There’s a natural ebb and flow to human motivation-- no matter how contented your employees are, and no matter how fulfilling they generally find their work to be, there will be lackluster days when key people feel a little down and the general mood of the office suffers. Knowing this ahead of time is half the battle won, though! A forward-thinking approach to compensating for the inevitable motivational lulls can keep your team from completely succumbing to the doldrums.
Recognition and Encouragement
Of course, the most obvious and accessible way to lift the mood and get people on their A-game is leadership habits of encouragement and recognition of employees. Think verbal or written cheerleader. Everyone loves a cheerleader, right? A leader who takes the time to notice the small, everyday accomplishments and efforts of their employees, and then mentions and congratulates those things will see an immediate result in employee performance. Public shout-outs on an intra-office social platform like CA Short’s People Are Everything is a great way to do this, as are handwritten notes dropped onto a desk, or into a briefcase.
Reward Your Twenty Percent
Let’s face it, the 80/20 rule is a real thing: twenty percent of your workforce is going to be responsible for eighty percent of the results. One way to be sure that your top twenty percent stay motivated is to identify them and reward them with a certain amount of free rein to go their own way and make their own tracks. Autonomy is a huge motivator for the kind of people you want leading your pack, and their renewed determination, triggered by a sense of purpose, will trickle down through the ranks to affect the general motivation of the whole organization.
So you’re habitually encouraging your people with personal recognition of their efforts, and rewarding your high performers with autonomy and increased trust and responsibility; what’s next? How do we keep this motivation train on the right track? Goal setting and progress tracking can help immensely to keep the momentum going. We’re all familiar with the thrill of repeatedly meeting and exceeding goals, and keeping a big-picture perspective of your progress over time is always encouraging and motivating.
Feed the Body, Feed the Mind
In the midst of these high-minded esoteric ideas, let’s not lose track of the physical, human needs of your staff. Don’t underestimate the power of easy access to healthy food on your employees’ mood and performance. Leo Widrich (co-founder of Buffer) wrote an article a few years ago about the effect of nutrition on brain function, and by extension, job performance. It’s a good reminder that sometimes the simplest things make the biggest difference.
Employee motivation is one of our specialties at CA Short. We love brainstorming and discussing creative ideas for keeping the mood upbeat and inspired. If you have great ideas to share or are looking for some inspiration to lift the spirits on your team, give us a call or shoot us a text today. Our Certified Recognition Professionals would love to collaborate with you on creative ways to motivate and inspire!