Correctly motivated employees are the most valuable tool that any leader can have. They will be more satisfied, more productive and will work harder, increasing the effectiveness of your team.
Here are 10 unique, inexpensive and fun ways to motivate your employees in 2021.
1. Create a common vision and goal
This is undoubtedly the best way to motivate your employees. When everyone is working cohesively towards the same common goal and vision they will feel united and motivated to reach these goals.
To create these goals, sit all your team down and discuss everyone's vision for the team and the company and what they want the goals to be. Once the goals are set and the companies vision is openly discussed and collectively decided, ensure that every employee in the team is aware of these goals and how to work towards them.
Company visions and goals can also be written in fun and catchy ways and displayed around the office or on merchandise. This will ensure that everyone is fully aware of the companies goals and visions and how they can work collectively to get there.
2. Be transparent
You, as their leader, will play a fundamental part in the motivation and satisfaction of your employees. The most important thing you can do is to create a sense of trust, openness and respect.
To do these things, you must be transparent with your employees. Allow them to trust you with both personal and professional issues and you must trust them equally too.
You should communicate openly with your employees and keep them in the loop of all decisions made within the team. Where possible, the employee's input and opinion should be the most influencing factor of any decision the company makes.
3. Recognise and reward
To motivate your employees you should recognise exceptional talent and hard work at every single possible opportunity. You should reward every team member for reaching big milestones or deadlines that are met with high-quality work are something to celebrate and recognise.
These talents and works can be recognised and rewarded by offering bonuses or raises, or sometimes, a small word of gratitude and appreciation will go a long way.
4. Encourage a bit of friendly competition
A touch of healthy competition and conflict can do wonders for any team. Teaching your team how to handle conflict, compete healthily and debate their ideas and compete for recognition can become a catalyst for innovation, creative ideas and improvement.
To promote competition you can:
- Reward your top performers. There is no reason to reward all your employees equally if they do not put in equal work. Your employees will work harder and feel more motivated to put more work in if they know that their exceptional efforts will be rewarded and recognised.
- Introduced 'stretch goals'. These are goals that aim to help employees beat their previous goals. For instance, if in the last project your employee made an X amount of money, their goal for the next project is to top this and make more money.
- Find opportunities to allow for sports competitions. Everyone loves a friendly game of rounders or cricket, introduce time for friendly competitive sporting games that will get the competitive juices flowing.
5. treat them uniquely
Treating and trying to motive all your employees the same is not guaranteed to increase motivation at all as different people are motivated by different things. Some people are motivated by the end goals, other people will be motivated by the small individual steps - so, treat everyone differently and attempt to motivate them uniquely.
Remember that each employee is a unique person, they all have their own needs, wants and preferences so it is crucial to treat them as individuals and find out what motivates them best.
6. Eliminate boredom and dissatisfaction ...
Boredom will snap out motivation and destroys productivity very very quickly. Bored employees will feel fed up and will have no ambition to reach boring goals.
To eliminate this boredom you can:
- Regularly switch tasks around within the team so that everyone gets to try a slightly different role that offers different experiences and responsibilities.
- Encourage employees to switch up their schedules so that there is variety within each day.
- Encourage employees to look for other opportunities within the business, such as research opportunities in other departments.
- Speak regularly to your employees, ask them about how they feel, whether their dissatisfied or bored and how this can be fixed.
- Create fun activities, such as going go-karting or throwing drink parties outside of work. Similarly, team building activities are designed to be fun and increase trust and cohesiveness within teams, head over to my recent blog post for 20 fun and inexpensive activities that you and your team can do.
7. Be motivated yourself
To be a good leader, you must lead by example. If you're completely motivated, passionate and invested then this spark will be contagious and others will be motivated by your passion.
Display obvious sings of your passion and drive for the company and its goals and visions. Always work hard and always show your employees the best work you can do.
8. Be a supportive leader
Again, as the leader, you are responsible for the success, satisfaction and motivation of your employees. One way to ensure your employees are motivated is to offer a supportive network both between you and your employees and between your employees.
This promotion of a healthy and supportive network will benefit all your employees, and yourself, in many ways. To be a supportive leader, promote a sense of trust and encourage them to share things with you and each other.
Always support your teams in time of both success and times of failure. Finally, ensure that there is a sense of 'psychological safety' within your team so that all employees feel that they can share their ideas and opinions freely without fear of being judged.
9. Offer flexible work times
This can be hard to do and sometimes not feasible. But, if it is possible to do this, it will really increase the motivation of your employees.
To do this:
- Establish a clear process for how flexible working within the organisation and ensure that it is documented and circulated throughout all of the employees.
- Define the roles and responsibilities that employees, line manager and HR personnel will have in making these flexible hours work within your company.
- Communication is key when implementing flexible working hours. Make sure that each employee has someone that they can directly report to and check in with.
- Review and set high standard goals and make them trackable so that you can be certain that all your employees are working to the best of their ability.
10. Encourage teamwork
Working in teams will be sure to keep employees motivated as it will encourage ideas to be shared and the workload be shared between everyone. Teamwork will make even the biggest of tasks feel smaller because the workload will be spread out evenly between everyone, and skills and responsibilities can be spread out.