One of the biggest factors that business owners need to be mindful of everyday is that not every employee is the same. Motivation, drive, productivity are all factors that can differ from person to person. It doesn't matter if you're the owner or management for a large team, small team, or maybe you're even a project manager, you could potentially see drive beginning to diminish within your team.
Today, we will be covering all aspects of what you can do in your position to help increase the productivity of your team and maximize on profits, as well as helping meet deadlines!
One of the leading causes of a lack of motivation is when things are laid out in a very unclear, unorganized way. Let's say you want to go grocery shopping, but instead of having things listed, you instead emailed yourself items one at a time. Not only would it take time to go through those emails and make sure you don't forget anything, but it would also feel like a hassle. "I'll do it tomorrow", do those words sound familiar to anyone? Just like the example above, this same fact is true for projects and tasks.
Having a bunch of unorganized tasks can feel extremely demotivating to your employees, and at times they may feel lost. By creating sprints, or any method to help streamline the workload to them, they have a clear concise path to follow, and they will be moving on from one task to another in a much more productive way. Don't limit your team by disregarding organization, get someone (or yourself) to give them clear direction each and every day they work!
While some businesses may be a bit harsher with how employees spend their time, and some are more strict, you'll want to find a good balance between the two. Having too relaxed of an atmosphere could cause your team to get too comfortable with how they spend their time. Too strict, on the other hand, could make employees feel uncomfortable or unhappy. By observing and making sure everyone is working proficiently, you can guarantee they will maintain the same standard.
A lot of physical businesses do just this already with the addition of supervisors into their businesses. Having someone to manage and moderate how the team spends their time could reinforce productivity and reduce "slack time".
I think everyone can agree that once you get too much on your plate, you want to throw up your arms and walk away, or even cry. Nothing is more demotivating than that feeling of not being able to catch up. With most businesses, there will be times where you will become increasingly busy. The important thing to do is to organize which tasks are important, and to slowly introduce them to the team or employees.
If someone already has 5 urgent tasks they're working on, adding 5 more won't make them more productive. Create a backlog of work, and organize them based on importance. When they finish one, you can introduce one more, just so their mind can start processing that task while they work on their current ones. Never overburden someone, that is a good way of not only demotivating them, but to even possibly lose a very good employee.
Side note: if they are taking too long on a task, there is usually a reason for this. Asking that employee can increase communication and see what the cause is. Never assume; it's better to trust that they're encountering issues, but addressing your concerns in a friendly manner to the employee would be the best way to go about this.
Now, many pet owners may already know the benefit of this. Not to condescend your employees which you should never do, but giving your household pets positive feedback is a good example for this section. If you give your dog a treat after doing something well, they will associate what they did with something positive. This is also beneficial in a work environment.
An employee could be working their best, and if they aren't given positive feedback or rewards, it could be demotivating for them. It's good to do some research to see what would best work for your company, but there are several good ways to motivate and reward hard working employees. This can include:
- Time off / Vacation time
- An increase in wages
- A party or celebration (if a team finishes a project, hold a party with food to show everyone your appreciation)
- A small gift (watch, gift card, some sort of small item
- Allow them to work on something they enjoy
That's just a short list of the ways you could motivate your team or employee. There are many ways to do this, but don't forget the small things- even a "thank you" can go a long way!
Performance Reviews / Room For Growth
This is a big one, for any business size. Putting time and effort into writing up a performance review for your individual employees not only shows them that you're aware of the work they're putting into the company, but you're also praising them in fields, and kindly directing them in places that you see is lacking. While this may be time consuming, it will always be worth your time to give your employees a good review once in a while. One performance review every year is standard, but more than that is even better - every 6 months is my own personal preference!
Additionally, you'll want to give them room to grow. Offer them training or expanding the field they work in, so before they grow bored or find their work tedious, they will have new and refreshing opportunities to step into. A lot of employees can grow bored with the current work they do, and over time, may even work slower or be less productive as a result. Keep the door wide open for your employees, show them that you care!
Many don't take into consideration that motivation and productivity can seriously hinder your business, and by maximizing on both, you can run a happy and successful business that will grow for many years to come. Don't push your team too hard, but don't let them just take the backseat either. It's always important to note the amount of work they do, and to respond appropriately!
Always listen to your team, and don't scold them when they come up with an idea or have a misunderstanding. Keeping a welcoming, positive atmosphere will greatly help in keeping your team working hard and happy for many years to come, and with their help, your business is sure to succeed! After all, you wouldn't be where you are without the help from them!