Hiring great people is the easy bit. Now your job is to find a way to extract the maximum value possible from them.
Money and benefits help to a degree. But what people really want from their work is an abiding sense of motivation and satisfaction. They want to feel like they work for a company that cares, doing something that matters.
Unfortunately, most employers refuse to cater to these needs. They imagine their workers are like robots, carrying out a set of functions, forgetting that they are people too with specific values and aspirations.
The good news is that there are a host of science-backed methods for inspiring your employees. What’s more, they’re super simple to carry out! Here’s what to do.
Ask Them What They Want
Employers can sometimes get into the habit of assuming they know what their employees want. But that’s a dangerous game. Managers and HR staff often make the wrong assumptions, leading to high staff turnover rates.
The trick here is to ask employees what they want anonymously. This way, you can get a real sense of what they value at their work. And you’ll also discover the things that they don’t want as well.
Here is a list of things that employees typically want from their employers that don’t involve pay and benefits:
- Flexible working hours
- Parental leave
- Sabbaticals after five years with the company
- More time spent on interesting projects
- Greater independence and autonomy
- Less managerial oversight
- Healthier options in the staff canteen
Make Food Available In The Workplace
The business community generally overlooks the crucial nature of the food their workers eat, but they shouldn’t. It turns out that it has a massive effect on their productivity over the long run.
Most offices don’t provide canteens on the premises, meaning that employees have to travel out of the office to eat at local venues and cafes (unless they pack a lunch). If the food they could get was healthy, that would be fine. But most employees don’t have nutrition degrees and don’t understand what they should be eating to feel good.
A much better strategy is to provide your colleagues with healthy food on-site. The way this works is easy. You just get a professional nutritionist to curate a menu and then hire staff to prepare the food. This way, you can provide your employees with easy-access nutrition on your premises, negating the need for them to travel further afield.
Employees don’t care so much about the healthiness of the food itself. But they do appreciate the convenience and lower prices. That always goes down well.
Improve Your Interiors
If you want to supercharge your employees’ productivity, updating your office interiors is one of the most powerful things you can do. Research shows that employees tend to work better when surrounded by bright, interesting interiors and inspire them. They also like being able to work in a mix of spaces, not just a big open-place area with row after row of desks and computers. They want quiet private offices, team meeting rooms, and places to chill out and unwind during breaks.
Just like you, your employees can sometimes find work stressful. For this reason, they rely on you and the rest of the management team to provide them with regular support.
Being supportive might sound like a strange role for a manager. But your primary job is to be a coach for your team. Most people want to be productive. But they can often doubt their abilities which slashes their productivity.
When managers get behind their people and build them up, they often supercharge their productivity. Everyone starts to enjoy their work more. And members of staff begin to stride out by themselves, inspired by the mission of the team and company as a whole.
Provide Financial Rewards
While some people enjoy the social rewards of working in a particular company, others prefer the financial remunerations. As a manager, therefore, you need to cater to these people too.
Quarterly bonuses are a great way to keep some people motivated. You could also try offering extra healthcare cover or even enroll them in a profit-sharing scheme.
The more you bring people into the company, the more loyal they are likely to become toward it. When you reward people for a job well done, they’re much more likely to do a good job and see things through, even when they get difficult.
Provide Room To Grow
What’s the number one thing that millennials want from their employers? The answer is personal development.
Giving people in your organization room to grow is, therefore, essential. Plus, it is a huge motivator for everyone on your team. Instead of just dangling more money in front of them like a carrot on the end of a stick, you provide them with something much more fulfilling. You give them the sense that they are competent human beings in their own right.
Providing room to grow also offers profound psychological benefits too. It gives workers the sense that they are progressing and moving forward. People want to feel like they are conquering new challenges and ascending peaks. For many, progress is happiness.
Offer Positive Feedback
When most companies talk about giving employees “feedback,” they are being euphemistic. What they really mean is “complaining about the quality of their work.” But this approach to feedback is a little one-sided. Yes – it is sometimes necessary. But so too is offering positive feedback. This way, colleagues know when they’re doing a great job.
Science suggests that providing positive feedback increases confidence and productivity. When workers believe that they are good at their job, they actually tend to perform better. They don’t have an annoying voice in the back of their minds telling them that they aren’t good enough.
Inspiring employees is never easy. But what’s surprising is just how much it depends on the attitude of management. If you can approach their needs positively, they will usually respond in ways that benefit the brand as a whole.
You may also like: 5 Ways Small Businesses Can Keep Employees Motivated
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