In these tough economic times, how do you keep your employees motivated and inspired? My advice would be don’t try gimmicks, but find ways to celebrate real accomplishments, instill hope based on a look to the future and ensure everyone knows that what they are doing is making a difference.
Gimmicks are easily seen by employees as just that… a gimmick. Gimmicks include things like an employee of the week award, chair massages or bring your dog to work day. These things are fine to do, as long as you realize they won’t produce long lasting motivation. If you ask someone what they like about the company they work for they probably won’t list these things first.
People go to work for the following reasons:
- A fair wage for a days work
- To do something they love
- To make a difference
If you want to truly motivate people, take care of these things first.
- Pay them a fair wage. Here in California, there is a hamburger chain called In-N-Out Burger. Teens like to work there because they pay above minimum wage. In-N-Out wants to attract quality people, so they pay more up front. No hassles. A fair days wage, for a fair days work.
- Hire people who are suited for the job they will be performing. If people are doing something they love or enjoy, they will stay motivated. I once worked with a secretary who hated her job. Needless to say, she wasn’t very good at it.
- If people feel good about what they are doing, they will feel even better if they know that the company is making a difference. If you don’t feel like you’re making a difference, then why bother. Even making something like making toilet paper is important. Can you imaging what the world would be like if there were no toilet paper, or if the paper we had was made of cardboard?
- To help people love their jobs, treat them with respect and ensure roles, responsibilities and expectations are clear. Help keep conflict to a minimum.
All the best,
All the time,