It also creates an opportunity for your employees to grow and improve, which you should actively support- if for no other reason than because employees who feel valued are more loyal to their business.
It is important to note that an employee with too much responsibility may feel their targets are unrealistic and therefore lose motivation. Communicate closely with your employees to ensure you both agree the goals they are responsible for are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound), and not unreasonably numerous or stressful. Finally, make the consequences of each employee’s actions clear and appropriate. This way workers will be motivated towards gaining a fair reward or avoiding a fair punishment, for a significant show or lack of effort.