How to Motivate Your Employees (Hint: Make It Personal)

Last week, we spent some time talking about what employees want from their jobs and leaders. And as we’ve mentioned many times before, employees are one of the most important parts of your company.

Because employees are so important to your company–and because they are so critical to your company’s future–their happiness is very important. To help drive that point further, today, we’re going to spend some time talking about employee motivation and about what you can do to help motivate your team.

Here’s a hint: make it personal.

Let’s be honest–John Smith probably doesn’t want to hear you talk about the goals you’ll meet 5 to 10 years from now. Your employees aren’t thinking about the highly anticipated IPO you foresee in the future, as these goals are too far away for them to really consider. What’s more, focusing too much on very long-term goals can make employees feel more like a cog in the machine than a real facilitator.

The best way to show your employees how important they are, then, is to make it personal.

Although you’ve probably heard this one before, it’s sad to say that not many people actually follow through with this advice. Instead of talking about the big picture–and probably losing the interest of your employees along the way–you should let your employees know what’s in it for them.

Here are a few things you can do to make things personal and motivate your employees: 

  • Give them a sense of development. One way to motivate your employees is to show them that the skills they are acquiring are important for themselves and for the company. Make them feel like what they learn will be a valuable asset to them down the road, and help make them realize that the skills they are mastering make them an integral part of your company.
  • Give them a sense of importance. Let your employees know why what they do is so important. As we mentioned above, make it personal. How are they making an impact? What are they doing every single day that is making a big change in the company?
  • Give them a sense of camaraderie. Along with feeling a sense of importance, employees want to know that “we’re all in this together.” Not only are they helping themselves grow–they’re also helping others around them.

Your employees’ happiness plays an important part in shaping your business. A great company culture not only enhances productivity–it also fosters a community that makes people feel honored to be a part of an organization, and that’s certainly a valuable asset to have.

Have any input on how you motivate your employees? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!