Whether you’re new to management or have been in a managerial position for years, you may find yourself wondering how to keep employees engaged and motivated at work.
It isn’t always easy, especially since not all employees will be motivated by the same tactics or incentives. However, there are a few strategies that can be implemented in any office to help manager/employee relationships remain healthy, productive, and positive.
This can be particularly difficult for new managers who may stress about delegating duties they were previously in charge of. However, it’s important to give employees autonomy, when appropriate, and trust their decision-making skills, even when they choose to do something differently than you may have chosen to do it.
If your employees do make any missteps, rather than taking responsibilities away or re-doing their work, give constructive feedback and partner with them to achieve the desired result.
Regular recognition of employee accomplishments can be a great motivator. It demonstrates that a manager is engaged and aware of what their employees are achieving on a day-to-day basis. Praising employees who go above and beyond or who successfully complete a long-term project can boost morale and let others know that their hard work won’t go unnoticed.
Support New Ideas
Encourage your employees to be involved and invested in their workplace by allowing them to share their ideas about projects, resources, and other facets of the job. Show a genuine interest in your team’s ideas, and if they’re not usable, take the time to explain why. If you are able to implement an employee’s idea, make sure to give them appropriate recognition.
Cultivate a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Make sure your employees feel comfortable taking time off—you can set an example by taking occasional vacations as well. Assist team members in preparing a plan that will allow them to fully disconnect during their time away from work.
You can also help employees maintain a healthier work-life balance by not sending emails after hours or on weekends, so they feel less pressure to respond or think about work during their personal time.
Institute an Open-Door Policy
This doesn’t have to be literal, but consider setting aside time for face-to-face conversations with your direct reports on a regular basis.
It may be difficult for employees to find time to talk to you if you have a schedule full of meetings and conference calls. Or they may simply feel intimidated when it comes to talking to their supervisor. An open-door policy can help you, as a manager, improve communication with your employees and open your eyes to bottlenecks, performance issues, or solutions that you may not have considered otherwise.
Face-to-face communication can also increase trust between employees and managers.
Keep Your Promises
If you’re really struggling to motivate your employees, you may be tempted to make promises you can’t keep—especially when it comes to things like salaries, bonuses, or career growth opportunities. However, falling short on these promises will only serve to break the trust between you and your direct reports. Only make promises when you know you can deliver on them.
Encourage Education and Training
There’s always room to grow and learn in the workplace. Employees who continue furthering their education and training bring more expertise back to the office, which benefits everyone in the long-term.
Investing in your employees, their skills, and their interests makes them more likely to invest in you as their employer or manager. This can decrease turnover and improve morale.
If you’re struggling to keep employees motivated and engaged on a day-to-day basis, implementing some of these ideas is a good place to start. Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP can also assist you in developing effective strategies to keep your workplace healthy and productive. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive EAP services.