It’s a rainy afternoon and you notice that your employees aren’t firing on all cylinders; some are slumped at their desks, others are looking out the window and many are looking generally uninterested. Sound familiar?
If you have ever been in this situation, you have probably asked yourself why this often happens. Every manager wants a team of driven, motivated individuals in order for maximum business output. However, the reality is that unless there are key motivators in place for your team to want to work hard, you will not have the desired workforce. Office productivity is hard to measure on a daily basis, however, if you feel your business could be doing better you may want to take a closer look at your under-stimulated employees and address the problem.
In order to understand how to motivate your team, we need to understand what drives an individual. In many cases, employees feel that the office is a dull and uninspiring place to be, which can impact their willingness to work hard and stay alert. Not only does this result in an unproductive workforce but often leads employees to stray. In other words, to help you retain the top talent the workplace needs to become a more stimulating and fun environment. Employees will generally thrive in an office where there is an upbeat environment.
An excellent way to bring more excitement into the office is to organise team events both inside and outside of the workplace. This is a sure way to increase employee morale. You may wish to start by organising outings, these could be meals out or team building days. These activities don’t have to cost the earth; if your business is on a budget consider organising fun in-house team events such as fundraising days (where you can show support for charities) or provide team lunches, picnics and coffee mornings.
Another way to ensure your team enjoys coming to work is to show employee appreciation. Workers will be much more satisfied and willing to do a good job if they know you appreciate the hard work they have put in and you are interested in them as a person. Gather your employees together for a meeting once a month to discuss their personal achievements (and if appropriate, chat about non-work related events such as personal accomplishments, birthdays or anniversaries). Sending personal thank you notes to employees for exceptional efforts that have helped the business is a great way to show your staff you care and that you really appreciate their hard work. If employees feel valued they are more likely to want to work harder.
Lastly, think about the things that you would enjoy in the workplace, whether they be team games, non-work related targets, incorporating humour into emails and meetings or even daily workplace discussions about current events or popular culture. If you are stuck for ideas ask for input from employees to see what they would like or assign a willing volunteer the task of injecting some fun into the workplace. However, you tackle it, putting even just a couple of these suggestions in place could result in a much more productive workforce and even put a smile on your face.