Wednesday, May 9, 2012

5 Best Ways to Motivate Employees for Top Performance

Most employers are faced with the problem of how to motivate their employees to perform to the best of their abilities. But motivating employees requires more than just a high salary. Follow these tips to ensure your employees give their best to your organization.

1. Lead by Example

A boss who practices the "Do as I say, not as I do" philosophy can bring the whole team’s morale down. We have all heard about the boss who tells people to stay late, but he or she would leave exactly at 5pm. Or the boss who discourages employees to surf the net but is found on Facebook at all times. Employees look up to their bosses for guidance, and it is up to the person who is leading to ensure that they accept this responsibility. If you want employees to follow good work practices, your team leaders, and managers must show them the way by following the rules themselves. Good leaders are able to inspire and earn the trust of their employees. If your employees are looking at the boss and thinking "If he can do it, so can I", their productivity will definitely rise.

2. Allow Access for Effective Communication

One of the most common mistakes that bosses make is to exude a ‘touch-me-not’ aura where they are not accessible by their own employees. Two way communications is a vital factor in employee motivation. Finding the balance between being bossy and being too friendly is the key to effective communication. You need to ensure that employees respect you and your instructions, yet feel comfortable enough to tell you about their work-related problems. A simple way to do this is to have your team leaders check in with their teams in the mornings about their previous day and their goals for the current day. This casual interaction will help you ensure bosses and employees keep an open channel of communication, and are on the same page about the employee’s work expectations. Another effective method includes getting to know employees. Studies show that when your employees feel cared for, they put extra effort to make their work better.

3. Personalise the Workplace

Make sure you pinpoint each employee’s personality, strengths and preferences. Asking employees the question, ”What do you want out of your work?“ will go a long way in achieving this objective. By learning from your employees what they like to do and why, you will be able to place them in roles that play well to their strengths. Another good way to do this is to try and fill talent voids in your organization, rather than job titles. This way you’ll be matching their talents, skill sets and what they’re really good at instead of fitting people into job descriptions.When rewarding employees for top performance, ensure that the rewards are matched to that employee’s age and career stage. For example, a worker nearing the end of his career would probably be less focused on a promotion than someone who just began climbing the corporate ladder. Personalized rewards are also one of the best ways of showing your employees that you care, and will motivate employees to strive for excellence in the workplace.

4. Share Great Feedback with Everyone

Communicate feedback from customers, whether internal or external, directly to your employees. Direct feedback, whether negative or positive, is known to be a powerful motivator. Even if an employee is working to fulfill the needs of other employees within the organization, ensure he is able to receive and provide feedback to the employee. Positive feedback will help an employee feel like his work is worthwhile, and motivate him or herself. Instead of negative feedback, focus on constructive criticism.Make sure that any negative feedback is not emotionally charged, and has specific pointers that can help an employee improve his work.

5. Trust Your Employees

You must trust your employees, and give them room to perform. Whatever you do, make sure you do not micromanage your employees. Micromanagement leads to no communication, no trust, and no employee growth. Employees will resent their managers, leading to low morale in the workplace. Give your employees clear instructions, and ask for regular progress reports. However, beyond that, you must learn to leave them alone and show faith in their work. Give feedback, but do not attempt to manage every aspect of their work. Besides, employees who are not micromanaged will learn from their own mistakes, and will have stronger problem solving skills.
Very often, employees prefer not to confront their managers about this problem, and will choose to avoid the issue. Consequently, the employee-manager relationship will breakdown, and the employee will lose interest in his or her work. Keep checking yourself to ensure that you never micromanage, but instead provide employees with the freedom to succeed themselves.
Hopefully, these tips will help you in ensuring a happy and motivated workforce that is performing to the best of their abilities.

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