Have you ever worked out with a personal trainer? Or attended a talk where the speaker was particularly inspiring?
There’s a kind of high that accompanies either of those scenarios, isn’t there? You know, someone cheering you on and telling them they believe in you?
It’s that feeling of wanting to be better and do better. And that feeling can translate to either our professional or personal lives.
There must be a word for that, right? Oh yeah. Motivation.
Motivation is a powerful thing that can make anyone feel like anything is possible. Sure, hard work will always be a factor.
But, motivation gives us a sense of purpose to achieve our goals anyway. You might struggle with motivation when it comes to eating healthy, breaking bad habits, or even just getting out of bed.
But you know the one place that motivation ought to be implemented in the most? The workplace.
Motivation in the workplace is the key ingredient to a company’s success. After all, when employees feel motivated, productivity and performance soar.
But what are the exact benefits of employee motivation? And how can motivation levels be raised to make for a more engaged workforce?
If you find yourself asking those same questions, follow these tips below. You’ll discover why motivation is important for workers, leaders, and management alike.
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Benefits of a motivated workforce
The value of motivation can sometimes go underestimated. But after reading these benefits, you’ll never let the importance of employee motivation slip your mind again.
Increased employee engagement
How many times have you looked up in a meeting only to find half of the room asleep? Too many to count?
Well, employee motivation can help with that. When employees feel motivated, they are more engaged at work and conscientious of doing a good job.
They care about putting out positive energy towards others. And they feel comfortable and excited to contribute to the team.
Motivated employees add to a productive environment. And employees are more likely to lead by example when encouraged to perform their best.
Greater job satisfaction
We’ve all been through the drudge of going to a job we hate every day. And, needless to say, those jobs have left us less than satisfied.
No one seems to care about communication. Nor do they consider why communication is important in the first place.
But a company that is committed to motivating its employees is different. No longer do employees have to motivate themselves alone.
The company can help them get motivated as well. When companies boost morale, they measure their success based on the happiness of their workers.
The goal alone is no longer just sales or customer satisfaction. It’s satisfaction on behalf of the managers, employers, and employees alike.
This shift in culture encourages its workforce to show up with ideas. Resources are easily provided to them.
And when employees are treated this well, they’ll no longer have to jerk themselves up in the morning. The business they work for will have already done it.
Improved retention rate
Any workplace with high levels of employee turnover already sends out a bad sign. If people don’t want to stay at the company, why should you?
But businesses with high engagement among their employees tend to maintain a higher retention rate. And this keeps the environment afloat and energized.
Employee motivation is great for boosting the energy of the office. And with employees staying on longer, they get the chance to know one another even better.
Sometimes, it can be motivating just to know who you’re working with. So managers, employers, and employees alike will feel motivated to work alongside one another for a great performance.
Ongoing employee development
Sometimes, a business can feel like just that. Business.
No personal connections are made. Instead, the only focus is on sales and getting customers engaged.
But this can leave the entire workforce feeling undervalued. And from there, performance and productivity just start to go down.
But employee motivation invests in each individual worker. Managers can help employees look at how they can best perform their specific job.
And with this engagement, employees start to feel like valuable individuals within the whole of the workplace. Soon enough, receiving feedback is no longer something employees dread.
Instead, feedback becomes an opportunity for both managers and employees to grow. The key to a productive environment is motivating each individual person.
Once the individual employee feels motivated, then the culture of the workplace will follow suit. And your company’s performance will only benefit from everyone’s individual success.
Greater innovation and creativity
Productivity is so much more than sales. It’s about creativity and innovation.
When a manager can encourage workers to feel motivated, employers are more likely to show their commitment through action. They take on a more active role.
In this way, positive reinforcement can help motivate new leaders to arise. If employees are put down, then there’s no chance of achieving any sense of productivity.
But motivation assures that positive resources will be provided and maintained. After a while, the workplace no longer feels like a space that others inhabit.
It becomes a space that others actively create. And that is something to encourage as well.
You might be surprised to see the number of ideas that can come out of a motivated mind. After all, these ideas might even make everyone’s jobs easier and more fulfilling.
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Increased loyalty and commitment
Employee motivation might seem like a term that’s disguised to boost sales. But motivated employees are much happier to accomplish the company’s goals when they feel valued.
Positive management will keep employees coming back. And a reward system will similarly encourage employees to perform their very best work.
Just as in life, employees need to know who they work for. Not just who their manager is in the office.
