Red Letter Days Motivates outlines ten practical ways to cultivate a motivated workforce 

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Regardless of the size of your company, having a team of highly motivated and skilled employees is crucial to success. There is a hefty price to pay when your employees aren’t motivated. Employees who don’t feel appreciated, motivated and engaged are less productive and less creative and ultimately less valuable to your business. Here’s ten great ways to help keep your employees engaged, happy and motivated as well as all working towards a common goal.

1. Help your employees to take care of their health

It is impossible for anyone to give their best if they don’t feel their best. By encouraging your employees to put their health first, you not only show them that you take an interest in them as people, but you also help them to be happier and healthier: both key factors in workplace motivation.

Ensure that you foster a positive attitude to health, one that encourages people to take breaks when needed, to eat well, and not to be afraid to call in sick when they need to. All too often workers feel pressured to come into work even when they are far from well enough to perform effectively. This not only risks spreading illness around the office, but also creates a culture of fear, and bad-feeling: ultimately translating as demotivating factors.

Look into providing healthy workplace snacks, ensure that people take regular breaks, and demonstrate a fair and sensitive attitude towards sickness.These all send a clear message to staff that you value their health.

2. Become your own role model

Managing people is a skill. A good manager is one of the most important factors when it comes to motivating others, so look at yourself first when you are looking at ways to improve engagement.

For your employees to feel confident in their role, they need to see that management are confident in theirs. Self-assured leaders, who demonstrate their belief in the business, give workers a sense of security and increase positivity in the workplace.

Add to this, a culture of transparency, where employees are kept informed about all aspects of the business, and you will build a sense of trust which is central to nurturing positive working relationships, where your staff want to do their best for the organisation that they feel a part of.

3. Put people in the picture

Make sure that people know just how important their role is in the business. Show them how their job links into the over-arching goals of the organisation, and how every position is crucial to the overall success of the company.

A sense of purpose is key to long-term engagement, without it, people quickly become demotivated, as they lose sense of why they come to work each day. When they understand the importance of the part they are playing; they can take pride in their work which leads to increased levels of engagement.

4. Set clear short-term goals

Goal-setting is so important, and short-term goals which are assessed and updated regularly ensure that people stay motivated with these goals clearly in their sights.

Rather than simply setting annual goals, set smaller goals on a more regular basis too. This not only keeps people on track, but it also means that they feel that they are achieving more, as they see their goals being reached and celebrated on a regular basis.

5. Give specific praise

Everyone reacts positively to praise, in fact, it has been shown to be one of the most important factors when it comes to workplace motivation. When you give specific, descriptive praise, naming what it is that employees have done of note, and detailing how this impacted the business, it becomes a much more powerful tool in your motivational kit.

6. Give people more independence

Although it can feel tempting to stand over people, directing them how to do their job in the way that you see best, this kind of micro-managing soon brings about a downturn in motivation.

Giving people more autonomy over their work and demonstrating your trust in their expertise, not only makes them feel good about themselves but also paves the way for them using their creativity to find new solutions to problems which would not have been discovered if everyone did things in a prescribed way.

7. Keep things upbeat

Negative energy is like a cloud spreading over the office. When the leadership team take on a predominantly negative stance, this becomes the overwhelming character of the organisation.

Find ways to increase positivity in the workplace, starting with the way that you interact with your team, choosing your tone, language and style carefully so that positivity becomes the dominant energy in the workplace. Tell people when they have done well, whether on a small or large scale. Look for the good and actively find things to praise.

8. Go somewhere unexpected

Change is as good as a rest. Getting people out of the office not only breaks the monotony of spending every day surrounded by the same four walls, but away days can also boost morale, build stronger teams, encourage creativity, and shake up any cobwebs which are at risk of setting in.

Whether you choose to take people on a fun team challenge, or you treat them to a day of enjoying the hospitality trackside at a racing event, or perhaps something more unexpected, you give them the opportunity to build relationships and have fun, both of which are fantastic motivators.

9. Set up a robust reward and incentive scheme

A reward programme is a significant investment in the future of your business and provides a clear structure to goal setting. A successful scheme is one which has been specifically tailored to meet the needs of your organisation, one where you can quickly set and review targets. One which engages your team, and which offers a range of rewards to suit all tastes and personalities.

Remember too that any rewards programme needs to be maintained and reviewed to keep it fresh, exciting, and relevant.

10. Share good news

Positivity spreads like wildfire and sharing good news is a fantastic way to create a buzz around the workplace. Encourage everyone to share in the successes of their colleagues, with public praise, weekly success sharing, and with options to share rewards with colleagues.

Don’t be coy about celebrating success. It may feel odd to shout about what you are doing well if this is not the way that you have traditionally done things, but start to be more open and public with praise. You will soon start to see a positive impact on engagement.

Reward and Red Letter Days Motivates are blogging about motivation and engagement. FOLLOW THE SERIES HERE

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