Employee motivation is a hot topic today among HR managers and business executives. Research shows that when employees are happy and motivated in their work, everything else within a company seems to improve as well.  Because there are so many possibilities for employee motivation, it is difficult for companies to know where to begin and which practices work. Recently, however, there have been many initiatives taken by companies which have proven to be successful.  Here are some of the secrets they uncovered that are applicable in almost any organization.

MAKE EVERY GIFT MEANINGFUL

Turning to gifts as a way to motivate employees is easy.  After all, it is hard to find an employee that doesn’t appreciate a bonus check, gift certificate, or night out on the town.  When using gifts to motivate employees, however, it is essential for every gift to be meaningful.  If an employee does not understand why or how a gift was received, they don’t know how to earn it again and, therefore, have no reason to be motivated after the gift is received. To make gifts more effective, add a performance-based element to the gift or include a personal note regarding why the reason for the gift. 

 

RELY ON RELATIONSHIPS

Currently, the two largest generations in the workforce are the millennials and generation z. According to research, these two (very different) groups both desire work that provides value to their life over work that solely provides a steady paycheck. One effective way to give meaning to a position is to grow a relationship with the person who holds it.  Look beyond fundamental interactions to interactions that can provide growth and connection. For example, instead of annual reviews, millennials prefer continual conversation and advice regarding their performance and generation z prefers a mentor.  Both of these methods for performance evaluation foster more of a relationship than an annual review.

 

FOCUS ON INSPIRATION

In addition to building relationships with employees, another method that can be used to provide meaning to a job is inspiration. Companies can inspire employees to do better in their work and to work harder by showing them how their work makes a difference and connecting them with the population they impact through their work.  Employees also respond positively to any inspiration that propels them toward long-term growth. Show them how they can grow in the company through different positions and the potential their future holds if they work hard.  

 

When a company creates a plan for employee motivation and sticks to it, there is no telling how far it will go – the sky is the limit.  Employees respond when companies take action to motivate them and their attitudes, behaviors, and work ethic change for the better. The bottom line, however, is that all employees deserve the best a company can give them – and it is the job of HR managers and executives to do that.