Even the most conscientious employees can do with a little motivation. It’s easy to take loyal, hard working employees for granted. Some employees may have even been with the organisation for so long that employers assume they won’t jump ship or will lose some of the motivation they had when they started out in the role.
Having a workforce that includes engaged and motivated employees leads to a positive and supportive workplace. It shapes the culture of the organisation so that staff want to come to work and enjoy the company of like-minded colleagues.
Here are four strategies that most organisations can consider for keeping employees motivated for the long-term.
The past few years have seen some of the fastest changes to the way we work. The pandemic required organisations to pivot quickly and allow staff to stay safe by providing work from home and split teams. Employees have had a taste of working from home and many decided they don’t want to go back to five days a week in the office. They want a little more work life balance and they’re willing to move employers to find it.
Some organisations that aren’t willing to offer employees flexible work arrangements may find it hard to recruit and retain the best talent over this period, which has been dubbed the great resignation. Some recruiters were expecting 38% of Australian employees to look for a new job between 2021 and 2022. Needing to recruit and train almost four out of every 10 employees is a scary prospect to most organisations. If this number can be reduced by retaining current workers, the organisation can save significantly on training and lost productivity.
It’s important to speak to employees during this time and ask them if flexible work is something that appeals to them and what they most want in flexible work. Some employees may have no interest in working from home, but would appreciate being able to start earlier and finish earlier twice a week so they can coach their child’s sporting team. For other employees, anything more than three days in the office is a deal breaker. Once you know what staff want, you can formulate a plan to make flexible work arrangements work for staff.
Employers who don’t consider their workers’ future career often find that their workers become disillusioned and move on. Most workers want to progress their career prospects by learning new skills on the job and have the opportunity of further education or training.
When managers ask their staff what skills and experience they would like to acquire over the next 12 months, employees feel the organisation cares about their future. The organisation is rewarded with engaged employees who are given the opportunity to learn other skills and roles. By expanding the skill set of existing employees, the organisation may not need to recruit a new employee if an internal person is interested in a vacant role.
When an organisation pays for employees to attend training courses or contribute towards higher education, workers are keen to put into practice what they’ve learned. Other staff see that loyal, hard-working employees are rewarded with training and education opportunities and are motivated to do a good job.
Employees want to be recognised by their colleagues when they do a good job. For some workers, the lack of recognition can be enough to destroy their motivation for doing a good job. If workers feel their colleagues get the credit for their efforts or that their hard work always goes unnoticed, they can be resentful.
Having a recognition program builds a system of gratitude and reinforces the organisation’s mission and values. An organisation can further engage staff by asking them to nominate a colleague for a job well done. There doesn’t need to be big prizes on offer, a mention in staff communications can be enough recognition for some workers.
While recognition is important, monetary reward also matters. Some organisations offer organisation-wide incentives because everyone is working towards a common goal - no matter what their role may be. In other companies, only sales-based staff receive monetary rewards. When designing a reward system, organisations should make sure the reward is for actions that are outside normal requirements of the role, reflects the value a person contributes to the organisation and is consistent across the organisation. There is nothing worse than having a reward system in place that workers feel is unfair or doesn’t offer something they find of value.
There are many opportunities to motivate employees to work in a supportive and collaborative way so that everyone is working towards the organisation’s goals. Some strategies are effectively free, while others have a cost. It’s a matter of finding the strategies that work best for your organisation and its employees.
Altius Group offers a range of workplace wellbeing packages, designed by our team of allied health professionals, that are evidence-based, innovative and results orientated. For more information about the modules and platforms you can access through Altius Group to help motivate your employees, read more about our Workplace Wellbeing Programs, call 1800 258 487 or get in contact online.