Beyond Holiday Bonuses: Motivating Employees Every Day

Business owners have a long list of goals and objectives. Keeping employees motivated should be at or near the top of the list at all times. But what motivates employees?  The answers may surprise you.

Did you know that studies have determined that money is NOT the top motivator? In their bestselling book on employee retention, Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em, Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans shared their research on 17,000 people with job longevity. Here are the top 10 reasons employees remain where they are:
1.    Career growth, learning, and development
2.    Exciting, challenging, and meaningful work
3.    Working with great people; being part of a team
4.    Having a good boss
5.    Recognition for work well done
6.    Fun on the job
7.    Autonomy, sense of control over work
8.    Workplace flexibility
9.    Fair pay and benefits
10.  Inspiring leadership

However, other survey results have revealed that most employees have no idea of their supervisor’s performance expectations. Many cite “limited recognition” as the most common reason for leaving their job. Many employees admit they could be significantly more effective in their job, but simply don’t feel like they are rewarded for productivity increases.

If these sentiments strike a chord or seem applicable, you may want to implement some of the following low-cost tools to help motivate your employees:

  1. Set and manage expectations. Establish reasonable goals that are high enough to be challenging, but reasonable enough to be achievable.
  2. Ask employees to participate in planning, decision-making and problem solving. Delegate tasks and make employees accountable for results.
  3. Provide new experiences. Cross-train and rotate jobs, broaden responsibility, and challenge employees to find efficiencies.
  4. Build cohesive teams for staff members to work together on projects; set up small competitions to encourage teamwork.
  5. Make each employee feel important. Treat employees as professionals and show appreciation for their work.
  6. Find opportunities to recognize employees, such as celebrations, positive feedback, and public praise. If you want to give a tangible gift, consider using merchandise in place of cash.
  7. Provide training to enhance skills, including on-the-job training, cross-training, and outside training opportunities. Prepare employees for advancement.
  8. Interact personally with each employee. Set performance goals jointly, encourage through positive feedback, and review progress at predetermined intervals.
  9. Conduct performance appraisals. Set goals and expectations, resolve problems, offer advice and assistance, and maintain documentation.
  10. Use corrective action as a last resort. Try to encourage employees constructively to make needed changes.

Helping employers motivate employees is just one of the ways that ESG helps local business owners every day. Please contact us for more information.
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