There are lots of reasons why productivity can falter; outside influences play their part, but your business’s productivity can also be affected by your team’s motivation and ability to share good ideas.
There are lots of reasons why productivity can falter; outside influences play their part, but your business’s productivity can also be affected by your team’s motivation and ability to share good ideas. Most of the tips and tools that businesses / franchises use to motivate their staff can be easily introduced as part of your everyday operations.
Treat your employees like people
Find out what makes your people tick. Make a point of finding out about their interests and what motivates them in their lives at home. Don’t be superficial: engaging with a small number of employees well can have far more impact than having many interactions with hundreds of team members every day.
When you’re trying to demonstrate that ‘we’re all in it together’, and ‘we’re working for a common goal’, it’s vital to be consistent. Provide direction and give praise on an equal footing.
Encourage people to have a voice
Encourage your team to speak up and offer new ideas on any and all aspects of your business.
Recognition is important, but it’s also important to recognise what you learn when new ideas don’t work as expected. Ask your teams for feedback, welcome their input openly and remember that not everyone likes speaking up: you may need to talk to people individually to get the best from them.
Reward lateral thinking
When your teams know you value their opinions, they’ll be encouraged to speak up and make suggestions that might not have surfaced otherwise. Encourage new ideas and make it easy to offer them – discreetly if necessary.
Talk about careers – inside and outside your own business
Not everyone may want to work with you throughout their working lives. Let your employees have career goals that feel tangible; encourage them to share their personal and career ambitions for the future – it could help you to make plans that help them and your business at the same time.
If you’re able to, create a structure that offers internal progression on a regular basis. Employees who think they’re stuck in a rut tend to lose motivation quickly.
Give praise where praise is due
If your team is doing a great job, tell them - personally and sincerely. If they’re not doing a great job, find out why and then see how you can help the situation first. It is very easy to demotivate a disconnected employee even further, faster, by blaming them for a bad job without knowing the reasons why a target has been missed.
Be clear about your plans
If your team can’t understand what they’re working for, then they’ll struggle to find anything that motivates them in the workplace. Talk about the company’s ‘bigger picture’ on a regular basis and make it clear how their everyday duties fit into that plan.
Lead by example at every level
However large or small your business is, roll your sleeves up occasionally and check in with your core employees. It’s an excellent way to discover small changes to your operation or service that might make a big difference if they’re rolled out across your business.
Give everyone a break, sometimes
There’s more to life than work. Set an example that reminds employees they’ll benefit from having regular breaks - fresh air, good food, and time away from their desks or workstations.
Make sure your workplace is a nice place to work
Nobody likes working in an unpleasant environment. Find a balance for your company that fits your brand identity and takes your employees’ personalities into consideration too. With a properly motivated and engaged team, you will be amazed at what you can achieve.
See if you can implement some of these into your work environment and see the difference they can make!