Creative Ways to Motivate Employees
One issue businesses across the country face is a lack of employee engagement. Gallup polls have fairly consistently shown that a minority of workers (32% in 2015) are engaged in their jobs. About 50% of employees are not engaged and around 17% are actively disengaged. Since in many cases, the effort and interest employees put into their work can make or break a business, companies are often looking for ways to motivate their teams and to get employees to give their work their all. Here are a few affordable and creative ways to motivate your team.
Offer Free Food
What’s better than pizza? Free pizza, apparently. As part of research for his book “Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations,” psychology and behavioral economics professor Dan Ariely conducted a study at an Intel semi-conductor factory in Israel. Some employees got an email at the beginning of the week promising a voucher for free pizza if they were able to complete a certain amount of work. Other employees got an email promising cash (about $30) and others got the promise of a compliment. A fourth group, serving as the control group, didn’t get an email.
The promise of a free pizza was incredibly effective at motivating employees. On the first day, the employees in the pizza group were 6.7% more productive than the employees in the control group and more productive than employees in the cash or compliments group.
If your company is dealing with a lack of motivation or if your business’ productivity is stagnating, consider offering the incentive of free food. It doesn’t have to be pizza. A free weekly lunch or a break room that’s well stocked with snacks can work too.
Offer Genuine Compliments
Ariely’s study also found that the promise of earning praise for a job well done was slightly more motivating than the promise of free food. Although the people in the pizza group were the most productive the first day of the study, those who were working to earn a text message that read “well done!” from their boss ended up being the most productive over the course of the week.
Of course, for compliments to matter and to effectively motivate people, they have to mean something. Look at what your team is doing and find something to praise out of their work. But don’t just say “good job” when you’re not actually happy about their work. Genuine compliments are effective, but empty flattery can actually work against you.
Make Work a Game
Another way to motivate your team and increase engagement at work is to make some aspects of work a game. As the pizza and compliments study showed, employees can be more productive if they are working towards a reward. Gamifying the workplace doesn’t mean filling your offices with ping pong and foosball tables. Instead, it means offering employees clear incentives and status recognition when they reach certain milestones. For example, a sales rep can earn a badge and a gift card after making $X number of sales in a week. The employee that does the most sales each week can be King or Queen of the Sales Room that week.
Make Goals Achievable
Just as working towards a large, seemingly unsurmountable goal can make a person want to give up, giving your employees large, seemingly impossible goals can cause them to disconnect from their work. Instead of having your employees aim for the moon, direct them to a closer target and give them step by step guidance, to help them actually reach a goal. Breaking a large goal up into smaller, achievable goals helps your team see progress, instead of leading them to think that they are simply treading water and getting nowhere.
Having a motivated team is just one part of growing and scaling your company. The team at New Direction Capital can work with you to help you put together a strategic plan, increase your profits and make sure you and your employees are working together. Contact us today to learn more.
Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net