How To Keep Employees Motivated: 10 Proven Ways

You've worked hard as a manager to hire top-notch people for your team, and now you want to make sure they stay with the company. While benefits and money are essential, they don't top many employees' lists of motivating factors. Below are ten proven ways for how to keep employees motivated.

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1. Create an Inviting Office Space

Create an aesthetically pleasing, functional, well-lit, and most importantly, fun environment that makes employees want to come to work. First, make sure the work environment is well-kept and the equipment is up-to-date, replacing outdated computers and point-of-sale systems that cause employee frustration.

Second, keep the work environment clean and nice to look at. This doesn't have to be expensive; talk with local artists about displaying their pieces, pick up interesting pieces of furniture from a local flea market, and encourage employees to add personal touches to their spaces.

2. Be a Supportive, Honest, and Respectful Manager

Employees don't leave jobs, they leave managers. While things like clear communication, support, honesty, and respect create a solid foundation, good managers never stop learning. Being an effective manager takes practice and knowledge. Network with management peers, find books or articles that discuss ways to improve your management style, and be on the lookout for low-cost or free seminars and webinars. Being a good manager will make good employees want to stay.

3. Offer Employee Incentives

Give your employees a reason to stay with your company. Starting an incentive program is a great way to help employees feel valued and stay motivated. Quarterly bonuses, a better commission structure than your competitors, paying for additional credentials, or giving them a sense of ownership in the company through profit-sharing are all great ways to increase job satisfaction.

4. Let Them Grow

Especially for companies that are growing, providing your employees the opportunity to grow with you is a great motivator. While an increase in pay is a definite bonus, don't underestimate the psychological factor of letting employees know that you trust and respect their work. If opening up a second location is in your future, start considering which employees may be a good fit for management roles there. Providing your best employees with the opportunity to grow helps them stay motivated.

5. Share Positive Feedback

Everyone likes feeling appreciated for a job well done. In addition to providing personal feedback to your employees, make sure you share any positive feedback from customers, as well. Weekly meetings are a great time to do this; you can share general customer feedback with employees or point out specific examples of a team member making a difference for a customer.

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6. Be Transparent With Your Employees

Give your employees insight into how business is going. This allows them to feel like they are part of the team and keeps them invested in its overall success. Share daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly reports with team members on statistics specifically related to their job, letting them see what is going well and as well as areas of improvement.

7. Make Flexible Scheduling Available

Technology has changed how companies operate and how employees can work. Especially if you expect your employees to check work email from their phones or complete projects via their laptops from home, consider providing similar flexibility to them when it comes to scheduling.

A FlexJobs recent study showed 30% of respondents stating they left a job due to not having flexible work options with 16% saying they were looking for new employment due to flexibility issues. 80% of those responding shared that they would be more loyal to an employer who offered flexible scheduling options with more than 52% stating they have tried negotiating this into contracts.

Be viewed as a progressive employer by offering a variety of scheduling options, including flex time and remote working opportunities to attract top-level applicants and employees.

8. Provide a Workplace With Food

Food can be an important and often overlooked motivating factor in the work environment. Seamless surveyed 1,200 full-time professionals with 57% of those surveyed stating food perks would make them feel more appreciated and valued, and 50% saying that sharing a meal with co-workers creates better working relationships. When you pay attention to your employees' physical needs, it shows them you care about their personal well-being, not just what they can do for the company.

9. Recognize Individual and Team Achievements

Sometimes a simple thank you or pat on the back for a job well done can make all the difference. If an employee has gone out of their way to help a team member or put extra time in to complete an important project, make sure to recognize them for their efforts.

Many times the act of recognition isn't even as important as the principle of letting employees know their efforts are noticed and appreciated. Employees who have achievements recognized by managers report having higher levels of enjoyment in the work they do. There are many ways to let employees know you appreciate their effort, including sending an email, writing a note, or acknowledging them at a weekly meeting.

10. Ask Them What They Want

Stop trying to guess what's most important to your employees and ask them. Encourage employees to share ideas, or ask during performance reviews for ways to help them stay motivated.

Taking time to learn what your employees value most will help you find the right ways to keep them motivated to do a good job for your business.

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