Motivated employees give the best of themselves day in and day out. Being a manager provides you with lots of tools to boost your employees' engagement. Here's how you should proceed.
Let's start with a cliché: money alone does not make people happy, even at work. In fact, financial rewards alone are not enough to engage your staff. The working atmosphere and feeling valued are also crucial. These tips will help you in this respect.
1. Be transparent
Openly state your goals and expectations for each employee. Establish clear rules and reach unambiguous agreements (and stick to them, too). This is the only way to create mutual trust. The correct and wrong ways to do things and the various problem-solving methods should also be discussed honestly. Openness is the best way to combat uncertainty.
2. Involve your employees
Involve your staff in brainstorming sessions, and ask for their suggestions for certain projects. For example, devise a different (more independent) way of organising schedules. By involving your employees, not only do you show that you value them and their opinion; you also give them the opportunity to solve problems themselves and take control of their own job.
3. Provide a good atmosphere and reward excellent performance
A birthday, a new customer or the completion of a successful project: reward your employees whenever they reach (small) milestones. Apart from the traditional bouquet, you may want to offer a tasty breakfast or an exciting teambuilding event. Whenever possible, prefer joint rewards, as they increase the group's cohesion.
4. Conduct performance and career reviews
Have a meeting at least once a year with each employee to discuss performance. What is going well and what could be better? Also, ask your employee to share his or her (positive and negative) experiences and ambitions. Which goals is he or she pursuing? In which aspects of the job does he or she want to keep growing? Such a review allows both parties to make their expectations clear.
5. Create opportunities for growth
Based on the findings of the career review, ensure that there are sufficient challenges in the workplace, provide training and seminars, and allow people to explore their creativity and develop problem-solving skills. This makes sure your employees won't be on autopilot, or worse, suffer from bore-out, a condition that leads to typical stress symptoms (troubled sleep, tired, lethargic, forgetful, etc.) and loss of self-confidence.