Written by PageUp
Highly motivated employees are an asset to any organisation: they’re inspired by their work and they don’t hold back on effort. So what’s the secret to happy, engaged people? It’s not the highest salaries or the best perks and benefits. It’s creating meaning through leadership that constantly motivates and inspires employees.
Here are six strategies to help drive engagement and get the best out of your team.
1. Set goals to create meaning
Goal setting creates a connection between your people’s day-to-day roles and the goals of the organisation. Employees who are brought along on the goal-setting journey are 3.6 times more likely to be engaged than those who are not. To motivate employees, you should:
- Establish what’s expected of them
- Help them visualise what success in their role looks like
- Explain how their contribution makes a difference to the business
Linking each team member’s individual sources of motivation back to the goals of your organisation creates meaning for employees. In fact, surveys have shown that 55% of employees – regardless of age, sex, region or tenure – would be more motivated if they believed they were doing meaningful work.
2. Celebrate milestones big and small
In addition to yearly or quarterly goals, set goals to track what your people are achieving on a weekly or monthly basis. These don’t have to be performance-driven or KPI-focused. They can be social or cultural, or they can focus on personal development – for example, setting a goal for dealing with challenging stakeholders.
3. Provide meaningful feedback
Delivering specific, personalised and actionable feedback will help your people grow and develop. Consider the golden ratio of 5:1 – if you deliver five positive takeaways to one negative piece of feedback, people won’t feel overwhelmed with criticism. Conversely, when delivering praise link it to concrete examples: this will show your team you’re paying attention and recognise their contribution.
4. Empower problem solving and learning
Providing opportunities and resources for learning and development is just as important as creating space for people to solve their own problems.
Nurturing a culture where problem solving and learning is encouraged requires:
- Listening to everyone’s ideas
- Embracing people’s unique skills
- Encouraging self-directed learning
- Allowing people to take ownership
- Creating a safe space where failure is framed as a learning opportunity
5. Follow through on promises
Employees will only stay motivated if they trust that leadership will consistently follow through on their promises. Going back on a promise violates an employee’s psychological contract: this is the implicit set of expectations of the employment relationship. If an employee’s hard work is met without the promised reward, motivation suffers and feelings of resentment and betrayal can soon follow.
6. Experiment and learn
Learning what works and what doesn’t work when motivating people is an ongoing process. Experiment and learn from the above approaches, and most importantly seek feedback from people as you look for better ways to keep them happy, engaged and energised.
Would you like to learn more about how to keep people motivated and engaged? These resources can help: