6 Ways To Inspire Your Employees
Finding the right people for your business can be a challenge. It takes time and money to search for candidates, post job listings, conduct interviews, and ultimately negotiate the remuneration package for the new starter.
Yet whilst you may be expending your best efforts and resources to attract new employees, are you doing enough to maintain and inspire your current workforce? The COVID-19 pandemic introduced unprecedented strains and stresses onto businesses and individuals alike and whilst the majority of the stricter lockdowns and restrictions are easing around the world, the effects of the pandemic are still being felt.
One of these lasting effects was first noticed in 2021 with the trend of employees considering leaving their employers. According to a report published by Microsoft, in 2021 more than 40 percent (40%) of the global workforce considered leaving their jobs.
It is therefore more important than ever to evaluate the efforts put into inspiring and ultimately retaining your workforce to reduce costs and save time.
1. Be a good listener
Problems will always exist, whether within the organization or within our personal lives. Offering a space to listen and offer assistance (if required) can help foster a sense of trust and respect between an employer and employee.
It should also be noted that providing a listening ear does not have to be limited just to times of conflict or stress. When discussing a new project, gathering feedback or formulating ideas, managers should always strive to make space and provide a sense of ‘being heard’ to their employees.
2. Encourage participation
Working on an exciting new project? This could be an opportune time to ensure that your workforce is engaged, motivated, and left feeling valued. Participation can be encouraged through incentives, giveaways, or friendly departmental competition. More on this later.
By creating a high level of participation among your employees, the likelihood of increasing their sense of value and respect in the business will increase, resulting in a healthier culture and more inspired employees.
3. Show interest in your employees’ lives outside of work
Make time to sit and listen to your employees. Learn about their lives outside of work, their desires for their role and their goals. Engaging in informal catch-ups with your employees and co-workers can provide a space to learn about their goals and motivations as well as offering a chance to discuss new projects and ideas to inspire them to stay on board.
4. Share your goals, plans, and successes with them
Secretive management styles often do more harm than good. With a lack of open communication, your employees may turn to one another to share their own opinions of the business’ operation, management, and performance.
By willingly and openly bringing your employees into the discussion and offering your goals, long-term plans, and successes, your workforce will feel more in the loop and valued, leading them to feel more inspired about their work.
5. Provide opportunities to grow within the company
As referenced at the start of this article, more employees are looking to move their careers to pastures new in these post-pandemic times. Without the necessary instruments and incentives in place for your employees to grow in your business, your workforce could become part of their growing trend.
Whilst it is not feasible for every business to follow a one size fits all solution to this problem, the concept is still important regardless of the size of the organization. By offering structured pathways for promotion or advancement within the company, your employees will be able to clearly see a future for their career, reducing stress and ultimately the possibility for them to leave.
6. Set clear expectations for what is expected from each employee’s performance
Have you ever set someone a task, gone away to let them work on it only to return to see a result that is far from your initial expectations? We all have.
What causes this disconnect is in most cases a lack of clarity of what is required from the task at hand. When setting any task there should be an accompanying set of clearly defined expectations of what is required and when the task is required to be completed.
By setting these expectations early, the chance for misunderstanding or under-performance is reduced, as both parties are clear on the task requirements.
7 (optional) Offer incentives for meeting or exceeding expectations
In addition to setting expectations, incentives and bonuses can help reward employees who have met or exceeded these expectations. These incentives not only provide an additional sense of value to the employee, they also help construct a transparent work-to-reward culture that can leave employees feeling inspired to go the extra mile on tasks that are assigned to them.
As we have detailed in this article, there are many ways for an organization to make their employees feel inspired in the workplace. An inspired and motivated workforce is more likely to perform better within their roles, overachieve and most importantly stay with a business long term.