We all know it's far better to have a team of motivated, engaged people at your workplace than not. The fact remains that your business will be more productive and more profitable.

But exactly how do you get to that point? and, just as importantly, keep your employees motivated?

People are different and what inspires one person may not motivate another. Unfortunately, there isn't a one-size-fits-all method for motivating employees and creating a happy, thriving work environment. You most probably will need to utilise a number of different techniques.

We've put together our top 5 employee motivation strategies to help keep your people happy and focused.

1. Know your people

It's impossible to motivate your people if you don't know what drives them.

Talk to them about their needs and aspirations. Let them know they can grow within the company. Helping your employees learn and grow helps keep them stimulated and engaged. View training and progression as an investment that will pay off in higher performance and productivity. While there is a risk that the next step in a person's career will be one away from the company, that is better than having a team of people who are bored and apathetic.

Motivation fluctuates over time, so this needs to be an ongoing conversation that should be regularly discussed with check-ins, not only when someone first starts with the company.

2. Get the basics right

Some businesses or HR departments can get distracted chasing a Google-like environment with pinball machines and beanbags. But if the basics are not right, all the fancy frills won't mean much in the long-term and your employees will see quickly see past them.

Nothing is more reassuring than welcoming a new person with a solid Employment Agreement issued before their starting date, a solid onboarding and induction process, and regular check-ins to see how they're enjoying things so far.

Ensure your company culture is a positive one by leading by example and having the right values in place. Pay employees correctly and on time.

Getting the basics right may mean you never need to invest in a pinball machine to keep your people motivated, but if you do, it will be the icing on the cake.

3. Recognise and reward

Of course, employees get paid for their hard mahi, but human behaviour dictates they like to be recognised for going above and beyond too.

Reward and recognition are far better motivators than punishment, as they prove to a person that they are doing the right thing and encourage them to keep doing it. It also shows other employee's what could be achieved when they put in the hard work.

Rewards don't have to be formalised – though they should be built into your performance management system if you can. It might be an impromptu lunch, gift voucher, or afternoon off, or as simple as an appreciative email.

Recognition works best when it's personalised to the individual, as people like to be acknowledged in different ways. 

4. Give the good and the bad

Don't wait for the annual performance review to give your employees feedback. Feedback is more effective when it is delivered close to the event. That way your employee gets a much clearer sense of the behaviour(s) you wish to reinforce or discourage. Frequent, meaningful feedback helps employees thrive by providing direction, certainty, and confidence.

Positive feedback highlights progress and helps generate a sense of accomplishment. Negative feedback, while it can be uncomfortable, should give guidance and target ways for an employee to improve.

5. Flexible work arrangements and regular breaks

Happy, healthy employees are naturally more motivated.

When possible, providing flexible work options gives people the opportunity to better balance their working and personal lives. It also shows you care about individuals and can trust them to do their job.

Taking regular breaks at work improves people's ability to stay focused, helping problem-solving and boosting overall productivity. 

Encourage employees to take leave they are entitled to. They shouldn't feel they have to come to work despite being unwell, grieving, or just in need of a mental-health day.

Get more tips for building a strong company culture by contacting us today on 09 392 9868 or email enquiries@konnect-koncepts.com