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Creating a workplace that motivates employees to do their best

Opinion & Analysis
EVERYTHING at the workplace has changed, but what keeps employees motivated and what employers can do to keep employees motivated remains the same. Most people work to earn a living, but there may be other reasons people work, especially for those who love their jobs.

EVERYTHING at the workplace has changed, but what keeps employees motivated and what employers can do to keep employees motivated remains the same. Most people work to earn a living, but there may be other reasons people work, especially for those who love their jobs.

guest column:Emmanuel Zvada

To ensure that your work environment is just as engaging, you should determine employee expectations. A great work environment can boost employee morale, encourage, motivate and enhance employees’ quality of life. Most employees resign either due to bad leadership or a toxic workplace.

Employers should offer fair compensation and benefits, comprehensive reward and recognition systems, and known and understood strategic frameworks in which employees have clear expectations and goals. Effective leaders must understand their team’s circumstances and distractions, and find ways to engage and motivate them.

In other words, how you help your employees to adjust and love the environment they are working in matters a lot. Here are some of the ideas that you can try in motivating your employees.

Have clear values, mission known by employees Having clear company values helps you ensure that all your employees are working towards the same goals. If you have clear company values it will help you ensure that all your employees are working towards the same goals. Your core values support the company’s vision and shape its culture. That is why every business decision should be aligned to these values. Employer branding is a beneficial tool to attract and retain talent, however, a number of companies do not have a clear strategy. Having a clear set of values helps your employees understand what you stand for.

Offer competitive salaries and benefits Employees should not be viewed as an expense. Instead, they are one of the company’s assets. Employees will be more interested in their jobs and the company they work for if they feel valued by that company.

A higher salary is a way to show employees that they are valued. Assess the salary and benefits package offered, and see how it stacks up against the competition (that is, the competition for candidates/employees — which is not necessarily the same as competition for customers).

Demonstrate respect for your employees Respect is essential in any relationship and is a requirement between management and staff. Ask anyone in your workplace what treatment they expect at work and they likely will say it is their desire to be treated with dignity and respect. If you are an employer, supervisor or manager you can demonstrate respect with simple, yet powerful actions. There are many ways of demonstrating respect and one of them is trusting employees to do the jobs they were hired to do without micromanaging. If something is not being done correctly, address it in a straightforward and professional manner that details what needs to be corrected.

Always give feedback to your employees Feedback is an important communication tool in a healthy work environment. It helps to improve processes and shows employees that you care about their contribution. No employee wants to work in darkness without knowing where the company is going or what the company is planning.

If done appropriately, regular feedback can be a useful tool to motivate employees. Feedback can range from detailed and regularly scheduled performance reviews that let employees know where they stand.

Recognise your employees’ efforts Acknowledging the efforts of your employees and recognising their outstanding performance in the workplace creates a good environment for employees. Every human being wants to be recognised and appreciated for the work they do because they like to see the results of their efforts.

This can be a verbal thank you, the email, and or even a monetary reward for the work done. There are some employers who think that a thank you is unnecessary and just brush aside and ignore employees’ efforts, that demotivates employees.

Have open communication and address employee grievances Employees who are listened to are closer to the employer and in turn feel motivated to do the best for the organisation. This will inculcate a culture of listening and open communication within the company. As a leader, you need to have a strong voice but you need to know when to listen to your employees.

The importance of listening to employees can be seen in terms of innovation. When employee ideas are heard and taken on board, the company stands to positively impact the bottom-line, while motivating the employee.

Be transparent with your employees Transparency in business can be described as an honest, two-way engagement between employees and management. When transparency is part of workplace culture, it comes in with trust, communication, and greater levels of employee engagement. Without transparency, employees may feel unappreciated, worry about the future and may be sceptical about of the decisions made by those in positions of authority.

Make a point to share important information with them on a regular basis. Being transparent makes your employees feel they are an important part of the business and it also helps them in pointing out areas where things can be improved.

Acknowledge employees’ achievements Everyone wants to be recognised for their efforts regardless of weather the effort was for career or personal achievement. As a manager, your appreciation makes employees know that you care about creating an environment where individuals feel valued for their contributions and their accomplishments. Through recognition, we also build a culture that attracts and retains the best talent. The acknowledgement of a job well done coming from top management means more to an employee than you think. Always remember to give credit where credit is due

Encourage teamwork Effective teamwork is something that every organisation strives for. No matter how talented, experienced or skilled individual employees are, without teamwork, any organisation is bound to fail. There is no doubt that when employees work together, as a collective unit, they are more efficient and productive than if they were to work as individuals.

Remove bureaucracy and hierarchy within the company and create an “openness” to new ideas at any level and encourage working as a team to keep employees motivated. Good teamwork is vital for cultivating morale at the workplace, this helps in making employees more productive and satisfied with their jobs.

Avoid opposing employees’ opinions Listen to yourself everytime you make a new proposal to your employees. How do they react? If you find yourself killing everyone’s input and defending your stance, then you are not really giving them the open communication you claim to uphold in your company. I am not saying that you must listen to every opinion thrown at you. In fact, that is the worst thing that you could do as a leader. Rather, listen, understand and find out which of these opinions will actually help improve the company, a new policy or project.

Motivating your employees does not have to be a challenge. Motivated employees are keen to come to work and passionate to play their part in the workplace and spent more time with colleagues and the manager talking shop. If your employees are quick to depart from work and do not engage each other, that is a sign of lack of motivation.