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How to Keep Your Employees Motivated

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It is interesting to consider the differences between the terms motivation, incentive, and commitment. We so often hear these things discussed when employees and staff are the topics, however, they are never interchangeable terms. When you want to keep your employees motivated, it is going to require some ideas well outside of the realms of commitment and incentives.

There are a few key methods for helping employees to feel truly charged up and excited about their work, and that is really the key to motivation. Consider the following theories:

· Exiting the comfort zone - We all think that asking our employees to specialize is a sure way of ensuring quality control. Give an employee a focal area and they are likely to become experts. This, however, locks most people into a "comfort zone" and it really deadens motivation. If you want to help them to feel really motivated about their work, give them the trust required for them to exit their established comfort zone.

As an example, don't think that they will remain happy doing the same sort of work, projects, or tasks repeatedly. Instead, give them a chance to experience growth and motivation by allowing them a wider range of responsibilities. Yes, there are risks involved in this where productivity and output are concerned, but those risks are easily offset by the fact that your staff is unlikely to burn out or experience boredom.

· Ownership issues - Does your staff behave as if they only "work" at your firm? This is a very common dilemma, and it is also a serious motivational killer. If you encourage your staff to "own" the workplace, it will definitely inspire a lot of motivation towards all facets of their work.

How do you do that? Ask each member of your workforce to slowly learn what the other members of their team are doing. This allows everyone to begin to think outside of the box and feel committed to every step of the process - whatever your process might be!

·Spread the intel - Do you keep everyone informed? It is a common pattern of behavior in management or company leadership for information to be kept only to the higher ranking offices. However, this doesn't provide any opportunities for motivation. In other words, when you know what is going on and what challenges are ahead, your staff should know as well. Sharing this with employees ensures that they feel on the same level as others, it strengthens the camaraderie between workers, and it guarantees that everyone is headed in the same direction and with the same level of enthusiasm.

·Reward accordingly - We all know that compensation matters a great deal, but a lot of employees are less motivated by pay increase incentives than by other rewards. For instance, a lot of people are far more motivated by something like profit sharing than by an annual raise. The profit sharing is a direct reward for their efforts and input, and that is a huge motivational factor.

You can motivate your employees without a lot of difficulty. It is often a matter of understanding that the old "carrot and stick" approach is not really going to work. Instead, it is a matter of respect and recognition, or teamwork and team building.

You can do these things without tremendous financial commitments, and they will yield remarkable results. The real key is to understand that your staff is far more likely to respond to opportunities for growth rather than purely financial motives, and to then use this to help them reach their goals.


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