Navigating the challenges posed by COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone. So, continuing to keep your employees motivated during what remains of 2021 and into 2022 will be vital to achieving your organisation’s goals and targets.
Indeed, it will be all the more critical as many of your staff members return to your company’s offices after what may have been extended periods working from home.
Research shows motivated employees are proactive and look for new solutions to overcome challenges and achieve goals. They can evaluate their work and don’t need to wait for either negative or positive feedback.
This, in turn, creates more employee engagement and increased productivity. According to research by Hay Group, companies whose employees describe themselves as feeling motivated are, on average, 43% more productive. They have a greater ability to understand the company’s goals and how their role contributes to its overall success.
This is all well and good but the most urgent question for you may be, how do you motivate your employees? Below, we’ve outlined five tips for accomplishing precisely that.
1. Set realistic goals
What are the first steps in motivating your team once most of your employees are back in one office together? Well, we suggest that your very first step, as a manager, should be to organise goals and targets to fulfil over the next few months.
Given the current unpredictable economic climate and the continued uncertainty over the impact of the coronavirus from now on, you must set realistic goals. Setting unachievable targets will lower morale, not boost it!
Every team leader wants their team to be firing on all cylinders, so the first meeting back in the physical office is crucial for deciding on achievable goals. In short, it’s the ideal time to motivate everyone.
2. Signal to employees that they are valued
After the year or so we’ve had, with so little human interaction possible and teams working remotely, it’s more important than ever to know how to motivate staff and let them know how valued they are.
Aim to encourage employees to feel more enthusiastic and invite them to come up with new ideas. Even a bad idea can be helpful if it gets your team talking and leads to other ideas.
3. Offer incentives to the hard-working staff
Popular means of improving staff motivation include incentives such as an employee of the month award, promotions and bonuses. Giving a prize for the best performance will encourage the team to strive hard to do their tasks in the best ways.
For instance, if you head a sales team, the person with the highest sales figure, the most satisfied customers, or the most practical networking activities may have a chance of winning the award. The prize can be something simple, like a bottle of bubbly or a gift voucher, with the winner announced at the start of the meeting.
Psychologists describe bonuses as an external stimulus to encourage desired behaviours such as enhanced motivation, increased productivity and a stronger work ethic.
A study of 6,500 workers measured the hours of overtime they worked and the level of absenteeism. The research concluded that increasing the frequency of surprise bonuses to reward exceptional work improved employee effort significantly, leading to greater productivity and less absenteeism.
4. Keep communicating with your employees
It might seem almost too obvious to suggest that you need to be communicative with your staff members to keep their morale and motivation up. Yet, such simple employee engagement is something that all too many organisations neglect.
Communicating regularly with your staff doesn’t just keep employees in the loop and help resolve problems quickly. That’s because going even further, by getting staff involved in decision-making, also makes employees feel like they are genuinely part of the team.
Once you have grabbed your team’s attention and increased their motivation, don’t let this slide as time goes by. In many cases, the first meeting at a company’s brick-and-mortar offices after a long break makes team members aware of the business’s vision and goals for the months ahead.
However, the problems begin if this is never repeated. Your vision for the company must be at the heart of everything you do – and your team needs to know this, too. So don’t let it start to fade as the weeks and months progress and the assignment deadlines stack up.
Whether you’re thinking up a new strategy or allocating tasks for a current project, the question on everyone’s lips should be, “How will this help the company to achieve its vision?” And ensuring that you are constantly communicating with your employees will be vital to encouraging them to work harder, boosting their job satisfaction, and achieving increased productivity.
5. Provide inspiring venues in which to work
This is another piece of advice that you might regard as simplistic, but research has shown that if you’re interested in how to motivate employees, one of the best moves is to give them a pleasant work environment. In addition, we are all craving face-to-face contact once again, so when the time comes for in-person meetings, booking a great venue will undoubtedly help with that!
If creating a motivational space is something you’re seriously looking into as a way to encourage employees to give their best, you should be looking to extend that space to every part of the workplace and beyond. For example, booking a meeting room where the team feels comfortable and believes you’ve made an effort to meet their needs can profoundly affect their mood and motivation.
One key solution you might consider, for example, is serviced offices, like those we can provide here at BE Offices. Those could include shared offices similar to those used by pharmaceutical firm Astellas Pharma, where 82 per cent of its staff say the facilities contribute to a conducive working environment.
What if it’s meeting and conference facilities that you’re specifically interested in? Well, when you book a venue through our sister company &Meetings, you can rest assured all the relevant COVID-19 safety protocols are adhered to – we provide free automatic room upgrades to help with social distancing measures. As soon as restrictions allow, enjoy the convenience of booking your venue online and get your organisation’s recovery from lockdown to the best start possible!
Of course, in the COVID-19 era, it’s not just pleasing aesthetics or even a decent level of equipment that your business should prioritise when seeking out venues, but also genuinely flexible workspace.
Hopefully, your organisation will have learned a lot about effective, flexible working during COVID. But even as the pandemic recedes into mere memory, a lot of those lessons on the benefits of flexible and remote working are likely to remain relevant, given the emergence of the “hybrid office” way of working, whereby not all of your staff members are likely to be sharing an office at the same time. In any case, it’s not as if flexible working practices were invented during the coronavirus crisis.
So, there you have it; if you’re interested in how to motivate people at your business during what remains of the coronavirus situation and into 2022, the good news is that such measures as setting achievable goals, essential employee recognition, and providing a better work environment, can go a long way to making a more motivated workforce – and with it, increased productivity and revenues – a reality.