Employees are every business’s most important resource. Therefore, proper human resource management is crucial to a company’s success. The key to having productive employees is motivation. You can employ the most competent workers available but if they aren’t giving their best because they are not motivated, their results will suffer. However, keeping workers motivated is not always easy. The easiest solution is to pay them more, but it’s not always the most effective one. A higher paycheck will certainly make your employees happier but that is only a temporary solution. There are better and more permanent solutions to keeping your employees motivated and productive, and here are a few tips.
Work can be hectic. Things don’t always go as planned and some days are more stressful than others. In order to keep your employees happy during hard times, you need to be honest with them. Show them that you are a unified company and that you are all working together towards the same goal. You should try to create a working environment where people are honest so that goals and ideas are shared freely. The best way to do that is to lead by example. Make sure you keep your employees informed about long- and short-term goals, share with them quarterly financial reports and show them the vision of the company and the direction you are heading in.
Everyone agrees that communication is important when it comes to the relationship between the employer and employees. However, very few people understand what that really means. Communication is not only about clearly articulating your thoughts. Communication is about being able to listen as well. If you want to keep your employees motivated, you need to take the time to truly understand their point of view, their wishes, ambitions, and fears. Frequent team meetings are important for keeping morale up. Sitting down is not only about solving the recent issues, it’s also about getting to know your team and building trust. Being an entrepreneur means lots of important tasks that need your attention, but don’t forget about the people that work for you and include them in your schedule.
The Little Things
Impressing your employees is not always about making grand gestures. More often, it’s about the little things. If you have good communication, you will pick up on the little things that are important to the people around you and can focus your energy towards those elements. For example, maybe one of your workers commented on how they really like a certain author. You can surprise them by buying them a book from the same author for their birthday. Try to also catch the little troubles that appear around the workspace. Employees will talk about big issues that bother them but often they might be reluctant to bother you about the little things, so it’s up to you to pick up on those. For example, maybe some employee sits right under the air conditioner and it’s making him uncomfortable.
Moving the air conditioner to another location will not only make that particular employee happier but it will also show everyone else that you are interested and care about their wellbeing. There are other small things that can make the lives of people around you easier. Switching to reliable payroll cards can make a big difference for both you and your employees. A lot of employers chose this option because it eliminates paper checks and gets rid of unnecessary fees or reconciliation headaches.
Building a strong company culture is something that you need to think about early on in your business. The fact is that every company has a culture, some are by design and some create themselves. If you don’t work on the culture of your organization, it automatically takes the form of your most vocal employees. A better option is to define your own culture. The first step is to define your values. Sit down with your employees and define the values that truly make your company unique and then work on enforcing them. Don’t just write them down for the sake of it but truly live them. Make sure everyone in the firm understands what those values are and accepts them as their own. It’s hard to change people’s values, though. For that reason, you should focus your hiring efforts on the values that you define. You can always educate an employee and train him to do a better job. It’s easy if the person is motivated and wants to improve. But if the people you hire don’t share your values, it’s very hard to change that. So hire for values first, and skills second.
These are only some of the tips you can use as an entrepreneur to keep your employees motivated. In practice, you will have to adjust your approach to the specific people you work with. But if you surround yourself with people that share your vision, and if you maintain a friendly company culture through honest communication, you are on the right track for success.