3 Simple Ways to Motivate Employees

By Stephanie McGuinn Oct 1, 2015
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There is a large gap between the kind of culture in which employees want to work and the culture in which most find themselves working, according to findings from the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) 2015 Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey report.

Yet the priority level for most U.S. companies to retain and motivate a talented workforce is the highest it’s ever been. So, what can human resources professionals do to close that gap in their own companies? The following three simple ways to motivate employees are first steps that can be taken today.

The first technique to motivate employees involves a strong communication strategy between employees and their immediate supervisors since 95 percent of those surveyed said that their relationship with their immediate supervisor plays an important role in how they feel about their job. Steve Picarde, Sr., president of PI Midlantic, a talent analytics firm based in Annapolis, Md., suggested the answer is leadership coaching.

“Leadership coaching with 360 degree feedback from superiors and subordinates allows leaders to become aware of how their communication techniques are perceived by those around them. Through this awareness and by learning the communication preferences of the behavioral types of their subordinates, managers can improve their relationships, increasing employee satisfaction,” advised Picarde.

The second technique to motivate employees is centered on taking interest in where employees’ careers are headed. The SHRM report found that employees highly value being recognized for their job performance by management yet a large gap exists between value and satisfaction. Advising managers that they need to take on the role of coaching their team members can begin to set up a structure within the company that nurtures career growth.

In today’s social structure, it should be assumed that highly talented individuals will constantly be looking to move upward or onward. As an HR professional, it is possible to get involved and help ensure employees are on track to reach their employment goals. If your company does not currently ask employees to create individual performance development plans, get those plans stared today. Performance development plans help employees grow their knowledge, skills and abilities and provide a platform for sharing progress with their managers and HR advocates. Performance development plans should be updated and reviewed every 3 to 6 months.

A third simple retention technique HR professionals can put into place today is to help employees feel heard by putting in place an internal communication plan with behavioral styles taken into account. Communication between employees and senior management was measured in the SHRM report as being important to employees yet few respondents answered being satisfied with their own situations.

“Getting a 30,000 foot view of the communication strategies of staff members is key to solving organization-wide communication breakdowns,” Picarde said. “Successful communication relies on each staff member properly receiving messages sent from senior management and communicating them on down. Behavioral assessments allow each employee to be assessed for how they give and receive communication and that enables an organization to create a holistic communication strategy that reaches everyone.”

Employers should create a communication plan or change an existing one for the better by using personality tests or behavioral assessments to measure styles within the organization.

HR professionals have the power to bridge the engagement gap and motivate highly talented employees within the organization to stay engaged and remain with the company long-term.

Stephanie McGuinn is founder and CEO of HeartBuzz, a small business marketing and SEO agency. She writes about business operations for online media outlets.

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