How to Improve Employee motivation

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Health Assured team

09 September 2019

Employee motivation is the level of commitment, energy and creativity displayed by your employees during the working day.

Having a workforce that isn’t motivated can have a detrimental effect on the morale within your business., not to mention the harm it can do to workplace morale.

In this guide, we’ll explain why it’s important to keep your employees motivated and talk you through ways of improving employee motivation.

The benefits of motivated employees

A well-motivated team can work wonders for your business. It means your staff excel in their work and enjoy what they do.

But why is this so good for your business? Well, motivation determines behaviour. Your employees’ productivity is the result of  their skills and experience and how motivated they are.

You could have a very talented staff member who feels de-motivated, which will harm how well they perform.

There are several advantages to high employee motivation, including:

• Increased productivity.
• Decreased absenteeism.
• Lower staff turnover levels.
• A good reputation for your business (this makes the recruitment process a lot smoother!)

What’s the difference between employee engagement and motivation?

It’s easy to confuse motivation with engagement, but they’re not quite the same thing. Being able to engage with a task is one thing.

If employees feel an obligated to complete the task rather than a desire to do it, motivation needs to be improved.

Motivated employees will actively want to get their teeth into the task and complete it to a good standard.

What motivates employees the most?

What is the best way to motivate employees? It's the question on every employer's mind. In our eyes, what motivates employees to work the most is job satisfaction.

There are many HR techniques to motivate employees. But the way your staff feel about their job has the biggest impact.

The more satisfied staff members are within their role, the more productive they’re likely to be. Employee motivation and job satisfaction go hand-in-hand.

Popular employee motivation and engagement strategies include:

Career advancement: those who want to excel in their career are more likely to have the drive to perform well.
Stability: most people want a guaranteed stable future. Many employees will work hard to ensure they achieve this.
Financial gain: how does salary motivate employees? The impact of financial rewards on employee motivation is huge. A pay increase encourages employees to take ownership of their workload.
Recognition: everyone likes to receive acknowledgement for a job well done. This is where the manager's role in motivating employees comes into play. What managers do to motivate employees can have a big impact on team morale. Make sure your line managers are praising employees for a job well done.

How to motivate employees

There are many ways to motivate employees to perform well at work. These include:

Increasing your employees’ involvement: this is a great way to encourage staff to care about your business as much as you do, whilst at the same time boosting their morale. You can do this by:
Giving your employees more responsibility: when staff feel like their work makes a difference, it can increase employee engagement. Motivation is also likely to improve as a result too. But be careful to avoid unnecessary workplace stress from giving your teams too much responsibility.
Planning social activities: this will help your employees feel more connected to the company and colleagues.
Boosting their self-esteem: work performance can reflect how employees feel about themselves. For example, if a staff member is proud of their job, they’re likely to produce high-quality work. But those with a bad self-image might not perform to the best of their ability.

There are several ways you can boost self-esteem in the workplace, such as:

• Recognise both professional and personal successes.
• Encourage employees to teach their colleagues about a particular skill or process they do well.
• Pay for staff to attend conferences or training courses that would complement their skills.

Recognition and reward

Having the incentive of a reward is a great motivational factor. Here are some examples of rewards for employees to motivate engagement:

• Install a reward system whereby employees get a prize for meeting an achievement at work. For example, an ‘Employee of the Month’ competition.
• Recognise when an employee has performed well and let them know about it. Share their achievements with the team or send them a congratulatory email.
• Set a positive tone in the office with the way you interact with others.
• Start workplace traditions, such as an annual sports day or office awards ceremony.

How to motivate an overwhelmed employee

Current issues in employee motivation include work-life balance and workplace stress. Workplaces can raise employee stress levels with high workloads, tight deadlines, and long working hours.

Overwhelmed employees may struggle to stay motivated and engaged at work.

Employers must lookout for signs of stress at work and support employees who need it. Here are some steps you can take to motivate an overwhelmed employee:

Have regular catch-ups: It’s important to keep up with how overwhelmed employees are doing. Check-in with how they have been feeling. Look out for signs of long-term stress, as this can lead to burnout and mental health problems.

Ask if there’s anything you can do to help: While we can look out for colleagues around us, we can't read minds. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what will help. That’s why it can be useful to ask employees if any reasonable adjustments may make their role easier.

Identify triggers: Help employees to identify their triggers to overwhelm. This will encourage them to understand patterns in their behaviour. These insights can help them put an action plan in place for the next time they experience overwhelm. With an action plan in place, they are less likely to struggle with motivation issues.

Get help with employee motivation from Health Assured

Employees who are not motivated can impact team morale and productivity levels in the workplace. But when employees receive the support they need, their attitude towards work can improve.

Our Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) helps you look after your employees when they are experiencing difficulties. We offer a 24/7, 365 helplines with trained counsellors, as well as legal, financial, and medical advisors. Employees can access this service anytime, anywhere. When you support employees in this way, their mental health and performance at work will improve.

We also offer a support line for managers to guide them in dealing with workplace issues quickly and correctly.

Our wellbeing experts can offer guidance and support on keeping your employees motivated and happy. Get in touch today on 0844 891 0352

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