Feeling like your employees aren't motivated? You're probably right. Only 24 per cent of Australian employees claim to be actively engaged at work, according to Gallup's most recent studies.
Running a business takes a lot more than a strong leader. In order to successfully guide a team, you first need to have a motivated team to lead. Managers and C-level employers are finding that this is sometimes easier said than done – getting employees motivated and excited about their job can prove difficult.
Only 24 per cent of Australian employees claim to be actively engaged at work.
Here are some ways that managers can begin fostering motivation amongst their team members.
1. Encourage leadership and responsibility
Workers who feel like they're just another cog in the machine are unlikely to be engaged at work. Those who are given actual responsibility, on the other hand, will likely end up investing more in the job. Even if this comes in the form of asking employees for ideas or input (and taking it seriously when it's given), it will be enough to give them a bit more confidence that the work they're doing matters.
Another easy way to encourage employees to develop professionally is by offering them leadership training courses. People can take the skills they learn and apply them in their job – this gives them a sense of personal agency and will increase motivation across the team.
2. Acknowledge the value of incentives
Sure – it would be nice if employees wanted to work just for the sake of working. Unfortunately, that's not a realistic expectation. They all have bills to pay, activities to do after 5pm and people they'd rather be spending their time with – how then can you make them want to work hard for you?
In many cases, what really motivates people are incentives, bonuses and other rewards that directly benefit them. Even if you don't have a big budget for monetary bonuses, consider smaller rewards, such as movie tickets, team outings, brunch or a bottle of nice wine. Knowing that their hard work will be rewarded is usually enough to motivate employee engagement.
Consider small rewards, such as movie tickets, team outings, brunch or a bottle of nice wine.
3. Listen, invest, reflect
One of the most important things a leader can do is listen. If there are internal issues at work that are affecting employee motivation, schedule meetings with your employees to hear what they have to say. If they feel like they aren't being taken seriously, they'll be less likely to engage in their job.
It also helps when employers show an active interest in their employees' lives – both personally and professionally. Make it clear to employees that hard work will be rewarded with career progression opportunities; if they know they have a future at the company, their motivation to do their job will increase.
Finally, leaders need to reflect their motivation back onto the team. As the leading example, you need to demonstrate your motivation to your team members – in many cases, it's infectious. Employees who can see that their manager is passionate and engaged with the work he or she is doing will be more inclined to engage themselves.
How can I become better at communicating with my team?
In some cases, the passion you feel for your job isn't getting fully translated to your employees. Managers who are actively looking to engage with their team should consider taking communication skills training courses – these programmes can help you develop professionally while giving you the tools to boost employee motivation. Reach out to a representative at ICML today for more information!