Money may be a key motivating factor for your employees, but it’s far from the only one. On a day-to-day basis, the environment in which people work can either spur them to greater heights or leave them without spirit or ambition. It’s up to the CEO or business owner to create an atmosphere of trust and credibility, one where motivation is on tap and employees can flourish. Here’s how:
Offer a vision. Everyone wants to be part of something larger than themselves, particularly if they’re devoting 40 or more hours a week to it. True leaders must regularly share their company vision so employees will emotionally connect with their roles and the activities needed to bring it to fruition. A comprehensive understanding of one’s fit and their importance therewith, can serve as a powerful motivator.
Recognize and reward. How often you do hear about a team member doing an excellent job and make a point of recognizing them yourself? When an employee puts together an outstanding presentation for one of your clients, is he permitted to sit in on the meeting and noted for his contribution? A CEO’s praise for a specific achievement or behavior can have a huge impact in the workplace. This can be as simple as a quick phone call or an appreciative email (and CC-ing the employee’s supervisor).
Non-monetary rewards work as well. Consider setting aside one or two days a month to take an outstanding employee to lunch. Honor an entire department’s contribution with a special luncheon or tickets to a spa—some setting or event where the team feels recognized for their collective accomplishment. Fun is another great motivator.
See and be seen. For whatever reasons, too many CEOs stay locked up in their office or away at off-site meetings and conferences. It’s important for employees to know their leader is concerned about them as well as the company’s profits. When possible, schedule time for a “walk-through” of the business, greeting people by name and asking about their current projects. Sincere interest—even lasting just a couple of minutes—lets employees know you don’t consider them mere cogs in a wheel.
Keep your door open. In the same respect, allot as much time as you can to keeping your office door open to your staff. Employees understand how busy you are and will avoid taking up much of your time. But even having the opportunity to stick their heads in and say hello means a lot to people.
Provide genuine career growth opportunities. For most employees, it’s critically important to see a path ahead for their career. By promoting individuals from within, you send the message that hard work and dedication really can pay off. CEOs should instruct their HR department to consider an internal option first when a position opens up. Also, employees who wish to take on additional projects or responsibilities should always be encouraged to do so.
Share what you can, whenever you can. When employees can’t get reliable information on how well the company is doing, or when they’re forced to rely on gossip and rumors, there’s little motivation to work toward an uncertain goal. On the other hand, sharing details about key business decisions and actions generates a sense of involvement and a responsibility to contribute to the company’s growth. Plus, informed front-line staff may have insights and ideas about improving business that C-level executives would never have considered.
Motivated employees deliver exceptional individual performances and stellar group productivity. Motivated employees also stay longer with the company. It all depends on the CEO recognizing that without employees, nothing gets done.
For more information:
“5 Ways to Motivate Employees” – Forbes.com