One of the key aspects of any high-performing organization is having an engaged and highly motivated workforce. It is a fact that motivated employees who feel aligned with the company’s values, working culture and goals will work more efficiently and effectively. This can lead to higher levels of output and the completion of tasks and projects to optimum levels of quality. Conversely, in an organization that suffers from a demotivated workforce, it is highly unlikely that staff will “go the extra mile” to complete work to the highest standards. A poorly motivated workforce may also lead to increased levels of absenteeism and a higher employee churn rate with staff looking to other job opportunities to gain greater satisfaction from their working lives. It should therefore be the goal of leadership and management to promote working cultures and practices that increase the motivation of the workforce. However, it is not always easy to identify such strategies and the root cause of a demotivated workforce may not be immediately apparent (in fact, it is often a result of multiple factors). In this article, four unique ways in which employee motivation levels can be boosted will be explored in detail. These methods and strategies will be suitable for a wide range of organizations across different business sectors.
Comprehensive employee benefits packages
Decades ago, an employee benefits package typically consisted of little more than a competitive salary, pension contributions from the employer and perhaps some form of healthcare benefits. These basic packages did little to improve staff motivation or help to retain a talented workforce. In 2023, employers must offer a far more comprehensive range of employee benefits for their staff. These may include the ability to work from home (via fully remote or hybrid models), as evidence indicates that this may improve employees’ work-life balance and give them greater control and flexibility over how they approach the working week. Employee benefits packages can also include the roll out of a rewards card that includes incentives for healthy living. Such card schemes encourage the staff members to choose healthy food options and give rewards for taking part in healthy activities such as joining a gym. This simple addition to a comprehensive employee benefits plan will give the workforce incentives and opportunities to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, which will ultimately lead to a more engaged workforce that has lower levels of absenteeism due to poor health or recurring illnesses. Many employers are now becoming more aware of these types of benefits packages that focus on improving health and wellbeing of both the staff member and their families. In short, these schemes can be an ideal way to retain staff and get the best performance out of the wider workforce.
Annual staff awards ceremonies
Employees can be motivated when their efforts are recognized and rewarded by leaders and senior staff. Holding an annual awards ceremony for staff at all levels of the organization demonstrates that the company values exceptional efforts and recognizes the importance of dedicated staff in achieving its goals. Awards ceremonies should serve to highlight staff who have produced exceptional work, collaborated well with other teams and improved working methods within their scope of operations. Ideally, there will be multiple awards categories that recognize the positive impacts of a wide range of teams and specialties. Staff are motivated by the recognition of their efforts by the company and these ceremonies may encourage other employees to work harder and more effectively to produce exceptional results. Put simply, awards ceremonies foster a culture of continuous improvement and help to create a workforce that is constantly looking for inventive ways to deliver the highest quality of output.
A culture of collaboration and inclusiveness
It is widely accepted that the culture of an organization plays a key role in motivating (or demotivating) employees. Companies that cultivate effective collaboration between teams and individuals can benefit from increased productivity and a more engaged workforce. Teams communicate more effectively when collaborative tasks are a regular part of working life and staff can feel more aligned with company goals as it is easier to see how their input plays a role in competing larger projects. In addition to a focus on collaboration, there must be an organizational culture of inclusiveness. Put simply, every staff member should be able to have their voice heard and all ideas and opinions should be valued. This type of working mentality allows rigid hierarchies to be broken down and can create a culture where ideas for service improvement abound. Staff are motivated when their ideas are valued and acted upon. In addition, collaborative working practices minimize the risks of demotivating silo working practices taking hold in an organization which can result in the duplication of work and a lack of understanding of other teams’ roles and responsibilities.
Bespoke training opportunities
High-achieving staff members want the opportunity to learn new skills, specialize in key areas and develop their careers so that they can be considered for senior roles and improved levels of remuneration. Companies can take action to motivate and retain their talented and ambitious staff by offering them bespoke training opportunities that allow them to improve their career prospects and become more proficient in their roles. A high-performing organization will be able to offer staff a mix of in-house and external courses which allow career development to take place and foster the cultivation of a highly skilled workforce. It is vital that these training opportunities give staff the skills and knowledge to be considered for more senior roles within the organization. Ideally, when senior jobs are advertised, internal staff should be encouraged to apply. This helps to demonstrate that the company values training its own staff and that learning, and development can lead to achieving internal promotions. In fact, this can be a key way to help retain the most ambitious and gifted staff members whilst serving to reduce employee churn and the related recruitment costs.
To sum up
Offering staff a comprehensive benefits package that helps to support the needs of the individual and their families can be a key motivating tool. Annual awards ceremonies demonstrate the value that the organization places on commitment and dedication and may motivate the wider workforce to produce excellence in all aspects of their roles. A collaborative and inclusive working culture fosters creativity whilst boosting employee engagement. Finally, offering staff bespoke training opportunities allows for improved employee retention levels by motivating staff to commit to the organization for the long term.