Summer’s in sight but maintaining staff morale and motivation can still be a challenge when it comes to leading an exhausted workforce. Speaking generally, the current cohort has been under immense pressure in both personal and professional spheres, which has been carried forward as hybrid working practices mature.
For businesses, this time of year can mean people begin to get itchy feet and move onto another role elsewhere – this is especially true following the events of the pandemic so far.
Bearing this in mind, it’s a great time to take a look at how we approach staff motivation. Inspiring and motivating teams isn’t something all small business owners and management possess; it might not always come naturally. But these skills are what make you a cut above as a leader.
When we think about motivation, old-school thinking focuses on salary and benefits – meeting an employee’s basic needs, the primary reason they come to work in the first place. But staff motivation runs deeper than that. Job dissatisfaction can cause such pervasive harm to a person’s overall well-being that no number of financial incentives can plaster the wound. That’s why transactional benefits just aren’t enough to maintain and nurture a happy, productive environment.
It helps to think about team motivation by breaking it down into three essential components:
- Purpose – the “why”, the reason which drives and gives meaning to everyday activities, contributing to a larger cause
- Mastery – honing skills and sharpening knowledge to become better at something that matters
- Autonomy – the right or condition of self-government, the power to direct our own lives
Top tips for staff motivation in a small business
#1 – Give credit where it’s due
Recognition, which may take many different forms, is highly received by people. It’s easy to forget, but saying “thank you” informally is crucial. Announcing the implementation of a new recognition policy would come out as unauthentic, so refrain from doing so.
#2 – Coach others to lead
It’s human nature that we dislike being told what to do. Try asking the next time you need something in a manner that allows the other person greater freedom and autonomy. Give someone the chance to contribute by translating “I’d want you to do it this way” into “How should we get this done; what possibilities do we have?” This demonstrates that you appreciate their input and gives them some responsibility for the task’s outcome, which is more motivating than merely following instructions. Additionally, it aids in their comprehension of the issue and enables them to generate their answers, which may be superior to yours. #3 –
#3 – Give compliments freely.
Nothing is worse than believing that your efforts have gone unnoticed. Generous employee praise is simple, inexpensive, and effective. Being mindful of tiny everyday victories and celebrating them whenever feasible is a terrific method to demonstrate gratitude since it takes diligent supervision to express appreciation for outstanding work. Make it a point to express gratitude often.
#4: Steer clear of harsh criticism and reprimand.
The feedback that is provided harshly is very demotivating. Use an indirect method to encourage others to learn from their errors and improve in the future. Not that faults should be ignored, but it’s also crucial to gauge how well-received direct criticism from the public will be by the audience. Others are more sensitive to professional criticism than others, while some have thicker skin than others. It’s crucial to adapt your strategy to each team member. Having your supervisor publicly criticize you for a mistake you committed is neither inspiring nor empowering.
#5 – Take a minute to acknowledge your victories.
Group exercises are necessary to celebrate significant anniversaries. Getting together strengthens a sense of purpose and contributes to acknowledging everyone’s labor of love.
Together, you should navigate the highs and lows of business since both good and bad things might happen. Say it’s excellent when it is. Make sure you are honest about it when it is negative as well. As a leader, being genuine and honest with the individuals you deal with demonstrates your regard and trust for them. Being open and honest about how things are going will make it much simpler to keep everyone on board throughout the company journey.
These suggestions are predicated on the understanding that workers are persons with unique needs and motivations at work. A highly engaged workforce may be fostered by demonstrating your dedication to it via the way you lead and interact with your team. It may seem simple, but you’d be amazed how many companies fall into unhealthy practices and think that workers are only motivated by paychecks. That is not how human motivation works. Making your long-term ambitions, a reality requires involving others in your vision and inspiring them to work with you as you expand your firm.