One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to employee motivation is the idea that this is somehow tied to the pay that your employees are receiving. Look at it this way, within the same department, you have people who are paid exactly the same by the hour and their performance, motivation and effort invested are nowhere near the same. The way in which this works is fairly simple and what you need to do is learn how to find adequate motivation methods without tying it to their pay.
1. Provide them with adequate working conditions
It’s easy to claim that it’s the motivation that is the problem when everything else is faulty in your employ. First, you need to provide your staff with adequate working conditions which include factors like decent office space, proper equipment and quality materials. Other than this, you also need a good training program, as well as detailed guidelines on how things should be done. Only this way will you be able to tell apart lack of productivity due to the lack of motivation.
2. Give your employees more responsibility
One of the biggest problems that millennials have in the present-day workplace is the feeling that they’re simply not making a difference. This is due to the fact that their employees often put them in low-risk positions, thus limiting the amount of damage that they can make but also showing a clear and apparent lack of trust on their part. On the other hand, if you were to give your employees more responsibility you would not only motivate them but also get one less reason to micro-manage your team. This means that you’ll have more time and energy for you to focus on tasks that really matter.
3. Smarter tracking
According to Price’s law of productivity, only square root of your employees are truly productive, which is why you need to start diagnosing which people in your employ are over-achievers and which need a bit of help. Firing those least productive without trying to solve their problem won’t achieve much, due to the fact that you have no guarantee your future hires will be any better.
The problem with this method lies in the fact that direct tracking may be quite difficult and even hurt productivity by distracting or outright insulting your employees. Fortunately, with efficient staff tracking software on your side, you can get a subtler approach to this entire issue. This way you can not only state your claim but also support it with facts and make some valid suggestions instead.
4. The appropriate amount of time for the task
Now, we come to Parkinson’s law, one that claims that work expands to fill the time available for the completion. This means that if there’s a task that can be done in two days and you give your team one week to complete it, they’ll take this week and stretch the work over its duration. This gives your team a lot of time for idling, as well as lulls them into a state of reduced productivity. Moreover, remember that time is a finite resource, which is why you shouldn’t be more lenient with your deadlines than you have to.
5. Tell them what’s in it for them
It’s only natural that the majority of people care about what’s in it for them when making a decision of any kind, which might turn into a powerful tool in the hands of a capable entrepreneur. Collaborating on a major project might get an employee a step closer towards a promotion, lateral movement or a raise that they’re so desperately trying to get, yet, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes, you can send your employees on seminars, industry-related events and pay for courses that will look good on their CV. Remember that not all of your employees are going to stay with you indefinitely which is why this kind of incentivizing might be a particularly good idea.
6. Lead by example
It’s both irresponsible and sometimes even outright insulting to ask your team to do something that you yourself are unwilling to do. Asking your team to stay in late when you never did this yourself or asking them to come in early when you alone are always late to work is just outright hypocritical. For this reason, you need to start leading by an example. By showing just how you’re committed to your business, you’ll have a lot easier job at requesting the same from your employees. It’s as simple as that.
Increasing your team’s salary to motivate them is not an efficient practice. This is due to the fact that it won’t be long until they demand yet another raise and then another one until you can no longer afford to keep them employed. Moreover, there are always those who can pay more, so does it mean that they have a more efficient staff. Instead of solving problems with money, you might want to start strategizing a bit more in order to get what you need.