Employers are aware motivation is critical for a safe and pleasing workplace environment. If you’re like most managers, the big question is “how” do I get apathetic employees excited?
#1 Rack up Appreciation Miles
Praising employees is cost effective, as words are free. However, “attaboys” are one of the most infrequently used motivation techniques. Often, you’ll get more mileage from voicing a few appreciative thoughts than an employee bonus.
The key word here is “voicing”, maybe you thought Jimmy Joe did an awesome job on the project, but neglected to tell him. Too often in the world of important business bosses are quick to admonish, but slow to show approval!
Management by walking around (MBWA) is not a new or improved motivational technique. It is however, tried and true. Managers who get out of their offices and walk around the office lead by example.
Smile all the way to your eyes and let individual employees know you need, value and care about them. Inquire about Joan’s new baby. Tell Allen happy birthday. Walking around opens the opportunity to hand out words of praise.
#3 Open Hours
Time was the “open door policy” signified a good employer. However, encouraging employees to disrupt your work flow at whim is not a good idea. Instead, consider setting aside one afternoon a week to entertain employee suggestions and concerns, by appointment.
Be approachable. Be fair. Be reassuring. It’s a good idea to have your Admin Assistant take meeting notes. This will protect you if tempers flare and the meeting goes south. It is also a visual record of discussion points.
Keep any promises you made in the meeting.
Business owners would be well served by asking themselves – what would Zappo’s do? Reportedly, Tony Hsieh, founder Zappo’s e-commerce, owns one of the most “blissed-out” businesses in America. Hsieh is making a study of human beings. All things Zapponian revolve around happiness; employees and customers are reaping bliss.
For instance, it is mandatory for managers to goof off with their staff about 10-20% of their time. Hsieh once sent an e-mail to all employees seeking opinions on the company’s culture and core values, such as “Deliver WOW through service.” and “Be humble”.
He subsequently published the essays, verbatim, and gave each employee a copy. Every employee is required to submit a new essay annually. In the Zappo’s corporate library are business and self-help books to encourage the core value of personal growth. Employees are invited to select their book of choice.
Zappo’s continues to place on lists of “great places to work”.
Give Them What They Want
According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, money continues to motivate most employees, but there are alternate ways to increase employee satisfaction.
Stats gathered from 4,000 employees and 2,600 hiring professionals show: a fancy title did not impress 55%, salary outweighs a title by 88%. A flexible schedule appealed to 59%, 1/3 survey participants prefer to telecommute, 36% want more challenging work, 17% want a private office, 48% want to make a difference in their work and 18% value academic reimbursement over titles.