Everyone wants to feel fulfilled in their job, regardless of what it is. As an employer, you have more power than most to ensure your employees are reaching their potential by making changes to the company culture and the way things get done. And, if granting happiness to others isn’t enough to push you toward some changes, consider that employees are more productive when they’re happier.
Also consider that your business will constantly struggle with a high turnover rate and unstable staffing if your employees don’t enjoy their jobs. So, how can you motivate your employees in teamwork and dedication?
Even the playing field
A little healthy competition never hurt anyone, but it’s never a good idea to force employees to fight each other for their livelihood. Sure, that may seem a little extreme, but it is the way many employees view work when they’re placed at a disadvantage due to another employee’s successes. Instead, create an atmosphere and pay structure that places incentives on teamwork and the successes your employees experience together. You will find that your employees will begin to motivate and encourage each other, rather than work against each other.
Implement employee decision-making
Just because your employees work for you doesn’t mean they can’t possibly have good ideas for improving or expanding business. When you give your employees the power to make decisions or give input — no matter how small of an area of your business – you’re essentially allowing your employees to take more responsibility for their work. Ultimately, a greater sense of responsibility produces a greater work ethic.
Value honor more than consequence
As an employer, you probably have an idea of exactly how you want your employees to perform their jobs, and when they fail to do so, you may have a system of correction in place, such as write-ups, that creates consequences for poor actions. However, consequences do not motivate, but rather, threaten. An employee will never strive to be better as his or her job because of a consequence, but may do so if the result is public or even private recognition. Keep consequences for poor job performance in place, but put more emphasis on rewards, incentives and recognition. Always champion more successes than you chide poor decisions.
Be the example
Leadership flows from the top down, so if you want unified, encouraged and happy employees, be that way yourself. Coach your team, and be a mentor to those who show the most interest in their work. Provide clear and open feedback in the same way you would want an employer to provide you on a day-to-day basis. Show your appreciation for each employee’s commitment, and create an atmosphere of trust and respect between yourself and your staff.
Keep your employees informed
Nothing causes more unrest than a lack of information. Rather than keep your employees in the dark or at your mercy for managing personal information, give each employee access to his or her own information online. For example, many HR services can give employees access to their own time and attendance information, as well as access to payroll information and 401(k) management. Employees want to have instant access to this type of information and will appreciate the convenience it offers.
A happier, more productive office
Implementing one or some of these ideas can lead to a complete restructuring of your business as you and your employees know it. Although change is sometimes difficult, investing in the community within your workplace will inevitably lead to improved morale and heightened consumer confidence.