“Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people but you cannot be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people.” – Lea Lacocca
Motivation drives us to our full potential. It gives us that necessary drive to do everyday tasks regardless of whether we work as a flash game developer or are running a retail company. Fortunately, you believe in your company’s potential. You see it, and you have faith in it wholeheartedly. This very same conviction in your company’s success drives you to work with a purpose each day and deliver results with a passion. Though this may be true for you, the same cannot be said for your employees.
Unfortunately, the reality is, you are working with a vision, so you give your best endeavors to propel your company and business forward. But whether you like it or not, some if not all of your small-time employees’ motivations lie on the paycheck they receive twice a month. Compared to your budding mental imageries for your company, theirs seem a rather small scale and for this reason, some of them may lose the necessary motivation needed for a functional work day and an inspired output. In fact, it has been shown by a survey conducted in 2015 that only 69% of employees felt that they were consistently putting in all their effort into their work. Similarly, if you feel like your employees are more listless than usual resulting in a dip in your office productivity, and then perhaps it is time to try a variety of incentives and maybe even introduce some unorthodox ones to really inspire employees to put in some effort. More often than not, thinking outside the box and a little creativity is necessary to bring out reliable results in motivating and stimulating employees. Break the mold and introduce some of these motivation techniques to your employees and see if it would make any difference.
Plan a field trip
Think back to the days when you were still in school and ask yourself which activities you looked forward to as a kid and which ones you felt excited about. Among some of the best days in school, perhaps field trips would rank as number one. Just because you are working in an entrepreneurial and corporate setting, it does not mean field trips should stop. Let this be a way to give your employees a breather, get away from the office for a day and enjoy an excursion or activity together. This is excellent for building colleague friendships, and it would make your employees feel that they are part of a team. Introduce team outings and team building activities to strengthen team cohesion. Once your employee feels like they are part of a team, they would be motivated to work even harder.
Plan a shorter workweek
Some of the busiest and most exacting employers might think this is asking for too much, but it has a lot of advantages entailed to it. In fact, countries who have started experiment with the four-day workweek have noticed a significant and positive change in the productivity of their employees. Some countries such as the Netherlands have the four-day workweek as a standard and is pretty common in their offices. The benefits of having a shorter workweek might not be readily apparent to you, but the reality is better as work gets done in four days rather than five. In essence, when there is less time to work, there is virtually no time to waste (or at least less time is spent). A compressed workweek tends to make an individual focus on important matters.
Deck out a game room
Have a space dedicated for unwinding and recuperating during a work day. This can be considered as something like your “perk” place where employees can go to relax for a while when their workload has been stressing them too much. Offer your employees amenities such as video games, ping pong tables, foosball, pool tables and you would see how these games would bring them together and allow them to relax. You might think that adding these facilities would provide an avenue for distraction, but it has been shown that employees who have more fun at work have higher commitment values, are happy and would build friendships with their co-workers. These facilities would allow employees who would normally not interact in an office setting to relax and bond together. These games require individuals to play in pairs and team groups. In essence, this would allow employees to spend time together and create a company culture that focuses on collaborative efforts.
Utilize wall space
Employees typically spend an enormous amount of time at their desk while staring at walls or their cubicle partitions. Instead of having these as blank spaces, why not turn them into an avenue for motivation instead? Before you go on grabbing the cheesiest motivational quote you can find and plastering them all over your walls, think of something less hackneyed and clichéd and would not cause your employees to groan whenever they see it. Add glass partitions to these spaces between desks and allow employees to use this space as a way to convey creative ideas. Alternatively, you can have a significant artistic office mural where each employee can contribute to the artwork. Let this mural be the display that portrays your company’s mission and core values.
Show your employees that they are appreciated and that they play an integral role in the company by honoring them. Giving them a meaningful card, s token of appreciation or even a cake during their birthday or a work-related milestone will let them feel that they are positively valued. But do not stop there, introduce smaller themed activities for each month which your employees can look forward to. Halloween and Christmas time are good seasons for these, but your company can make one for each month which you and your staff can celebrate.
Having a company vision is great, but it is impossible to attain such vision on a singular endeavor. For this reason, you would definitely want to boost the office morale and motivation by organizing activities designed around it. Maintaining a positive workplace culture is paramount and pivotal to a company’s success. Start by integrating some of the ideas above and see if there are any significant changes.