Wednesday, April 13, 2016

6 Ways to Motivate Your Workers

Congratulations! You’ve been recently promoted to a leadership position within your company! But now you’re wondering what it takes to get your employees motivated to do great things. How can you create a workspace that everyone enjoys? How do you keep your workers happy? Read on for some tips on creating a positive, enjoyable workplace – the first step to motivating your employees to produce high-quality work and to do great things.

Create a positive environment. Make sure your employees have enough personal space for getting work done. Check the temperature of the office: colder temperatures may keep people awake, but it can also be very distracting to be freezing cold (or steaming hot). Take advantage of any windows in the office and create comfortable spaces near them, so employees can work or eat lunch there. Creative décor and artwork go a long way towards creating an enjoyable work space, so encourage employees to decorate their cubicles and shared workspaces! You could even designate a bulletin board in a common area for positive postings (birth or wedding announcements, birthday cards, pictures, etc.) that will keep people smiling throughout the day.

Keep food around. Providing hot and cold beverages for your employees will keep them in the office instead of wasting paid hours at Starbucks or 7-11. Even if it’s just coffee, tea, and filtered water for their water bottles, that goes a long way among employees. Allow workers to bring in treats on their birthday – or better yet, bring the birthday treats yourself! If it’s nice outside, plan a potluck picnic day and ask everyone to bring different foods from home.

Plan “casual days” for the office. Everyone loves those days where they don’t have to put too much thought into what they wear to work. And we all get tired of wearing slacks and button-downs every day! Scheduling denim Fridays, theme dress days (wear your favorite sports team shirt, etc.), and other casual-wear days is a great way to boost employees’ spirits and productivity.

Recognize and reward employees for outstanding work. If one of your workers went above and beyond on a project, or continuously goes out of their way to exceed your expectations, make sure to let them know that you appreciate their efforts. The best way to get people to continue a positive behavior is to reward them for it. Because some people shy away from the spotlight, it is appropriate to privately recognize and reward those individuals. Write them an email or just leave a note at their desk before they get to work in the morning. In the same way, make sure to recognize your workers as a group if they are doing a spectacular job. Show them how their efforts are contributing to the success of the company as a whole!

Get to know your employees. Although it’s important to respect the divide between a person’s professional and personal lives, getting to know your employees is essential when trying to build a positive workspace. Many people feel good when acquaintances remember things about them, such as their spouse’s and children’s names, their birthday, or their hobbies and interests.
Have a positive social culture within the office. Organize group outings to sporting events, raffle off small prizes like movie passes or restaurant gift certificates, or start fun office traditions like an annual company softball game. These are things that will attract new employees to your company, as well as keep current employees engaged and interested.

This post was written by a guest contributor for MSU Executive Development Program. MSU EDP is proudly presented by the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.