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How can I keep my employees motivated?

Does it ever seem like your employees are just going through the motions each day? This can really put a drain on the entire atmosphere, bring down customer experiences and disrupt retention rates. It can make you lose out on great opportunities and loyal employees too. Let’s skip the pizza party jokes, assume you already know that appropriate pay is necessary, and that you treat employees kindly if they get sick or have a family emergency. Here are 5 ways to motivate employees in your small business:

1. Give your employees space. No one likes a micromanager so give your employees the information and resources they need to complete their work then let them do it. You hired them to take that part off your workload. You hired them because they were qualified and capable. Trust your own judgement and let them work.

2. Be available. Giving space doesn't mean you should be completely absent though. It is still your business so you should be available for initial direction, questions, and counseling throughout the course of the work. Let your team know that you believe they are capable but that you’re available if they have any concerns or need your guidance.

3. Speak and act respectfully. How you speak and act towards your employees and clients sets the tone for how they feel at work and how motivated they will be throughout their time on the clock. If you behave respectfully, they will carry that throughout how they treat each other, your property, and your clients as well.

4. Make it a collaboration. Employees will likely perform better if they feel that their work is being valued and if they are treated as their opinions matter. Keep an open dialogue where you invite ideas and collaboration from your team. Ask what they think would be beneficial to the clients, the business, or themselves and listen with an open mind.

5. Encourage and offer growth. It’s a good idea to have a path of growth for employees to move forward in your business. This could be anything from getting more hours to a promotion. Showing your employees that you see potential in them and want to support their professional growth will bring out their strengths.

When people are over-managed, they might do micro-rebellions like wasting time or performing poorly at work. Sometimes people may not even realize they’re doing these things. There is no good that comes out of a micromanager or invisible boss. Allowing your employees to take charge of their own tasks, have a voice at the table, and feel supported to grow within your business will help them feel motivated to do their best. When your employees are doing their best, your business will reflect that.

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