Keeping employees motivated is no easy task for any employer, particularly when statistics show a majority of employees are unsatisfied in their current positions. According to a May 2012 Forbes article, only 19% of employees stated they were satisfied with their jobs. Lack of satisfaction plays a major role in an employee’s loss of energy or a loss of the employee altogether. Odds are unsatisfied employees won’t be sticking around to see if it gets better and if they can’t find something better, their attitude and their production will suffer greatly.
The question is, what can employers do to stop the potential loss of valuable employees and productivity?
The key is motivation.
There are several ways of accomplishing this. Many employers turn straight to compensation to help their employees feel more valued and to encourage them to stay. Though this is a tried and true method, this option is not available for many employers in the current economy.
When an employer cannot simply use money to make employees happy, there are options.
1. Recognize and reward hard work
Every employee wants to feel like they are valued, from the lowest paying position to the highest executive. It is important to keep in mind that rewards are not always found in a raise; employers can reward employees with a gift card, a special lunch, or even honest recognition of their efforts. By recognizing outstanding work and rewarding it, you are encouraging other employees to produce the same outstanding work. A little acknowledgment goes a long way.
2. Create a career path
The source of dissatisfaction for some employees is they feel as though they have no future at their company. Instead, they feel as though they are in a dead-end job and are simply counting down the days until they can find a new job. The important thing is to stop your employees from reaching this point. Inform employees about new opportunities within the organization. Invite participation and encourage the request for more responsibility. Shaking things up for an employee and showing them there can be more for them under your employment if they work for it will result in more motivated employees.
3. Listen to concerns and address them
Put compassion first. If your employees are voicing concerns about working conditions or co-workers, don’t simply lend them an ear. Look into the issues, even if they end up being unwarranted. By taking a little extra time to listen and try to solve your employees’ problems, you will be viewed as a compassionate leader. Many employees would consider leaving a job they could love because of a distant and unattached employer. Being a responsible, compassionate employer to your employees sets an example and fosters loyalty.
4. Transparency is key
There is nothing worse than an employer who keeps information from their employees. Withholding information results in employees who feel as though they are being treated like children, generally leading to underlying resentment within an employee base, and leading to employees leaving their positions. Transparency within an organization creates a culture of inclusion and involvement.
The truth is, employees are your most valuable asset; therefore as an employer, they should be one of your prime focuses. The more energy you put into motivating your employees, the more you stand to gain from them. It is easy for employees to become idle and lose inspiration along the way. Yet if you are willing to put time and effort into making your employees feel as though they have a purpose and are appreciated for their hard work, you can ensure they do not lose momentum.