Learn how to incentivize productivity in the workplace so you can boost employee motivation and avoid high turnover.
As an employer, you’ll likely be regularly asking yourself what you can do to increase the amount of motivation and productivity within your workplace.
The answer might feel as though it’s obvious – to simply push them harder and demand better results, but you might know better than that. Taking this route might simply lead to your employees becoming discontent and looking for work elsewhere.
Instead, then, try to think of more creative solutions that can reaffirm the notion to your staff that this is the right place of employment for them, and encourage them to give this job their all, not because you told them to, but because they want to.
#1. Provide ample rewards
At a glance, to some people, the idea of rewarding your employees for their work might seem strange – after all, is that not what the money’s for?
The money is simply their salary, that shouldn’t be treated as some sort of gesture of goodwill, that’s something that your staff members are entitled to. Therefore, what else can be done to serve as motivation?
Well, it might be that other benefits are available, or maybe you organize group events that can be enjoyed together at certain points in the year.
It’s not that these events should be necessarily treated as something that is only available to them once they meet a certain target, but rather as they know that you’re going to try your best to deliver when it comes to this, they’ll do their best to give back to you and your business as well.
However, what should you do for these events that get everyone suitably motivated? This can be a difficult subject to pin down, as different people in your team are undoubtedly going to have different preferences.
Finding the right corporate entertainment might mean compromising in certain areas, or perhaps making a more general approach that you know will please people.
At the end of the day, you might also find that opening the discussion up, talking to team members, and getting a good idea of what would please everyone might also help them to look more favorably on this.
Your rewards might also take smaller forms, however, such as smaller-scale events or prizes around the workplace on certain occasions. It’s your business, and the right answer here will be something that’s unique to you and your environment.
#2. Create a positive workspace
This is something that was somewhat touched on before, but you might find that encouraging productivity and motivation is less about one direct action that spurs everyone into motion, and more about a consistent setting of the environment.
Cultivating this atmosphere does take time, and it’s difficult to find the right balance of assertiveness and leniency. However, the gist of it is that you and your employees need to trust each other.
You need to trust that they can get their jobs done in a satisfactory manner, and they need to trust that you have their best interests at heart. At the optimum level, this will mean that you don’t concern yourself with whether or not they’re working properly at certain times – you know they’ll get done what they need to.
This opens up options such as flexible working, which can allow your employees a greater degree of control over their work-life balance.
This, and other factors like it, will be something that your staff members will keep in mind when they think about whether or not to keep working with you or to look for work elsewhere.
A positive working environment might go beyond the strictly emotional, and it might mean that you have to pay careful attention to the physical space that you’re all working in as well.
For example, if you have to go to work in an office that is poorly maintained, it might not matter how positive the emotional atmosphere is, as your daily surroundings are bound to take a toll on your mental well-being.
Ensuring that your workspace is filled with natural light, nicely decorated, and fitted with amenities and facilities that people enjoy can simply help to make it a pleasant space to spend time in.
This is something that you might benefit from as much as them, and combining this with a positive mental atmosphere might have incredibly positive results.
#3. Provide opportunities for training
When it comes to incentives for your employees to have something to work towards, putting their professional lives at the forefront might be your best bet.
Providing your employees with opportunities for training also goes a long way towards fostering a positive working environment, as they’ll be well aware of how this role with you fits into their greater career plans, as well as how it can help them to envision more of a future with your company.
The end result is that you end up with more qualified staff that is also constantly looking to improve themselves. Prospective employees on the lookout for a place to call their own might also see this reflected in reviews for your place of business, potentially drawing them in.
What you’re trying to avoid is having a business that people go to simply because they need a job at the moment, before they realize that there’s nowhere to go, and inevitably look for work elsewhere.
Not only might this lead you to a high staff turnover, but it might also mean that your employees aren’t motivated to give this job their all as they know their future here isn’t looking too bright.
The exact nature of the training, then, might sometimes be more related to a direct forwards trajectory within your business, but at other times it might be more abstractly related – such as the chance for them to become acquainted with certain tools or pieces of equipment.
#4. Set realistic & attainable targets
With all that in mind, you might feel that once you’re on these kinds of terms with your employees, setting realistic and attainable targets is what allows you to finally move forward and see the fruits of your labor.
You want hurdles to be openly discussed and creatively overcome, without fear of miscommunication getting in the way.
Once you implement these ways to incentivize productivity in the workplace, you should see the benefits in terms of lower attrition and greater employee motivation.
© 2022 – 2023, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.
Priya Florence Shah is a bestselling author, an award-winning online publisher, and an online branding consultant. Download her free personal branding eBooks and check out Devi2Diva, her book on emotional self-care for women. In her spare time, Priya writes science-fiction novels and poetry and chills with her two-legged and four-legged kids.