What’s the probability that your employees would gleefully embrace the invitation to work for free? While money is certainly a motivating factor, providing the necessary means for putting food on the table month over month, it’s not a pivotal component in driving productivity - especially once our basic needs are satisfied. It’s the aspects of the job that stimulate our intrinsic ambitions, like professional development, greater autonomy, and the ability to express our thoughts and ideas, that have a profound impact on our level of motivation.
Assessments like Myers-Briggs and DISC have been used and analyzed by companies for decades as a resource for predicting behaviors and tendencies among various personality types. Employers use the data collected to help forecast and inspire performance among their employees. However, these tools should be used in conjunction with other strategies to compensate for those employee's who are still refining their definition of value and motivation as they progress through their careers.
Your company’s leadership team will need to hold themselves accountable for establishing a workflow that is purposeful and aligns with the greater company mission. Workers who opt to go the extra mile are unified in their belief that their work has a meaningful impact and makes a difference. Executive teams can augment perspectives to create value and significance in even the most menial tasks.
Help your employees find meaning in their work by integrating these 3 simple techniques into your strategy.
Give Them Tangible Results
Employees can easily digress and become demoralized in the absence of feedback. Purpose-based work that is regularly acknowledged and rewarded will create a culture rooted in engagement and productivity. Without a concrete understanding of how individual work contributes to customer satisfaction and overall business initiatives, an employee will quickly become unmotivated. Providing continual feedback – whether good or constructive – will illustrate the value your company places in its employees and your commitment to their career progression. At the start and completion of a particular project (or each quarter), devise a list that outlines the potential advantages and subsequent outcomes of the team’s efforts. Demonstratingthe internal and external benefits that transpired from is a great way boost workplace morale, foster loyalty, and increase retention rates.
Provide Opportunities for Workers to Continually Raise the Bar
“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.” - Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO
Framing a culture where employees feel like their potential is limitless is fundamental in fulfilling your business goals year over year. To do this successfully, you need to uncover how each employee’s professional and personal aspirations align with the company’s overall mission and speak specifically to those goals. Identifying what drives each employee allows you to tailor your approach to progression and achievement by communicating in a language that harmonizes with their needs. This will breed an environment that naturally encourages employees to thrive and produce high-quality work. Consider some of the following key ingredients when striving to build this type of ecosystem – Is there autonomy? Are there opportunities to develop new skills? Do employees feel supported and respected by colleagues and their superiors?
Allow Team Members to Connect & Build Relationships
Social capital is key to building momentum and trust between workers. MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory conducted research to uncover the elusive dynamics that defined high-performing teams. They found that effective, flourishing teams exhibited a shared commitment, strong energy levels, and received exposure to engagement and creativity outside formal workplace meetings. Giving employees the opportunity to socialize away from their normal workstations can greatly impact productivity and performance. During the study, the lab instructed managers of a major banking corporation to synchronize their call center’s coffee break schedule to allow all team members to connect over a cup of joe at the same time. Despite the suggestion challenging the company’s standard efficiency practices, the leadership team ultimately obliged, desperate to amplify the success of the department.
As a result, the business enjoyed a $15 million productivity increase and saw a 10% rise in employee satisfaction. Your company can achieve a similar positive transformation by simply integrating practices that improve working culture. Giving your team a chance to decompress and strengthen their relationships with coworkers through planned activities away from the desk or outside the office allows workers to share, develop, and expand upon new, innovative ideas.