Research published by the Harvard Business School shows that, in 85 percent of companies, employees lose motivation after the first six months on the job and that they continue the downward slide for the remainder of their employment. Can you as an employer do more to keep employees engaged and productive in the workplace? You may be surprised at what a difference these 10 steps can make:
1. Inspire. Employees who feel that the company they work for has definite goals and a mission will recognize that there is a reason behind their efforts, and they will be more likely to do good work.
2. Recognize. You don’t need a fancy or expensive incentive program. A well-timed (and unexpected) pat on the back or word of praise makes anyone feel appreciated.
3. Facilitate. Make sure your employees have what they need to do their jobs. Serve as an advocate for your employees to other parts of your business.
4. Communicate. Give employees all the information they need to feel involved in the company and their jobs.
5. Coach. Recognize the talents and strengths that individual workers possess, and give people opportunities to grow their skills and challenge themselves.
6. Discipline. Identify problem employees early on and take steps to keep them from becoming “toxic” and poisoning your workplace’s atmosphere.
7. Listen. Let employees share their ideas, and take action to turn them into reality.
8. Relate. Choose employees who complement each other and organize them into teams to share work. When teams have control over matters such as scheduling, workflow and problem solving, they manage themselves and provide cross-pollination for new ideas.
9. Apologize. If you’ve made a mistake, own up to it. Set a good example for accountability within your company.
10. Lead. Employees are motivated by strong direction from management balanced with the chance to work on their own. Stand by your decisions, provide direction when needed, listen to employees’ needs, and don’t be afraid to jump in and help out when the going gets tough. You may find that your workers stick by you for the long haul.
One more thing. Try having some fun. Incorporate play at work to improve team dynamics, raise energy levels, reduce stress, spark creativity, raise engagement levels, and increase social interaction. What play looks like in your workplace is totally up to you and your corporate culture. Here are some ideas for increasing the fun level at your workplace:
Whatever you choose, it should be a natural and uncoerced activity that does not treat adults as children but, rather brings out the kid in adult employees.
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