But given how the modern workplace has evolved, these three things are now simply not enough to guarantee job satisfaction among workers. Beyond financial compensation and benefits, employees actively seek professional development opportunities, mentorship, work-life balance, and a positive company culture. And as companies themselves have come to realize, these are also factors that directly influence their employees’ performance and loyalty..
That said, what can your own company do to bring out the best in its workforce? How can you motivate your employees to do a great job beyond simply increasing their earnings? Here are seven tips that will improve the employer-employee dynamic in your workplace in addition to inspiring them to work toward achieving their goals and those of the company..
Pinpoint Areas of Dissatisfaction by Collecting the Proper Data
No matter how well your company is doing, there’s always a chance that someone working there is dissatisfied with their job. If you’re out to fix issues like that, you cannot go into things blindly. The best approach involves finding out where exactly that job dissatisfaction lies. To that end, your company can run focused group discussions (FGDs), town hall-style meetings, or employee satisfaction surveys. Sparkbay’s article on employee satisfaction surveys shows that a well-designed survey can be extremely valuable in identifying and addressing employee concerns.
Your employees might bring up issues about heavy workloads, their feedback system with their supervisors, a lack of growth opportunities, or the office environment itself. Their concerns will be unique to their experiences in the company, and will likely require a custom approach. All throughout, let your employees feel acknowledged and listened to. This will enable them to trust you and to continue doing their best, knowing that you have their best interests in mind.
Help Employees See Themselves as Part of the Company’s Culture
Every company has a “company culture” that makes it different from all others. You may be running yours along a particular set of beliefs or advocacies, and with the goal of reaching a particular market. Strong company cultures can attract the best talents. But they can also nurture such talents to be long-standing ambassadors of the institution.
When someone lands a job in your company, prove to them that they’ve gotten more than a good position. Show them that they’re part of a company culture that celebrates their skills and that can help them do meaningful work. In addition, show them that they’re around like-minded people that they can practice teamwork, coordination, and camaraderie with. If employees see that they’ve been planted in fertile soil, they will do all they can to thrive in it.
Don’t Be Tempted to Micromanage
If you have a leadership role in the company and you know the ropes, you may be tempted to micromanage. But this will ultimately curb your employees’ productivity, and may result in your mutual frustration with each other. The latter, in particular, may feel alienated by micromanaging behavior, and this will lessen their motivation to do good work on their own.
As the leader, you can make the call about which exact behaviors count as micromanaging, depending on the nature of the work. But in general, try not to overstep and fix all the problems yourself. Give your employees some leeway to figure things out for themselves—and when they do, they might just surprise you. You might learn from them that there are different, but equally effective solutions to common problems. That will be something of value to both you and them.
Be Honest and Forthright about Employees’ Performance—On Both Their Strengths and Areas of Improvement
Oftentimes, there’s a culture of fear around the issue of performance evaluation. Many employees are terrified about receiving feedback for their performance. Maybe it’s because they think that all feedback will be of the negative kind. Or maybe it’s because they feel uncertain about the standard being used to judge their work.
To quell this anxiety behind performance evaluations, you can do two things. First, set exact expectations for what you see as a job well done versus a job that needs some improvement, plus how one can improve. Employees shouldn’t be left in the dark about what they’re supposed to accomplish, or what sets of standards they’re being judged by. Second, pair constructive criticism with praise. Tell your employees what they’ve gotten right and what they can continue doing, and make them feel valued for their overall contributions. When they know that for themselves, they are more likely to do an even better job.
Offer Employees More Choices for Their Professional Development
In the past, the idea of career growth used to be a fairly simple and linear one. After a stint as a regular in one department or area of specialty, an employee might become a manager in that same area. But what if your employees want to try something new at some point in their careers? What if somewhere along the way, they get interested in other types of work in the company, like operations, marketing, or corporate social responsibility?
Giving your employees some more allowance as to where they can grow their talents may pay off in the long run. Not only will they stay longer in the company, but they’ll also exercise a wider variety of skills in your service. Moreover, they’ll do work that instigates the highest level of passion from them. This is the kind of drive that you will definitely want in order to bolster your company.
Give Potential Leaders the Opportunities to Step Up
Great employees are the kind who won’t stay happy exactly where they are for long periods of time. They’re the ones who desire a challenge and will likely excel if they’re presented with one. If you can already see employees brimming with leadership potential, consider cultivating it as soon as possible. Empower them and give them opportunities to see themselves as the company’s future leaders.
Invite these star employees to leadership training opportunities or in-house mentoring sessions. Alternately, you can prepare them for future leadership roles by letting them shadow you or gradually increasing their responsibilities. All the while, demonstrate to them that your company is the perfect place for them to hone their leadership potential.
Foster a Healthy and Productive Work Environment
Lastly, you can achieve a lot for your employees’ wellbeing simply by reconfiguring your office environment. You can layout the office space to ensure the correct balance between privacy and collaboration. Make sure the space is neat, clean, well-lit, and well-stocked for the kind of work that you do. This is so that employees can be at their physical, mental, and emotional best while they’re inside your office.
Nowadays, it’s easy for employees to become workaholics. That’s why employers should also be responsible for upholding work-life balance and preventing their employees from burning out. Encourage your employees to set healthy boundaries between work and their private lives. If they do so, it will result not only in better quality of work, but general quality of life.
Always remember that living, breathing people are responsible for the success of your company. Keeping them motivated to do work may be one of your biggest and most enduring challenges. But the attention to job satisfaction will be well worth it. If you nurture passion and excellent work ethic in your people, their contributions will be felt in the company long after they’ve moved on.
Use these tips to keep your employees alert, engaged, motivated, and happy. Who knows—soon, they might replicate the awesome work you’ve done as their leader!