“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”   

So says performance-enhancement expert Zig Ziglar. Carolyn Stern, owner of consulting firm Carolyn Stern & Associates includes that quote in her article, “5 Tips to Help Motivate Your Team,” at Small Business BC.

Motivate Your Team - Enaged Workers

Photo via Flickr, Junge OVP

Here are her five tips for motivating employees:

  1. Assess Your Team. Use a survey, brainstorming, or informal conversation to find out what motivates them, whether it’s learning opportunities, additional challenge, time off, Certificates of Gratitude or all of the above.
  2. Communicate with Your Team. Share goals, financial information and business results, and let employees know how they’re contributing.
  3. Empower Your Team. It’ll help build team spirit, encourage creativity, and maintain a positive culture.
  4. Have Fun Together! Hold sales contests, team outings, or team-building activities.  It can be a simple as a casual BBQ with the families or a fierce game of Frisbee golf some gorgeous afternoon.  And, it doesn’t need to break the bank.
  5. Recognize and Reward Your Team. You can develop a points system for going above and beyond, with awards at different levels, bring in lunch when the team reaches a goal, send a personal note—there are myriad ways to show your gratitude and appreciation.

Create effective recognition programs

Research by Bersin & Associates, summarized in “Bersin & Associates Unlocks the Secrets of Effective Employee Recognition,” shows that effective employee recognition programs improve employee engagement and reduce absenteeism and turnover. Yet 87% of organizations rely on ineffective tenure-based awards.

These programs don’t meet the needs of today’s employees, according to “The Secret to Motivating Your Team,” an article first published in The Daily Muse and also in Forbes.

“Nearly 70% of [employees surveyed] report they are recognized annually or not at all. Only 17% indicated that their organizations’ cultures strongly support recognition.”

And recognition doesn’t have to be complicated. As the Forbes article says:

“One of the most effective ways to reward your employees is by simply recognizing their hard work and accomplishments.”

The Bersin and Associates study also shows companies providing regular employee recognition have 31% lower turnover rates. Plus, the Forbes article notes:

“Basic psychology indicates that employees who are affirmed for good behavior are more likely to repeat those actions—and that, in the long run, will build a stronger company.”

Follow these four steps from the article to effectively reward your team:

  1. Wait Until it’s Well-Deserved. Yes, employee recognition is meant to be a motivational tool, but if everyone in the group knows they’re going to get a “good job!”—what motivation does that create?
  2. Choose Delivery Method Wisely. Know your employees. Even an employee who doesn’t enjoy a public round of applause will likely appreciate you recognizing his or her accomplishment in front of the SVP or regional manager.
  3. Be Specific. Acknowledge the accomplishment and explain why it’s important to the company.
  4. Involve Others. A significant amount of recognition should come from employees’ direct managers, but workers should be given the tools and encouragement to recognize their peers—the ones who best understand their colleagues’ daily work.

Create a culture where recognition is common and encouraged, the Forbes article recommends:

  •  At team meetings, ask employees to share success stories and examples of others’ exemplary work.
  • Put up a white board for team members to write about their coworkers’ accomplishments.
  • Have inexpensive gifts available for workers to give to colleagues who go above and beyond.

Bottom-line:  “You can’t afford not to motivate your team,” Stern writes. 

You’ll improve your productivity, quality, and service, and you’ll create a culture of recognition at your business.

What works best in your workplace? How do you motivate your teams?
For more on fostering a lasting culture of engagement, appreciation and happiness in your workplace, download our FREE Guide to Workplace Gratitude. Click the image below and start sharing your gratitude today!
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