A recent study by TowersWatson found that fewer than 21 percent of employees surveyed described themselves as “highly engaged.” This is 10 percent less than the figure from 2009. And 8 percent admitted to being fully disengaged. Having only 1/5 of your workforce engaged doesn’t make good odds for keeping your employees motivated.
Entrepreneur.com states that employee engagement and motivation derive from 3 factors:
- Alignment of the employee with the goals and vision of the company
- Employees’ faith in the competence of management and their commitment to realize the goals and vision
- Trust in their direct supervisor that he or she will support his or her people and help them succeed
With these in mind, let’s take a look at some do’s and don’ts of motivating employees.
- Don’t be cold, distant, rude, or unfriendly. Employees take emotional cues from their supervisors and may mirror those negative emotions.
- Don’t avoid taking responsibility for your actions. Developing accountability starts with leading by example. Also, employees will recognize and appreciate your efforts.
- Don’t jump to conclusions without checking the facts first. When an employee makes a mistake, look into the possibility of a legitimate reason for their mistake rather than immediately reacting. Your employees will see you as understanding and will appreciate the faith you have in them for not immediately questioning their work ethic.
- Do recognize your team. Never underestimate the effects of simple recognition for a job well done.
- Do be responsive—return phone calls and emails. The ease of communication among you and your team will motivate them to engage more within the workplace.
- Do ask and listen. You aren’t just a boss meant to deliver orders; you are a mentor and guide for your team. Learn how to ask your employees rather than tell them.
Employee motivation is attainable when you keep these do’s and don’ts in mind.