Employees can be physically absent from work, but what happens when they are ‘absent’ when they are still working?
There can be many reasons for this – some employees might feel unmotivated or under challenged in their current role, some may be looking for another job already and just riding it out until they secure one and some might have already given notice but really have no desire to still be there for their notice period.
In situations such as this, Employers need to act. If an Employee gives notice and it’s not going to severely affect the business, sometimes it’s better to offer to pay out their notice period rather than have an underwhelming employee work for another 2-4 weeks. Their mind is normally on their next new job. Sometimes it’s best to shake hands and part ways sooner rather than later.
Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t motivate anyone, they have to motivate themselves”? From a purely psychological perspective, that may be true, but people are more likely to motivate themselves when a manager creates a motivating workplace environment.
What does a “motivating environment” look like? It looks like a business, where at finish time, still has a team working and having fun at the same time just to get the job done. It’s an environment where people have a sense of ownership and are pushing themselves harder than any Manager could ever push them. It’s where people are giving it their all when no one is watching and no one may ever know. They’re giving 110% because they want to work hard, not because they have to work. So what can Employers and Managers do to create this kind of environment? Here are a few simple ways to foster and create motivation:
1. Meaningful work
One of the most important things any leader can do to create a motivating environment is to make sure that every employee feels like the work they do contributes to the overall success of the Company and is meaningful.
Any job can be meaningful. I’m sure you’ve heard the story of the two bricklayers; one of them saw his job as stacking bricks. The other saw his mission as building a magnificent cathedral. Same job, different worldview.
Making sure work is secure and meaningful is the best form of job security a Manager can give their team.
2. Hire high performers and get rid of underperformers
High performers tend to be self-motivated to begin with. When you create a team of high performers, they feed off of each other. The standards are raised, the energy level increases, teamwork improves, and there’s a low tolerance for anything less than excellence. On the other hand, one or more underperformers with bad attitudes can infect a team and spread like a cancer, breeding resentment and low morale across the board.
3. Don’t micromanage
Not many people like to have their Manager breathing down their neck at every turn. Show your employees that you are interested in what they are doing, but empower them enough with knowledge and support to trust them to make their own decisions.
4. Promote your team’s accomplishments
Effective Managers recognise the importance of celebrating their team’s success. Making sure your employees good work gets noticed, recognised and appreciated will go a long way in fostering a dynamic and motivational culture.
5. Treat people with respect
Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Yelling, screaming, hurling insults and sharing passive aggressive accusations will only end badly for everyone. No one wants to work in an environment filled with fear and resentment – it will only create a high staff turnover and breed a resentful culture.
6. Get personal
Get to know your employees as people and learn about their families, their career goals and what interests outside of work they have. Whilst I am not saying you need to spend all of your time doing this, by knowing even just a little bit about each of your employees and their lives outside of work will show that you care about them as people, not just staff who work for you on a daily or weekly basis. This in turn promotes a culture of acceptance and care, where employees will go the extra mile- a win win.
7. Set a good example.
Be motivated, enthused, energised and passionate about your own work and the work of the team. Energy and positivity from the top down can be catching- success breeds success. 8. Pay people for what they are worth.
Compensation is important, but it’s not the be all and end all for motivation. While pay is not always a motivator, it can be a de-motivator if people feel they are being underpaid for the work they do. By ensuring that you are paying market value for your employees, along with offering excellent working conditions including flexible working conditions and potential bonuses, will ensure higher motivation within your team whilst promoting your Company as an Employer of Choice in the market place.