This is a guest post by Freelance Technical Writer, Indiana Lee.
These days, employees are expecting a lot more from their employers. They want to be treated better than just cogs in a machine and, instead, want to feel like they are making a difference and doing their part to drive the company in the right direction. If your organization is not taking these feelings seriously, then you could start to see higher employee turnover and a decrease in overall productivity.
If you want to improve efficiency and morale around your office, then we are here to help. We will help you to understand why your employees may not be motivated, the simple ways that you can encourage your employees, and the benefits that you should consider providing to create the happiest workforce possible.
Understand Why Your Employees Aren’t Motivated
Instead of just throwing new benefits at the wall to see what sticks, you need to understand your employees and find out what they are specifically looking for in a positive work environment. You can get that information by putting out surveys, getting feedback during annual reviews, or having team meetings. At the very minimum, management needs to have an open-door policy where employees can come to them at any time with concerns. When they do voice these concerns, make sure to provide a solution or follow up once a solution can be found.
Another mistake that companies can make is that they treat every employee the same way. While that may seem like a good idea, sometimes, certain staff members may require a different approach. An example is if your workforce includes employees who are neurodivergent, which includes conditions like dyslexia, ADHD, and autism. These individuals are just as valuable to the team as anyone else, but they may require a modified management strategy that might require specific accommodations and a different approach to training. When you make an effort to help every employee succeed, they will admire your efforts and show their appreciation through their work.
While evolving technology is essential for a growing workplace, sometimes, management can use tech as a band-aid when trying to fix the issue of productivity. In the past, companies like Uber have tried to fix their toxic culture by introducing new tech, but it just made the employees feel like they were replaceable and undervalued. They did it backward. Instead, management first needs to talk to the employees and fix their personal issues so they know that the new tech is there to help them succeed instead of taking their place. The point is that you need to take some time to understand your teams and the lack of motivation, or you will never truly fix the root of the issues.
Communicate and Give Recognition
If you want your employees to excel, then you must communicate openly with them and really make them feel like a part of the team. If they are in the office, management can have one-on-one conversations and ask the employees how they are doing and what they feel is lacking.
If you have remote employees, then you can still communicate. In fact, communication is often even more important when employees are separated and working from their own homes. Set up an email chain or instant messaging program so the team can talk throughout the day and avoid feelings of isolation. Plus, you can have a weekly meeting via Zoom or another video conferencing app where you discuss business or plans for the weekend. It is a great opportunity for the team to see each other in person and feel like a true unit.
It is also a wise idea to advise each employee of the steps that they can take to get promoted and advance to the next position in their career. One of the greatest motivations is the idea that they can reach new levels of the company and help the operation to succeed. Once the employee meets the requirements, management needs to keep their word and allow them to advance.
Finally, make sure that you are taking the time to truly recognize your employees when they do good work. If possible, recognize them publicly so the rest of the team can see the great effort they put forth. Doing so may also motivate and encourage others to try to meet those same standards so they can be recognized as well.
Look at Your Benefits
While a pat on the back is nice, your company should also look at your benefits package and see if it can be tweaked to improve morale. A paycheck and health insurance are standard perks, but there are other benefits that you can provide that show that you truly care about your employees as people. For instance, some companies offer benefits for mental health, including the opportunity to see a therapist or to take yoga or meditation classes.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees were able to work productively from home, and they enjoyed this arrangement because it allowed them to spend more time with their families. If possible, consider allowing employees to work remotely or at least sort out a hybrid arrangement where they can work part of the week at home and the other part in the office. You should also consider the possibility of flexible scheduling. If an employee needs to take their kids to school every morning, for example, then you could work out an arrangement where they start work later in the day and then make up the time at the end of the week.
It is also important to allow employees to take their breaks and lunches during the day so they can take a moment to mentally refresh. Also, remember that you provide vacation and sick time for a reason. If it doesn’t negatively affect business, then don’t give your team too hard of a time if they request it.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can improve efficiency and morale around your office with just a few policy tweaks. Consider these tips, and you could see a great improvement in your workplace.
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