But what their manager values. That kind of open communication is important for employees and their own development in the workplace.
So motivation is much more than corporate success. It’s personal success.
How to improve employee motivation
By now, you know the importance of employee motivation. But how do you go about instituting employee engagement?
#1. Lead with a clear vision in mind
The key to motivation is knowing what’s on the other side of your efforts. So let your employees in on company goals.
Companies vary between their values and their work culture. So getting everyone on board at your company is a must for success.
But as you do so, explain what success is for this company. How does this company measure good business and good work?
Give employees a reason to perform their best work. Don’t just expect it from them.
By including them in the process, you will create an atmosphere that promotes teamwork. With everyone reaching towards a common goal, there’s nothing your business can’t achieve.
#2. Set targets to achieve
Your company may have the big picture in mind. But for employee motivation, it’s best to set attainable targets frequently.
Small milestones maintain employee motivation by offering them rewards on a more regular basis. Nobody likes to work with no end in sight.
So giving those small targets routinely is important for maintaining morale and keeping everyone motivated. Plus, it helps management stay on task towards the big picture anyway.
Remember that motivation comes in all shapes and sizes. There’s no shame in starting off small.
In fact, sometimes when you’re just getting started, small can be the best way to go. So start with small goals and celebrate your employees’ accomplishments.
Then, keep those motivated employees going by adding on challenges down the line. This is a great way to track employee and team development while reminding you of just how far you’ve come.
#3. Value individual contributions
Some people dread working on a team because they think all work will fall to one person. But companies that value individual contributions tend to alleviate this dread.
A motivated company as a whole is made up of motivated individuals. So it’s only fair to celebrate and value personal growth and development on the job.
If one employee featured a significant amount of work in your company’s efforts, recognize them. It’s important for folks to know that their efforts will not go unseen.
After all, we all like to be recognized and acknowledged, right? So use that recognition to boost employee motivation overall.
#4. Offer benefits and rewards
When I say rewards, I don’t necessarily mean prize money. But employees like to know that their company cares for them outside of the workplace too.
Employee motivation in the workplace is important. But outside of the office is another place that you can keep your employees motivated too.
Offer them a reward they actually want, even if it’s just a perk that other companies don’t provide. Make the work worth their effort and you’ll reap the reward of their hard work.
Employees and their managers have a much more reciprocal relationship than most think. And that’s why motivated employees perform best both inside and outside of the workplace.
#5. Give your team their own autonomy
Nobody likes to have someone constantly looking over their shoulder. So don’t do that to your employees either.
Give your employees the autonomy to finish their own projects. Most often, when you give them that autonomy, you motivate them to do better.
By giving them space, you are telling your employees that you trust them. And with that trust, employees gain the motivation they may have been lacking in wanting to give you their very best.
Obviously, everyone does their job differently. But try passing the baton when it comes to their individual work.
You’d be surprised at how an employee will rise to the occasion when you place your trust in their hands. So let them surprise you.
And give them a chance to show you the best example of their work. In some ways, the best motivation is letting go.
#6. Encourage a work-life balance
Attaining that work-life balance is something we all struggle with. But try to weave that into the fabric of your company culture.
Motivated employees are great. But you don’t want your employees’ motivation to burn out from overworking.
So encourage them to live their best life. This job is just a job. A little corporate entertainment could be just the thing to add some excitement to the workplace!
And it will be waiting for them when they get back in the morning. But taking the time to let go and recharge is something every employee can benefit from.
It seems counterintuitive to tell an employee to focus on anything but their work. But the best way to motivate them consistently is through balance and understanding.
Some people may think that motivation comes from fear. And sometimes, it can.
But why put an employee through so much angst and turmoil? You can just as easily win their loyalty through mutual respect and understanding.
So motivate them to do their best work when they’re on the job. But as soon as the day is done, give them that time off the clock to recharge and reset.
A happy employee is a motivated employee
Motivation can be a really special feeling. I mean, have you ever been in a group of people where everyone actually wanted to be there?
It’s pretty fun, right? And that’s exactly what your company can feel like too.
The workplace has its business objectives, of course. But there is so much more to be gained from a job than achieving high numbers or good reviews from satisfied customers.
Those are great, don’t get me wrong. But the real fun of a job comes from how it enriches the rest of you.
Just remember that feeling you’re hoping to give your employees when you motivate them. You’ll find that everyone in the workplace feels lighter, brighter, and more productive than ever.
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Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular comedian for corporate events, magician, and virtual speaker.