Employees are the building blocks of your business. The stronger the team you’ve assembled, the more robust that business will be. If that team falters in any way, however, it can have consequences that impact the company as a whole.
That’s why it’s so important to invest in your employees in every possible way, especially when it comes to their mental and emotional health. The truth is the routine of a job, even those we enjoy, can become mundane after a while. Sometimes, an employee might lose sight of the bigger picture or simply go through a phase when motivation isn’t at its best.
When you encourage your employees, however, it can lead to increased motivation on the job, as well as overall satisfaction with that job–and happy employees certainly make for a more positive and functional working environment.
So what are some ways to encourage your employees?
Do you regularly thank your team members for a job well done? Everyone likes to feel appreciated and everyone likes to know that they’re a valued member of a larger whole. It’s a validating experience to be shown appreciation. Whether it’s a small note, a gift card, or simply a word of acknowledgement in your next team meeting, be sure to recognise your employees for excellent work. It’ll boost their confidence and create a desire in them to continue going the extra mile.
What hoops do employees in your company have to jump through in order to get a project green-lighted? How much red tape gets in the way of a productive work day for them? “Bureaucratic restraints can prevent employees from getting their work done,” says business expert Stan Mack. “For example, if an employee must fill out a number of forms and speak with multiple people before getting approval to start a project, that employee might feel discouraged before even starting the process.” Try to identify workplace practices that are inefficient so that you can help your employees have more productive workdays. You might even ask for their feedback on how you can help them expedite their daily processes.
Create decision-making opportunities.
Do your employees currently have the power and freedom to make important decisions in your business? Believe it or not, this feeling of autonomy makes a world of difference for team members. When employees feel like they have ownership of a project, their sense of confidence, responsibility, and creativity increases. Allow your employees to step up to the plate from time to time so that they have the opportunity to shine. Jan Fletcher, one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs, says this: “Providing employees with seemingly insignificant decision-making opportunities has a powerful positive psychological impact. So, offer employees an abundance of choices, even if they’re small.”
Employees want to feel that their ideas and opinions matter. When given the chance, you’d be surprised by how creative team members can be in solving new challenges and issues that are bound to arise from time to time. Hold regular brainstorming sessions with your team and ask for their ideas and solutions. This equips your employees with a sense of ownership in addition to making them feel pride for the solutions they develop.
Sometimes, employees may feel like disjointed parts in one big machine. It’s important to regularly bring your team together to connect and engage with each other. You can do this through special team-building exercises or you can even hold ‘lunch and learn’ sessions during the work day. Such sessions can be very informative, allowing your team members to grow professionally, but can also create a space that allows your employees to truly feel like a team and get on the same page with each other, which makes for better working relationships and a stronger company.
We all need a little encouragement from time to time, and that’s especially true within the workplace. Too often, leaders and managers take their team members for granted, which can lead employees to feel underappreciated and overworked. Make a concerted effort to regularly encourage your team through the methods above, however, and you’ll potentially boost employee morale and make for a happier and more productive workplace.