Ways to Motivate Employees

When considering ways to motivate employees keep in mind that each individual is different and therefore everyone is motivated by different things. While one employee may be motivated by money another may be motivated by working with supportive coworkers. One way to find out what motivates your employees is to discover their wants and needs. One way to do this is by performing surveys or questionnaires. Below are several factors that can motivate employees.

Incentives– Incentitives are one of the most common ways of motivating employees. Employee incentives can be money, gift cards, gifts, vacation trips, ect. The best way to decide what incentive to use to motivate employees is by asking them what they would like. You may be surprised that it’s not always money that an employee seeks.

Responsibility– Show your employees that you trust them by giving them responsibilities. Employees usually like having some control and making choices. It makes them feel as if they are a necessary part of the business.

Pleasant work environment– If an employee is working in an environment where there is a lot of negativity between management and employees this can diminish his/her motivation. An employee will be more motivated if he/she is working with supportive co-workers and management.

Interesting work– Performing the same tasks everyday will become boring and repetitive for employees unless they enjoy what they do. Find out what tasks your employee is good at and enjoys doing. Providing your employee with a task he/she enjoys can prove to be an effective method of motivating employees.

Listen – Listen to your employee’s concerns and take them seriously. Employees can become more motivated when they discover that you care about their concerns and problems.

Reward Good Work– Acknowledge employees who put in the extra effort. You can have an “Employee of the Month” or Certificates of Appreciation. Employees like to feel that their hard work is being acknowledged. Even a simple Thank You can show appreciation and improve employee morale.

Share business success– Making employees feel like they are part of a bigger team can be a great tool for motivating employees. Provide business performance reviews to let the employees know how the business is doing. Encourage employees to strive to achieve success and growing figures for the business. Reward the whole team when the business reaches it’s goals and beyond. You can reward them with bonuses or a pizza party. The best way to decide on a reward is to ask the employees themselves what they want. You may think you know what employees want but you don’t. Pass out a survey with different reward options and find out what really motivates your employees.

Job security– When motivating employees, job security is essential. If employees feel they might be fired or laid off they are more likely not to put their best efforts into the job.

Promotion/ Growth– Most employees have a natural wanting to improve. Everybody has dreams of where they wish to be in the future. If there is no goal or growth to be achieved, there is nothing to motivate them to work harder.

Be Flexible– Don’t make employees come to work when they are sick. Don’t penalize them for emergency situations. If it’s possible be flexible with the employee’s schedule. For example give them the option of choosing the day of the week they want off. By doing this you show employees that you care, and this will be appreciated.

Be Positive– A positive attitude can be contagious. As a manager and leader it is important to have a positive attitude. Something as simple as a negative tone in your voice can be enough to reduce employee morale.

Competitive salary– Though money is not always an employee’s main motivation, a competitive salary can help an employee feel that they are receiving what they deserve for their job description. If an employee is under-paid they will often go searching for other jobs that offer competitive salaries.

How to Fire an Employee

How to fire an employee? – Many employers are not sure how to go about firing an employee. Firing employees is not a fun task but it is important since your business is only as strong as your weakest link. It is important to identify and eliminate an employee who is not benefiting your business or worse, causing damage to your business. You can decide to fire an employee for various reasons such as performing below standards, misconduct and theft. However before you decide to fire an employee there are a few things you should be aware about.

Why you shouldn’t fire employees on the spot

The legal system has made it possible for employees to sue their former employers for wrongful termination. More and more employees are winning lawsuits against their employers every day. Many employers let emotions take over and often fire employees on the spot. They don’t take the recommended precautions and steps when firing employees and this can lead to a visit to court if the employee decides to sue. Follow these steps to reduce your chances of being charged with a wrongful termination lawsuit when firing employees.

How to Fire an Employee Steps

1)Warning Notice– Instead of firing an employee right away you can decide to give an employee a warning notice. This will give the employee a chance to correct his/her behavior. However if the employee poses a threat or can potentially cause harm unto other employees or customers you should not take this risk. In the case that something does occur to the other employees or customers, they can decide to sue you for not taking action.

2)Have a valid reason– Make sure the reason for firing the employee does not include any discriminatory factors such as age, race or religion. Have an explanation prepared to tell the employee. Support your explanation with business rules or regulations. Store all documents to support your decision to fire the employee.

3)Schedule a meeting– Instead of firing an employee on the spot schedule a meeting. The meeting can be on the following work day or on the same day. It’s best not to prolong the meeting.

4)Pick the Place– The best place to conduct the firing is in your business office. It should be away from other employees. If you work out of your home you can choose a public place such as a coffee shop.

5)Be Respectful– Be sensitive to the feelings of the employee. Being fired can be a difficult time for an employee. Say statements such as, “I wish you the best in the future”. Listen to the employee’s side of the story. Though you should be sensitive you should also keep your goal in mind. Make it clear to the employee that the decision is final. Provide them with a thorough explanation on why they are being fired. Ask them if they have any further questions. Provide answers to all their questions.

6)Closing– Try closing the termination meeting on a positive side. If you have the employee’s last paycheck give them that. If you plan on not disclosing to the employee’s future employers the reason why they were terminated you can tell them that. To ensure the employee doesn’t sue you for firing them you can have them sign a release form at this time.

How to Manage Employees

What makes a Good Manager?

Each business owner may think differently on how to manage employees. Some experts believe when managing employees a manager should be stern and strict. Someone who is respected and feared. Others believe a manager should be your friend. Someone who is positive and easy to talk to. I say a balance between the two makes a good manager: Someone who is a respected positive leader. Managing employees doesn‘t come easy for everyone. A manager’s tasks include delegating tasks, enforcing rules, motivating employees, firing employees and more.

A manager is responsible for tasks such as:

  • Setting goals– When managing employees it is important to set goals. Setting goals gives employees something to work hard to achieve.
  • Teaching/ coaching employees– Employees should be properly trained. Taking the time to teach and coach employees will be well worth it. Failure to do so can result in an unprepared employee.
  • Effectively communicating to employees– When managing employees it is important for a manager to be able to effectively communicate to employees. As their manager, an employee should be able to talk to you about their concerns, and you should take their concerns seriously. You should also be able to delegate tasks. A manager should never degrade or mistreat an employee.
  • Overseeing the completion of tasks– How would you know if the tasks you delegate are being completed if you don‘t oversee the completion of the tasks? Lazy employees may avoid doing certain tasks if they think they can get away with it. However you should also give them some independence to show them that you trust them to get the job done. Give them an opportunity to get the tasks completed and if you return and see that the task was not completed then you can calmly bring this to their attention.
  • Motivating Employees– Motivating employees can benefit your business because motivated employees will invest much more effort into their jobs. Employees like to feel that their hard work is appreciated. Incentives and rewards for a job well done can be used as a tool for motivating employees. Read Ways to Motivate Employees for tips and advice.
  • Enforcing the Rules– If you don’t enforce the rules, employees will constantly break them. Demonstrate to employees that rules are there for a reason, as guidelines to ensure a safe and pleasant work environment.
  • Firing Employees– Firing employees is no fun but it is essential. A business is only as strong as its weakest link. If you have employees that are only bringing negativity to your business, it is best to let them go. Read How to Fire an Employee for tips and advice.