You’ve put in the effort of building your company from the ground up. You’ve done the research, carefully written your business plan, pored over budgets and finances, and made key hiring decisions. But as soon as you start hiring people, things can start to get harder. A motivated team is vital to meeting business objectives and goals, so looking after your employees should be at the top of your list of priorities. Motivating a team or group of employees takes a lot more knowledge and can be a lot of hard work. Take the difficulty out of employee motivation with some fun suggestions for boosting morale and maintaining work enthusiasm.
How to keep your staff motivated
No one is immune to the mid-week slump and we’ve all been through seasons where work is not interesting or engaging. If you have hired enthusiastic and motivated staff, you don’t want them losing momentum because of a lack of motivation. Keeping staff motivated if they are already on board with your business and vision can be fairly straightforward. Simple acts and small efforts on your part can make a key difference in creating an inspiring environment, an engaging workplace, and a supportive business structure.
How do you keep employees happy and motivated?
Make your office a pleasant place
Work is never as efficient or productive in a dark, cramped, or uncomfortable place. Make sure your offices have enough lighting, preferably natural. Ensure the workplace is kept clean and tidy. When you think about your workspace you should be thinking of a place you want to be, so make sure your decor, furnishings, and even your equipment is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Ask your employees about their needs and wants as well and give them a voice in creating the perfect work environment.
Cultivate a great company culture
Culture starts at the top. Ask yourself what a good company culture looks like and then make sure you emulate that to your staff and don’t entertain behaviour that goes against company culture. Respect, humour, honesty, and professionalism all go a long way in creating an office environment where people want to work. A few other great ways to build up a supportive and inspiring company culture are:
Celebrate your employees important personal and professional milestones
Build in education days – but let your employees choose what they want to learn
Create out-of-office teams or groups such as book clubs or sports teams
Have fun team building activities like escape rooms and laser tag
Regularly and openly complement and thank your employees and encourage them to motivate those around them too
If we’ve learnt anything from Google, it’s that a happy worker is a hard worker!
Keep job satisfaction and fulfilment a priority
One of the main reasons people leave their jobs is because they feel stuck, underutilised, or under appreciated. Job fulfilment is a surprisingly good motivator and can be fun for you to tap into as an employer. Make sure you know your employees. Once you understand their interests, their experience, their strengths, and their skills you can give them a lot more freedom in work. Allow them to expand their job descriptions or to try out new things. Trust them enough to give them bigger tasks – and offer praise for jobs well done. When people are part of creating their work, they are more interested and invested in it and more likely to enjoy the work as well as the outcome.
It’s a lot easier for your employees to be motivated about work when they know their job is secure. A recent study showed that 96% of employees prefer jobs that offer flexibility! You can keep your employees motivated by simply offering flexibility around hours, work location, and routine. This is easier to handle in some industries than others so you may need to get creative. Whatever you do, make sure your employees feel valued by showing that you see their home-priorities as important to you too.
How do you improve employee motivation?
Once you’ve made sure your workplace is a pleasant place to be and you’ve set up a good work culture, there are a few things you can do to improve motivation from there too. Communicate regularly with your staff, show them that you trust them (avoid micromanagement as much as possible), have fun activities and incentives, but allow your staff to opt-out if they would prefer to. Improving motivation for your team is all about recognising that everyone on your team brings different strengths to the office and is uniquely placed and valued. Have a look at some of these fun ideas for improving staff motivation:
Make a game out of work
Set achievement levels and create incentives. Identify any work that might be monotonous or boring and create a competition out of it.
Have regular required breaks
Give your staff a day off for no reason. Never underestimate the motivating strength of a day off or a good holiday. Not able to give a whole day off? That’s fine too, work in nap-breaks or early home-times where you can. You’ll be amazed at the results!
Provide free services
Any employee whose workplace offers them incentives is going to be far more motivated. Offer services like personal trainers or nutritionists periodically. Get an accountant in to help your self-employed staff at tax time. Find out if your staff would benefit from childcare during an evening every now and then. Find out what the needs of your people are and then try and fill those needs if you can.
Trust us when we tell you laughter is a great motivator! Don’t squelch it (unless it’s as someone else’s expense). Encourage humour and camaraderie.
Host volunteer days
Support charities that your staff believe in by organising volunteer days or office fun days to raise money and support.
Have fun days
Christmas, Halloween, and big sporting events are all great days to get into the spirit, dress up, and have fun. Having fun days allows your staff to show their unique personalities while breaking up monotony. The shared experience will also help to build friendships and strengthen the company culture you worked so hard to create.