By Sharon Jones

There is a saying –

“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link”

When it comes to business you should only think of it as being as good as the weakest person on your team. This means that we should be trying to ensure that there is no real weak link in our team, that there is nobody who can weaken our business. We want every employee to be putting in 100% into our business. We want them to be on board, and we want them to be getting our business message across, but how can we ensure that they are doing this consistently? We need to ensure that we are keeping our employees motivated and happy.

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Keep Your Team Involved And Informed

A dictator is never going to get on well with his or her’s employees. You don’t want to be barking orders and refusing to listen to the ideas of your team. A good manager will encourage the best from their team. They will make the employees feel like it is a team effort and that their input is valued. It’s really easy to do this. You just need to make time to listen to your team and to communicate with your team. You could hold weekly meetings where you discuss the bigger picture and share any challenges that are coming up. Keeping those communication channels open is essential to keeping your employees motivated.

Encourage Employees To Leave Their Comfort Zones

I am not suggesting that you hire some travel towers and suggest that all of your employees bungee jump off them. Although, that might be fun. However, I am suggesting that you encourage your employees to push themselves out of their comfort zones and that you reward them for learning new skills and trying new ideas out in the office. If an employee sticks to the same routine and tasks, day in and day out, then they will soon become bored and as result, unmotivated. Try and get them to stretch themselves, set them new tasks that will challenge them. Allow them to become more and more confident in their abilities.

Celebrate Success

As a child we loved to receive praise, as an adult we still love to receive praise. Praise is how we measure how well we are doing. We want to know that our hard work is being recognized. We want to be told that we are doing a good job. As an employer we should be celebrating the success of our employees and praising them for a job well done. It is important that we don’t feel afraid to give credit where and when it is deserved.

Be Consistent

As the boss we will be under close scrutiny from our employees. That’s why we always need to ensure that we are consistent and fair with how we treat everyone. We can’t allow ourselves to have favorites and we can’t expect to be matey one minute and then authoritative the next. We need to keep a professional distance but also be approachable at the same time.  Employees want to see you as someone who is respectful of others. That means you probably don’t want to take part in the office banter but you do want to take the time to say hello to employees when you pass their desk. You should also always have an open door policy so people know that they can come and speak to you when they need to.

Lead By Example

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The best way to motivate our employees is by being motivated ourselves. We should show that we are willing to work hard and that we will muck in when needed and work late when needed. This means that we hold ourselves accountable as well as our employees. That means we admit our mistakes and we learn from them. We all make mistakes and that is what makes us human and our employees will see us as someone who isn’t afraid to admit their failings, this is a great message to be sending out to your team.. You want to inspire your employees through your behavior, there is a fantastic TED talk all about inspiring people to take action.

Money, Money, Money

You might want to think that your employers come to work because they just love their job. However, the reality is that they come to work to earn money. They need to earn money to look after themselves and their family. Therefore, money probably speaks the loudest. Money is key to retaining your best employees. Reward their hard work with regular pay reviews and pay rises. Look at a bonus system and paid time off. These are all great motivators for employees. if you have employees that have young families then looking into flexible working arrangements would also be greatly appreciated by your employees. Could you accommodate flexi hours and some remote working? Look into ways of helping to make your employee’s life working life easier. They will really appreciate that and as a result see you as someone who looks after their employees.

Take Time To Train

To make sure that your employees are doing their job to the best of their ability, you need to make sure that they have received the required training. Do they fully understand their job role and do they have the required skills needed to complete their daily tasks? You need to make sure that everyone is properly trained as this will ensure that your office is more productive.

Work Doesn’t Have To Be Torture

A lot of our life is spent at work and that means we want it to be fun and enjoyable. If you have a fun work environment that you are more likely to be happier at work and as a result you and your employees will work harder. Think about how you could make your workplace fun. How can you inspire people to work harder? Perhaps you could make Friday an early finish. You could have a dress down day, areas in the office for employees to sit and relax at lunchtime, a pool table, beer fridge. There are lots of things that you can do to create that fun vibe.

Do you have any tips for motivating employees?

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