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Talent Spot |5 Ways to Motivate Your Employees More Than Money

JulienJulien subscriber Posts: 44
Every great company is built on a strong foundation that was set by a solid team. That is why, motivating your employees can get them involved and dedicated to their work, and then you can build up a strong team behind you. However, you cannot afford the prize to keep your people motivated across the board, you have to find other ways to get workplace fired up. Here are five ways to motivate your employees.

1. Learning and development
By up-skilling your employees you’re showing them both that they matter to the business, and also that there is room for progression within their role. What’s more motivating than being encouraged and supported to become a better version of you?

We recommend conducting a skills assessment before deciding on what training you’re going to organize for each employee. The employee will better appreciate, and be more motivated by, a sensible and well-considered plan of training for them. You need not worry if your business/department has no budget for learning and development – many don’t – there should be plenty of free and relevant networking events and conferences your employees can attend, you just need to look around.

One of the biggest challenges that the most recent Index identified was a talent shortage in many key sectors across the globe. In many industries around the world there is a significant gap between the skills employers need and the skills available. Therefore it’s not just for the employee’s benefit that you should invest in their skills development, but also your own and even the market within which you operate.
2. A clear path of progression
It’s not enough just to send employees off on training courses though. What’s even more motivating for most employees is being shown that there are more rungs on the career ladder that they can climb to within your business. One striking learning to come out of the recent Hays Global Gender Diversity Report was that only 42 per cent of women and 58 per cent of men feel as though they have the opportunity in their current role to promote themselves and communicate their ambitions. Similarly, more than half the people were surveyed in Hays Asia Salary Guide (54 per cent) cited the wish to face new challenges as a key reason for their departure from an organization, while almost the same percentage (48 per cent) indicated a lack of progression as the cause.

All of these grievances can be fairly easily resolved by clearly articulating a plan of progression for your employees. Make sure that you regularly (ideally at least twice a year) have meetings during which you discuss the employee’s ambitions and their promotion prospects within the business. If their promotion aspirations can’t currently be realised (due to lack of financial resource or that position being currently filled) then giving that employee increased autonomy or say within the business could be a satisfactory compromise.

That real sense of effort being rewarded with wider opportunities, whether it’s a promotion within the same department, another area of the business, or working in a new role in another country altogether, will fuel the motivational drive.
3. Recognition
Employees must be acknowledged and compensated equally for all of their contributions and achievements – this is almost what Herzog would have termed a ‘hygiene factor’ (something which doesn’t motivate if offered, but does demotivate if not). However you can do more than just the minimum of remunerating someone for their efforts, and issuing the occasional pat on the back.

Recognition comes in many forms, and it’s largely up to you and your good people management skills how well you execute it. Some employees would be greatly stirred by a formal recognition in front of other colleagues, such as a certificate or a team lunch, while others would prefer some extra praise and insight from yourself. What’s certain is that we all get a kick out of being acknowledged for a job well done.
4. Autonomy and responsibility
It’s important that your employees know where they stand within your business and feel like a vital cog – you can help improve their sense of this by giving them more meaningful tasks and responsibilities. The more impact an employee has in your business, the more likely they are to feel connected to the business, and to aggregate the business’ success with their own.

Employees should also feel as though they have room and license to voice their opinions and ideas where necessary, without fear of being ignored or pulled rank on. Welcome feedback from your team wherever possible, and instill in them the feeling that their views matter to you and the business.

5. Work environment
Work-life balance is a motivating factor that falls a little bit under both this and the previous sub-heading. Work-life balance is important, and can be greatly helped by being granted extra autonomy or flexibility, but it’s not just by increasing the life side of the balance that you improve your wellbeing. There are many ways you can help improve employees work environment which will greatly benefit their work-life balance, and thus their overall satisfaction, productivity and motivation.

Convivial working conditions such as proper ventilation, lighting and cleanliness are to be expected (and are again something we would categorize as ‘hygiene factors’), however many companies have now advanced their work environment offering considerably, and consider it to be a real differentiator when it comes to attracting clients.

Creating a workplace that people enjoy being in and feel inspired by is another way of maintaining the motivational buzz – although that doesn’t mean blowing the budget on hiring interior decorators or buying the most expensive espresso machine. Why not ask your team to come up with suggestions for ways to improve the workplace environment, agree a wish-list, and then action at least some of these tangible, collective rewards when a specific target is reached?

A sense of friendship and belongingness is also a sub-category of ‘work environment’ which serves as the most powerful antidote to absenteeism and conflict within the workplace. Team building activities can help strengthen trust, respect, comradery and, ultimately, motivation.

Acquiring new skills, being able to express themselves or making competitive workplace are the useful ways to motivate your employees, but to stir up the intrinsic ambition is the best way to motivate your employees such as giving them the skills they require to further their careers.
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