You’ve done it! You launched your small business and assembled the perfect team of talented workers. They are capable of amazing work and you love watching your business grow. But how can you keep this momentum going? What happens to employee motivation after the excitement and newness wears off? Luckily, nothing has to change! With these tips, you can keep employee motivation high so they can continue to produce great work.
1. Foster collaboration
Working with others toward a common goal can help motivations soar. Teamwork holds employees accountable to others which will boost their commitment to tasks, in addition, when your team is able to enjoy working together they will be more motivated and take increased initiative. Not to mention, the best ideas usually happen when many minds are working together.
2. Avoid useless meetings
Sitting in a meeting that feels unproductive can diminish motivation for the rest of the day, and if these meetings occur frequently enough, can bring down team motivation permanently. Before calling a meeting, make sure that the agenda has meaningful tasks that are relevant to everyone invited. Another way to approach this problem is to rely on quick, more frequent check-ins rather than longer, dull meetings.
3. Offer opportunities for self-development
When employees feel they have the opportunity to learn and grow in their role, they will be more motivated as they approach everyday tasks. Ways to encourage these types of opportunities include paying for employees to attend conferences or take classes, creating time during work hours to learn new skills, and promoting from within to show that working hard can pay off.
4. Keep your team fueled
This can mean keeping a stocked snack cabinet, encouraging employees to take lunch away from their desks, or offering flexible work hours so employees can schedule rest the way they need to. Small changes like these can have a major impact on your team’s energy levels and their excitement about coming to work each day. Is your team not used to taking breaks? Lead by example and let everyone know it is ok to do the same.
5. Reward good work
Implement a system that makes sure employees know how much you value their contributions. This can be something as informal as thanking employees for their hard work more often, or it can be something more structured like a reward system for outstanding work. However you decide to start doing this for your team, it is sure to cause motivation to skyrocket.
6. Find purpose
Team members will be more motivated when they understand the greater purpose behind the work they are doing. Make an effort to frame tasks and projects back to the larger, meaningful goals that made your employees excited to join your company in the first place. For example, maybe the code your employee is working on is for a small business owner who wants to grow his company in order to pay for his daughter’s education." Highlighting purposes like these can remind your employees why they love the work that they do.
7. Take a step back
Closely managing your team may seem like a good way to make sure that everything is being done to a high standard and completed on time. However, micromanaging your employees can zap motivation, put extra stress on everyone, and eliminate the opportunity for creativity. Instead, set up regular check-in meetings with your employees and then step back. You should also make it clear that they can come to you with problems, but that you trust that they can get the job done.
8. Create fun
We know it’s called “work” but in every industry you can find a way to insert a little fun. Maybe this means bringing in breakfast on the first Monday of the month, throwing an impromptu Friday afternoon happy hour, or splurging on an awesome holiday party. Whatever you choose, remember that your employees give you a major chunk of their time and work really hard so they should be rewarded with a few perks.
We hope these tips help increase employee motivation at your small business. Have your own motivation tip? Share it with us on Twitter, @KuvioCreative.
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