More American employees are quitting their jobs today than they were just four years ago, and it turns out managers can be a big reason why. A motivated, happy employee is one that sticks around—but for leadership, finding realistic, everyday ways to make that happen can be daunting. Luckily, there’s enough research out there to inform best practices. For 2016, we’ve identified the top four drivers of employee engagement, along with everyday motivating tactics to keep morale high and turnover low. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the idea of getting fit, learning to cook, or promising to stop being so late all the time, here are a few New Year’s Resolutions for managers that you can easily commit to—and that will not only benefit you, but your employees too:
In a Global Workforce Study conducted by Towers Watson, one of the top drivers of employee motivation was regular interaction and communication with senior and executive managers. By acknowledging your employees every day, you demonstrate an involved and communicative presence. A simple daily pit stop by each person’s desk and a genuine “How are you this morning?” can make a big difference—but be sure to schedule one-on-one time with every report to hold a more committed dialogue. Using these meetings to identify goals, recognize good work and overcome challenges builds trust and mutual respect, making weekly solo meetings an investment worthy of any manager’s time.
Some of the biggest tech companies in Silicon Valley have become famous for their long list of employee perks, which makes it easy to attract and retain the best talent. Pairing a work goal with an extrinsic, performance-based reward is a tried-and-true positive approach to employee motivation. Whether it’s completion of a project or getting through a rough busy season, often reminding employees that there’s a carrot at the end of the tunnel makes a difference. A recognition and rewards system congratulates a job well done and also strengthens your team—two core aspects of a good work culture. At Blueboard, we specialize in experiential rewards like kayaking trips for two, spa packages, or even introductory glassblowing workshops. Consider offering employees a choice of one of these activities (or over 200 others) and watch morale soar.
Showing your team that they have places to go will prevent one of the bigger sources of employee disengagement: the sense of a dead-end career. In fact, career growth is a top motivator for the majority of workers. While bigger strategies like rotating job roles require systemic change that comes from top leadership, middle managers can start by discussing what each of their employees wants from their career, followed by clearly mapping out ways to reach those goals. This tactic prevents boredom, allows employees to learn new skills and to make informed decisions about what path they want to take within the company.
When it comes to work, creating a sense of purpose is hugely important to any employee’s motivation; 73% of employees who feel their work is purpose-driven describe themselves as engaged (and even more-so for Millennials). Remind employees of the bigger picture and how their individual work contributes to it, and regularly reaffirm the company’s mission. One way to do this is to host a series of motivational speakers who can tell success stories or highlight existing challenges that are relevant to the company’s work. Making an effort to be vocal about your own can-do vision for the team—as well as acknowledging theirs—creates a common ground ripe for motivation.
If you’re looking to shake things up with your employees this year, let’s start with rewards. To learn more about our offerings visit us at Blueboard.com.