Business Coach Column by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) from the Manila Bulletin
One of the challenges of managing a business is how to motivate your employees. Your workers are your key to your business’ success, and if properly motivated, they would strive to do their best. It would benefit a company a lot if the workers were motivated to work. This increases productivity and employees are more likely to stay on the job longer. Evaluate your workforce. Poor morale could indicate poor motivation. This will surely have a negative influence on the operations of your company.
As a boss, it is your responsibility to inspire your employees. The following are some ways to motivate your employees:
1. Keep your communication lines open. Let your employees know that you are available to talk about issues related to their jobs. Be reasonable and objective.
2. Recognize performers instantaneously. If the employee delivers well, praise him or her immediately. Employees are better motivated if they believe that the company is recognizing their contributions.
3. Lead by example. Show that you yourself follow company rules and regulations. Arriving late, looking haggard, and moving slow will gravely affect your employee’s morale. Start the day right: walk straight, smile, and greet everyone.
4. Be honest. Do not leave them hanging; there are times when employee’s requests cannot be accommodated, then promptly say so. Surely, they will appreciate your honesty better than waiting for nothing.
5. Have one-on-one meetings with each employee. This will allow you to be better acquainted with them; there are many things that can only be said confidentially.
6. Celebrate accomplishments. Every notable achievement deserves a celebration. Although celebrations are more commonly associated with sales achievements, there are many other things employees do that deserve recognition. You can prepare parties to reward employees for their loyalty. Acknowledge employees based on the number of years (5, 10, 15+ years) they have stayed with the company.
7. Provide a good working environment. Your employees are more likely to stay motivated in their tasks if you provide an environment conducive to work. Even a small expense like replacing a broken chair will boost an employee’s morale.
8. Show that you care. Remember that employees have a life outside of work. Note the dates of their town fiestas and other important personal events and maybe you could give some consideration on these days.
9. Minimize office politics. It is hard to concentrate on work when there is too much backstabbing going on. Try to build a cohesive team by resolving conflicts and emphasizing the benefits of cooperative effort.
10. Express your gratitude. Even for simple accomplishments, always remember to thank your employees individually and their role in meeting your company’s objectives. Repeat your appreciation during meetings, to increase your employees’ self-esteem.
Applying the ten tips mentioned above would go a long way to inspiring your workforce. However, to sustain good morale, you must never stop looking for ways to inspire. What may be a great motivator last year may be commonplace now. Motivation is always a work in progress!
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