The customer is king. While this is true, organizations should remember that if they do not take care of their employees, they would not be able to take care of their customers. A demotivated and frustrated employee cannot entertain the customer. Therefore, you should pay serious attention to employee motivation.
However, the reality is otherwise. According to a Gallup survey, only 34% of the US workforce feels engaged and motivated. It might come as a surprise as the USA hosts the top global companies. These companies provide many incentives to their employees, e.g., free food, paying above-market salary, etc.
The onus lies on the HR department to devise a strategy to retain top talent. Though difficult, the task is not at all impossible. There are many studies conducted in the domain of employee engagement which you can use to reduce the turnover at your organization. In this article, we will transpire what those strategies are. So let’s dive in.
Be a good listener
Every person comes across turbulent times in their personal life. It could be a loss of loved ones, going through financial difficulty, or any other problem. Being an HR manager, if you lend an ear to their issues, the employees will always encourage this from the bottom of their hearts.
Other than personal problems, HR should also be easily accessible to employees to hear their work-related grievances. There is a need to promote a culture of open communication. In this way, employees would feel that HR acts as their agent and would feel more motivated towards their job.
- Give them a sense of purpose
The vision and mission statement of the company shouldn’t just hang on the wall. Every employee should own it. HR has to sit with the employees and explain to them in detail the direction of the company. Apart from that, you must design a strategy to align an individual goal with the company ones.
A purpose-driven employee will be more engaged at work. Simon Sinek, in his famous TEDx speech, explained how purpose-driven employees contribute to the success of the organization. It keeps them motivated, and they would remain loyal to the company even during turbulent times.
- Appreciate their work
Humans love appreciation, whether it is at home or in the workplace. It gives them a new upsurge of delight. HR should formulate policies that promote the culture of recognition.
There are many ways in which managers can appreciate their team members. It could be mere verbal praise or a handwritten note. Alternately, you can give your employees some gifts every time they complete a project. Even if the employees fail at a particular task, it is better to acknowledge their hard work. Consider failure as an opportunity to learn.
Appreciation works like magic. Your kind words when an employee has failed will motivate them to analyze their mistakes and allow them to try even more on the next project. It gives a clear message to employees that they are acknowledged, and their effort is not going to waste by any mean. Consequently, they will put in extra effort into whatever they are doing.
- Don’t ignore the work-life balance
Everyone needs some time off from their work to spend time with their family or go out for a vacation. Due to work pressure, most employees struggle to do so and ignore the idea of work-life balance. It can have dire consequences not only on their productivity but will also affect their health.
Most employees don’t take a break for fear of losing their job or leaving a bad impression. In this situation, HR should step in and help the employees in managing their work-life balance. That should not only include the usual annual vacations, but HR can give a few extra leaves to the hard-working employees. Not only will the employees be extremely grateful to you, but they will come back to work with renewed energy, enthusiasm, and motivation.
- Create a conducive work environment
“I like office politics and leg-pulling culture. I also love my crotchety boss” Have you ever heard that? I am sure not. No person on earth would say that unless they are kidding or insane.
The workplace is where employees would be spending most of their time. If the boss always yells at employees, a constant leg-pulling environment takes place at the workplace, and the atmosphere is ripe with slanders, who would want to work there? Such a situation can have severe consequences on employees.
HR should formulate policies to get rid of this toxic environment. There are multiple ways to do so. One way is to arrange regular team building activities. These activities would build a healthy relationship among the employees and automatically kill the leg-pulling and bad-mouthing culture.
Another beneficial yet not popular strategy to create a conducive work environment is to have a good office design. Research by the British Council and Commission of Architecture and Built Environment discovered that more than 90% of managers believe that office design has an impact on the performance of employees. Invest in creating a soothing environment. You will get the return in the form of enhanced productivity.
Be open about what is going on in the company
Employees are the backbone of any organization. If you don’t inform them about what is going on in the company, they will feel left out and hence demotivated.
On the contrary, involving them in decision making or taking their feedback will make them feel valued and part of the company. It will shoot up their motivation and productivity.
These were some of the strategies HR can use to keep the employees motivated. If you look at the list carefully, all the points are related to intrinsic motivation. Research states that intrinsic rewards are much better in motivating employees than extrinsic benefits. The list is not exhaustive. There is a lot of literature research which highlights thousands of ways to keep the employees engaged. As an HR person, you must study all the tactics and adopt the right mix. Keep experimenting until you discover the perfect strategy for your workplace.