Marketing and strategy might be what initially gets a company noticed, but there is one component in the workplace essential for success: motivated employees. Even the most self-motivated employees need a little nudge here and there to produce consistently proficient work streaks.
The three keys to rewarding, and motivating, workers are showing them appreciation, respect and, yes, even a little love, Todd Patkin, author of Finding Happiness: One Man's Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and--Finally--Let the Sunshine In told IndustryWeek.
If they feel like they are a part of the company, their loyalty will encourage them to become role models for other employees without your request. They will rave about who they work for even when they're not on the clock. Soon, everyone will start talking about how great your company is. But first, your employees need to feel like their work matters in order to move mountains for you.
Here are the seven ways to get your employees motivated about your company and its mission:
1. Introduce yourself on a personal level
They say 'First impressions are everything' for a reason. In a workplace, this first impression is essential for helping employees determine their role in the company. So connect with people when you first meet them—ask them about their interests and plans for the weekend. They will feel like they are being treated as a person and not another worker. It will be the first step of their everlasting loyalty towards your company.
2. Make sure they know their skills are needed
Even if its a minuscule task, employees need to feel like what they're doing is meaningful and significant in order to value it. If not, they may become robotic and not care much about the product. In other words, employees need to feel connected and appreciated in something larger than their individual self. They need to feel like others are relying on their great work in order to produce something greater.
3. Make them feel ownership towards the company
The more connected employees feel towards a company, the harder they will work for it. Get them involved by asking their opinions on planning and decision-making. This way, they will feel responsible towards where the company is headed. It will induce ownership in the decisions they make and the work they produce.
4. Treat everyone differently
Don't give all your employees the same praise or critique. Everyone wants to feel like they're an individual, not a number. This way, whenever you do give them feedback, it will be taken a lot more seriously.
5. Focus on their strengths
Everyone has different strengths and skills that can benefit a company. Focus on those strengths and not so much the weaknesses—especially if it doesn't affect their job. Instead, show them ways to improve their strengths and how they can better use their skills to help the company.
6. Support their risk-taking initiatives
Your team needs to know that if they make a mistake, it will be okay. In order for a company to grow, chances and risks must be initiated on a company's behalf. Some of the greatest inventions resulted from mistakes. In the same way, employees need to know that they can take chances without the probability that they might be condemned if things don't work out. Without this reassurance, employees will be too afraid to take chances since it is better to remain a mediocre worker than an overachiever who made a mistake.
7. Leave your door open
If you hide behind a closed door all day, no employee will ever become comfortable enough to come to you if they need to. You are creating a level of hierarchy that will widen the gap between you and the essential component to your company's success. Be involved by leaving your door open and inviting. Don't be known as the jerk behind the closed door.