Engaging Your Employees – What Are the Best Practices?

If you’re a business owner, it’s no surprise that a driven and motivated workforce can have a significant impact on your business’ bottom line.

Studies show workers who feel appreciated are more likely to go the extra mile to provide great customer service –helping them to feel appreciated and more inclined to come back. Workers that are motivated and engaged are also 38 percent more likely to have above-average productivity, which, of course, is great for profitability.

While many companies feel that the secret to a driven workforce is hiring great talent, the fact is that motivation is largely an inside job. The type of work environment that your company has, and the opportunities that you provide your employees with can all have a significant impact on keeping your workers motivated and engaged.

If you’re looking for a few ideas for motivating your team, here are a few key things that you can do to help engage your workforce.

Communicate Your Expectations

As people, we like to be in-the-know about what is going on. For employees, having a clear understanding of what’s expected of them is important for keeping them motivated and on-task. This means creating comprehensive job descriptions, and ensuring that your team has read and understood theirs. This also means ensuring that employees are kept informed and receive important communication that concerns them. Whether you have a system for passing information via phone, email, or in-person –ensuring that your team is well-informed is essential for employee engagement.

Establish Clear Objectives for Performance Reviews

Performance reviews can be stressful and frustrating for employees. For workers who don’t clearly understand their goals of objectives, this is especially the case. Instead of conducting reviews based arbitrary milestones that employees may see as disconnected from the bigger picture, ensure that you workers are well-informed about their performance goals, and understand exactly how these objectives fit into the company’s overarching objectives.

Keep It Positive

Positive reinforcement has been shown to go much further in motivating workers than negative criticism. No one is perfect, but by focusing on the positive things that your employees bring to the table, you will help them feel more connected and appreciated, and more motivated to do their best at work. A study by career website Glassdoor found that while a demanding boss or fear of losing a job are poor motivators, showing appreciation can go a long way towards encouraging an employee.

Provide the Right Tools

One of the best ways to frustrate your team is by failing to provide them with the tools they need to perform at their best. Ensuring that your team is equipped with the right tools is essential for keeping your team’s morale high. Providing training –both on-site, and outside the workplace is important. Consider encouraging them to further their education with college courses or other forms of training. This will help to better equip them for their tasks, boosting their confidence and helping to keep them motivated.

Offer Opportunities for Advancement

There are few things more demoralizing than being stuck in a job that offers no opportunity for advancement. Instead of hiring your workers and expecting them to remain at the same level, consider offering them the chance to grow their skillsets and advance their careers. An added benefit of allowing your workers to advance is that you’ll be able to source your managerial talent from in-house, instead of having to go outside to hire, you’ll be able to promote your best team members who are already familiar with your company and its internal operations.

Get to Know Your Team

Finally, it’s important for managers and team leaders to show a genuine interest in their team. Getting to know your workers can help you to motivate them in a number of ways. For instance, understanding what drives and motivates them as well as what causes them stress can be extremely helpful when it comes to providing incentives for them, and can help you to take action to reduce stress factors in the workplace. Being understanding will also make you more approachable when problems arise, which will make your team more likely to come to you when there’s an issue or concern–allowing you to stave off problems while they’re still small, preventing them from becoming more major.

While many companies seek to hire workers who are motivated and driven, the fact is that intrinsic motivation only accounts for part of the picture. Much of a worker’s motivation can be directly influenced by their job and work environment. By taking steps to design a workplace that helps your team to reach their full potential, while ensuring that their goals are aligned with the company’s objectives, you’ll be able to create an engaged team that’s driven and motivated to do their very best.

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