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How to keep your staff motivated in 2016

Sydney does not come alive until after Australia Day. But if you are returning to work this week and wondering how you are going to encourage your staff to think less about their social plans and more about your business, this will help. 

How do you motivate your employees to consistently get the work done?

Chances are, you probably haven’t gone as far as this Brazilian marketing agency, whose fully stocked beer fridge automatically unlocks when all of the week’s time sheets are turned in on a Friday afternoon. When the last sheet is received, there’s even a handy siren to make sure everybody knows it’s time for beer o’clock. No prizes for guessing the impact this has had on both individual productivity and teamwork!
Although factors such as pay rises, cash bonuses and other rewards may be obvious incentives, it seems to be intrinsic motivators that are most effective in stimulating productivity amongst employees; or focusing on increasing an individual’s inner drive to do well.
This means looking for non-monetary means to improve morale, increase engagement and foster a culture in which employees can take responsibility of tasks and be given recognition for good work.
Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (2009), says the three most important intrinsic motivators are:
  1. Autonomy – to act with choice and have ability to direct our own lives. Pink says that autonomy has a “powerful effect on individual performance and attitude”; it promotes greater conceptual understanding, increased productivity and higher levels of psychological well-being. So, where possible, let your employees have control over their work, take ownership of the process from start to finish, and be recognised for their achievement.
  2. Mastery – the need to get better at something that matters. When employees can see themselves making progress in their work, this reinforces the drive to continue working hard. CEOs and managers should identify opportunities for growth and find ways to develop their teams wherever possible. Give staff a chance to try something new, step up to a challenge, and where possible, open new doors for them.
  3. Purpose – the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves. When employees feel like they are contributing to a bigger cause, they feel good about putting in effort in their work. Leaders who recognise and acknowledge good work will stimulate productivity in their employees. A sense of being valued is a great motivator to continue working hard and encourages loyalty to the business and culture.
Sometimes a few simple adjustments to how employees are treated can reap great results. And don’t forget, when you hit those goals (big or small), remember to celebrate. It’s important to reward and energise the team for the next challenge. Make sure to reflect on the achievement and leverage on its success for the business.


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