It’s no secret that employee motivation can drive teams to achieve bigger and better things for your company. In a study by Gallup, companies with high employee engagement had 81% less absenteeism, 18% higher productivity, and 23% higher profitability. Higher employee engagement has also been shown to increase retention rates by up to 87%.
However, many organizations struggle to find ideas to motivate employees. As workplaces continue to adapt to the changing environment, companies are still catching up when it comes to meeting the needs of their workers:
Employee motivation is a measure of the commitment level and connection that employees bring with them to work everyday. Understanding the employee perception of the workplace can help identify if individuals and teams are actively engaging with their work, instead of just putting in the hours. Engaging employees requires organizations to meet the needs of their workers and provide them with opportunities to connect their own personal values with organizational goals, as well as use tools that facilitate communication and collaboration.
Why employee motivation is important
Every organizational leader would agree that employee engagement is important. But why should motivating your employees be at the top of your to-do list? What real-time results can you expect to yield?
More engaged employees become more productive employees, which can help your teams achieve greater profitability for your organization. In a long term study, Forbes found that strong corporate cultures that highly value their people and encourage leadership saw 4x more revenue growth. By empowering your workers and giving them an opportunity to connect with their role on a deeper level, you create an incentive for them to achieve more for themselves and your company.
Research shows that motivated employees are more productive and innovative. Motivation drives people to seek more efficient and creative solutions to their problems. Individuals put their heads together to solve issues collectively instead of muddling through on their own. Motivation provides the fuel that ignites out of the box thinking. Citing one research study, ‘Motivation is the main force through which individuals allocate effort to generate and implement innovative ideas.’
Retain the best talent
According to a recent survey, employees said the three most contributing factors to quitting their jobs were a lack of career advancement opportunities, low pay, and the absence of a salary pay raise. In the modern workplace, retaining the best talent requires organizations to do more than just provide a steady paycheck. Employees need to have a reason to put in their best work for a company, whether it be personal or financial incentive. When people find meaning in their workplace and align with what they are doing, they have more than just financial gain to consider when evaluating their role.
The key to motivating employees lies in one word: purpose. To break the boundary of ‘just a day job’ and become an organization driven by a passionate workforce, employees need to feel that they are making an impact and sharing in company success. In fact, according to a Qualtrics study of 13K workers, employees list ‘a clear link with their work and the company’s strategic objectives’ as a top reason for staying at a company.
Employers also need to create a working environment that encourages professional respect and growth opportunities. An April 2018 survey of 2,000 UK employees revealed that the driving causes for lack of motivation at work were no career progression (25%) and poor communication from senior management (25%). Respecting employees and providing an outlet for their professional aspirations will give them all the more reason to put their time and effort into the organization.
7 proven ways to motivate employees
Streamline internal communications
Over the past year, internal communication has become the lifeblood of nearly every company. As teams begin to transition into more hybrid work structures, your internal communication structure is vital to ensuring all employees are linked to each other and the organization. A streamlined communication structure is essential for keeping employees up to date and connected with each other.
Make your goals crystal clear
Linking the work employees do with the overall company mission is essential to providing a greater sense of purpose in a role. However, according to recent research by Chris Zook of Bain and Company, only 40% of employees across organizations know their company’s goals and strategies. It’s hard for someone to map the most efficient route when they don’t know the final destination. Organizational goals and strategies should be communicated often and updated frequently. Employers must ensure that teams can connect their internal KPIs with their role in the company’s mission. Employees need (and want) to be kept in the loop.
Give employees an outlet for feedback
Collecting feedback is an opportunity for organizations to learn more about employee perception and how they can make improvements. It also allows employees to feel that their voice is being heard and can provide the structure on which to base change. Employees who work at a company that provides a feedback program report being 17% more engaged than their counterparts who do not have an outlet for feedback. A system should be put in place and used often to keep up with changing employee needs. Using a (Google) intranet software, you can automate feedback surveys to be sent out to employees on a regular basis.
Make employees feel heard
Employers are people too, which means they aren’t perfect. Accepting and implementing feedback in the best interest of your teams can help your organization grow in a way that fuels motivated workers. Employees who feel that their feedback is valued are 4.6 times more likely to be empowered to deliver the desired results. Collecting feedback is important, but true motivation comes when people feel listened to. Social intranets encourage bottom up communication and can help workers connect with employers in a more open and honest way.
Interpersonal connections make work life more meaningful. Workplace chatting encourages teams to collaborate and facilitate creativity. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a Unipos survey found that the majority (70%) of remote office workers said the thing they miss the most about work is face-to-face chats with colleagues. 25% said that their productivity has fallen, with 47% suggesting that the lack of chatter could be to blame for some. Creativity is also suffering as 45% of workers said they miss being able to share ideas and feedback with co-workers. Encourage socializing during coffee breaks and after work drinks. Create informal channels of communication to facilitate shared interests. Teams will be able to form deeper relationships while building trust and comradery.
Facilitate teams with collaboration tools
Collaboration tools are now the workspaces in which your employees operate. Particularly post-pandemic, these platforms have become essential for both workflow and company culture. A study by MicKinsey showed that employees spent 14% of their work week communicating and collaborating internally and that by implementing social tools, they were able to boost productivity by 20%-25%. As employees streamline their workflow, they make space for creative solutions that help them engage with the company. When choosing the right social intranet, look for features that connect your employees on multiple levels and facilitate collective work.
Motivating your employees starts with opening up communication. By understanding their perspective, you can assess where you are meeting their needs and where there might be room for improvement. To facilitate this, you need to have the right collaboration tools in place. Enterprise intranets can help strengthen communication lines both in and out of the workplace and facilitate feedback. Use our intranet comparison guide to find the platform that best suits your needs.