Motivational ideas for the workplace
When it comes to growing your business, you can use all the fancy tools and systems you want, but if you’re employees aren’t motivated to do great work, you’re not going to get very far.
There are a number of reasons why your employees might lack the motivation they need in order to do their best work each day—they could be feeling unappreciated, bored with their responsibilities, or unhappy with the benefits and flexibility offered to them.
If you’re looking to boost motivation among your team members this quarter, try these 70 simple ideas:
1. Gamify, with incentives.
Make a game out of work, and provide rewards when goals and achievements are met.
2. Be positive.
How the boss leads, the rest will follow. If you’re a grump, they will be, too. Set the tone for the workplace by being positive.
3. Demonstrate trust.
Micromanaging is not trust. Constantly correcting or re-doing work is not trust. If you give an employee a task and they do it differently than you would have, trust them enough to let it stand.
Show trust whenever it is possible.
4. Recognize accomplishments regularly.
Recognition for accomplishments shouldn’t be rare. They should be regularly done. These moments lift up team members and give the others a break from their day.
5. Give them a chance to lead.
Really lead, not you telling them they are in charge and then coming in and micromanaging everything they’ve done into the ground.
6. Gather feedback for reward.
Encourage “spontaneous” feedback by providing an incentive. Maybe you send out an email survey to your team, and offer to give those who respond permission to leave two hours early.
7. Give them a purpose.
Employees need to know what they do matters. Are they just tightening widgets, or are they building battleships? Make sure they know what the purpose of their work is, and make it a noble one.
8. Support their new ideas.
You’re not the only one with ideas. Encourage, support, and sometimes even implement the new ideas they have.
9. Give them stock.
Make the health of your business matter to them by giving them stock through an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP).
10. Insist on work-life balance.
Insist on work-life balance. Insist they take breaks. Insist they take vacation time. Refuse to allow them to login on their home computer after hours. Shut down email servers on Friday so no weekend email goes out. Whatever it takes.
Workaholics may not like it at first, but you’re doing everyone a favor in the long run.
11. Let them see the end game.
Not only do they need to know their purpose, but they need to know what everyone is working towards. Help them see, as much as possible, that the idea of team unity is necessary for that end game. Keep them posted on how it’s going.
12. Give them a chance to rest.
Can you institute a napping time? If you can, you’d be surprised at how many takers you’ll have for it.
13. Be transparent and honest.
In all things, be honest. They can’t trust you otherwise, and it’s hard to work in fear and distrust.
14. Set goals of all sizes.
Have big goals, project goals, department goals, personal goals–whatever it takes. But make sure you have smaller goals that are attainable, otherwise they’ll feel failure and disillusion at never reaching goals.
15. Give each person power.
No one wants to feel powerless. Give them power either by involving them in decisions that affect them, or by letting them try on leadership roles periodically.
16. Focus on individuals, not just teams.
Your employees are people, not faceless teams. Communicate and think of them as such.
17. Have an open door.
Remove any barrier that might keep them from talking to you, whether it’s limited office hours, a fussy personal assistant, or lack of availability.
18. Have a morale officer.
If you’re too busy to be bothered with employee morale, put someone else in charge of it. Make morale a priority. Encourage fun events and revamped procedures so the workplace isn’t drudgery. Make morale so purposeful there’s someone doing it as part of their job.
19. Keep your promises.
Employees can’t trust someone who doesn’t keep promises. And they resent it, especially, if they were promised financial or career rewards. Broken promises demotivate immediately.
20. Let them be unique individuals.
This is about respecting personalities. For example, your ideal open workplace may be torture for an introvert. Respect their individual nature as much as you can and accept that your ideals may not be theirs.
21. Listen to them.
Look them in the eye, know and use their name, ask questions, and respond appropriately. Take to heart what they say. Take action on what they say.
22. Provide free and helpful services.
Bring in a personal trainer, an accountant at tax time, or a chair massage professional. Find a service that your employees would love to have access to once in awhile, and offer it to them for free there at work.