One key to growing your business and motivating is understanding what truly motivates your staff. If you are like most managers, the first thing you’ll say that want is money. This is undeniably true—that’s the whole point of working. People need money to live. But in the long term, does money truly motivate all employees (other than 100% commissioned people)?
Before one of your employees can take home money, they first have to do their job. As their manager, you’d like them to do the best job they can, being as efficient and innovative as possible (and avoiding procrastination as well).
In order to make sure your employees are properly motivated, you first have to take a look in the mirror because that’s where it starts.
Motivating Employees Starts With Trusting The Manager
Turns out that one key to motivating employees revolves around your staff trusting you. Last year in June, Mercer released the results of its new What’s Working™ survey, conducted in the first half of 2011 among nearly 30,000 workers around the world and 2,400 in the U.S.
The results indicated that half of Americans are unhappy with their job situations. Thirty-two percent of workers were seriously considering leaving their organization when they were surveyed. Why?
Mindy Fox, a senior partner at Mercer and the firm’s U.S. region leader, sums it up best:
“Employees see a ‘disconnect’ between what employers are promising and what they are delivering.”
If you really want to increase employee motivation, you need to follow through on your promises. This also includes not making promises you can’t keep.
Don’t promise that everyone will receive a bonus if you don’t have the cash. Don’t promise everyone an extra day of vacation if you don’t think it’s plausible. Choosing not to say things is just as important as following through on promises.
“Once you compromise your character, you are nothing,” an associate of mine said yesterday on an unrelated topic. How true.
It will be 10 times harder to earn trust back once your staff loses faith in you. This distrust will also be evident in their work: Efficiency will most likely decrease, while procrastination and carelessness will likely increase.
Once you’re sure that you’ve established trust with all of your employees, you can then build from there and try other techniques to motivate your staff. I’ve listed a few below.
Other ways to motivate employees:
- Empower your staff with autonomy and responsibly
- Show respect for them professionally and personally
- Publically show appreciation
- Write a short thank you note
- Offer reasonable flexibility
- Listen to your employees
This last point is really vital to not only motivating your employees but for also ensuring the long-term health and viability of your business. Based on my experience, most of the best ideas for improving a company come from the employees. What you consider “complaining” could actually be the best feedback you have ever gotten on a process or a procedure. If you truly listen to employee ideas and implement them, you will have a highly motivated workforce AND a business that will be growing and profitable.
Having a motivated staff is also critical if you ever plan on selling your business. At the end of this article, there is a link that will lead to a free download of a whitepaper that is more detailed about building and a business. One of the key areas that buyers closely examine before making an acquisition is how stable and dynamic the employee base is. This is especially the case for middle and upper management. Having a highly motivated, driven, hard working staff, will only enhance the value of your company, which is especially important if you’re considering exiting your business at some point.
Want to learn more about growing your business? Download a free copy of Building and Exiting a Desirable Business today.