How to motivate employees at work and create real engagement
Remember that terrible boss you always went the extra mile for?
As a leader, your leadership will be one of the biggest influences on how engaged your employees are.
In fact, according to a 2018 survey, 81% of survey respondents cited ‘management’ as the motivating factor to leave.
Forget the cheap gimmicks
Sure you can offer some free movie tickets, buy a cake, organise some pizzas or perhaps even organise some workplace massages.
But these are just short-term fixes that in the long run, do very little to genuinely engage your employees.
Once the cake has been eaten though, its back to the same old.
Thankfully there is a solution.
11 Great Ideas on How to Motivate Employees
Learn how to motivate employees with these great tips that will transform your workplace by delivering an improved level of engagement and reduce employee attrition in your business.
1. Connect with your team
As a leader, you should be seen.
Be visible. Make your presence felt.
Dont lock yourself in your office whole day and only communicate with staff when you want something done.
Why not take the time to walk around in the mornings and say g’day to staff or during the day just to a walk through the call centre?
Send motivational quotes, positive insights, share some news of your personal life etc.
You can probably remember a time in your career when the big boss asked about your footy team/kids/hobby etc and how impressed you were that they remembered.
Be that boss.
2. Show employees that you really care about their well being
If a staff member is unfortunate enough to be on extended sick leave or loses a family member, take the time to pick up the phone and call them.
Or go and visit them.
Be genuinely sympathetic. Send a card or flowers.
If someone has an injury, take an active interest in their recovery.
I once had a boss who came to visit me in hospital after I needed some surgery for a sporting injury.
I was pretty stressed at the time about being away from my team with some key deadlines approaching but her reassurance that things were under control enabled me to focus on my rehab (and ultimately get back to work quicker and more engaged).
3. Be Fair and Neutral
We’ve all had a poor experience with office politics or someone who is the bosses ‘pet’ and seems to get favourable treatment for everything.
It’s just not cool.
Remember a champion team always beats a team of champions. Treat your team equally and get them working with each other, not against it.
Don’t hold personal grudges, don’t send angry e-mails, don’t swear or raise your voice. And don’t ever belittle someone.
I’m not saying don’t have the hard conversations, but ensure you provide constructive feedback rather than criticise.
Treat everyone with respect.
4. Be Consistent
Nothing worse than approaching your boss and wondering whether you are going to get the ‘good’ boss or the ‘bad’ boss.
Good leaders are always consistent no matter what the situation.
5. Be an advocate for your staff
Call centre employees can be under a lot of stress.
Customers get angry with them and more often than not, the call centre agent is trying to resolve issues that have been caused by failures in other areas of the business.
A good call centre leader is fighting the good fight for their employees.
Raising systemic issues with the business, pushing for the system upgrades to make it easier to handle customers etc.
Have you ever gone the extra mile for someone who threw you under the bus?
When your employees are under the pump, be the ultimate leader and take the bullet for your team.
6. Empower your employees
I’ve never yet met anyone who likes to be micromanaged.
Show confidence in your staff and empower them with the knowledge and tool to do their job well.
If they are struggling, get them the support they need.
Tap into the knowledge and expertise in your team and encourage your employees to come up with solutions to issues.
Give them responsibility. Let them lead a project.
Delegate and assign tasks.
Managers light a fire under people; Leaders light a fire in people.” Management Consultant Kathy Austin
7. Open and Honest two-way Communication
Keep employees informed.
Dont let employee hear about upcoming changes through the grapevine.
Make sure your top management is available and engaging.
Have an open door policy where you can be seen as approachable to your subordinates.
Create an atmosphere where employees ideas, suggestions and values are embraced.
Don’t have surveys and suggestion boxes encouraging feedback if you have no intention of acting on it.
8. Champion Team Building Activities
Encourage a family atmosphere at work.
Recognise and celebrate Birthdays.
Have regular meetings and office activities such as group breakfast/luncheons and different events that will promote a sense of togetherness and belonging.
Bowling, trivia nights, talent shows – events that get your team enjoying each others company.
9. Reward and Recognition – Offer incentives
Don’t just reward the top performers.
Recognise those who are improving or who are giving it their very best.
And don’t just wait for formal rewards to hand out praise – just a simple and heartfelt ‘thanks’ can do wonders.
Show employees the results of their hard work.
Make them feel as though they are a major part of the business.
Keep them up to date with the performance of the company this will motivate them to give more.
Another one of the top reasons an employee leaves a company is the lack of development opportunities.
Employees can interpret an employers unwillingness to invest in their training as a complete disregard for their professional development.
Acknowledge and encourage strengths, recognise the different skills and develop a customised training program for them.
11. Employee Development
Asides from the professional development mentioned above, be flexible in allowing time off for employees to pursue projects, family commitments, educational or personal development programmes.
Take an active interest in their progression.
If they express an interest in working in another area, be an advocate for them.
Make introductions, help with the paperwork.
Let them make up the time if they need to miss a bit of work.
Hopefully you found our How to Motivate Employees tips useful.
Recommended further reading: 18 Ways you can reward staff without blowing the budget
Discover all the upcoming industry conferences, training courses, networking events and more on our Industry Events Calendar >