It’s obvious that any business wants the best talent, but it’s not always quite as clear what employees desire. What keeps them around for the long haul and what motivates them to do their best? Bonuses sound like the simple solution, but a barrage of extrinsic motivation just doesn’t work, and throwing more money at your staff is not a sustainable solution.
Instead, look at what you know about investors and draw parallels to keep your employee investors engaged. Investors want returns, potential growth, and transparency. Employees aren’t that different. Naturally they want base pay and benefits, but they’re also looking for potential career growth and the transparency of a communicative work culture.
Returns and dividends
You’ve got to establish an equitable base pay to convince your staff to even begin investing in the company. Ensure that your employees understand that their work is compensated fairly. This fair compensation should also allow for some degree of incentives and bonuses. Tie bonuses to work that employees feel personal responsibility for accomplishing. Inconsistency is confusing and removes motivation, so keep these incentives reserved for impressive feats.
Your employees want to know you’ll develop them and help them achieve their career goals. Appeal to their ambitions, help them understand why they pursued this field of work, and use that knowledge to challenge them.
Developing skills and passion in employees is no easy task, but the reward is well worth it. One of the keys to achieving this is promoting collaborative tasks. The better they see the bigger picture, the clearer they’ll understand their role and value.
You wouldn’t expect investors to stick around without any idea of a company’s goals, vision, or progress. Similarly, employees have to know what they’re working toward so they can confidently give their best. Whether it’s through an employee manual or extensive training, establishing clear expectations immediately is the cornerstone of office communication.
Any investor wants to see the logistics of how their investment has paid off. Your employees also want to know about the quality of their work, but without fear of being berated. Offer feedback that won’t make them dread performance reviews. No one wants to hear a list of all the things they’ve done wrong. They’ll be receptive to a review that highlights their accomplishments and acknowledges their struggles in a constructive way.
You wouldn’t expect an investor to buy into your company if it wasn’t going to benefit them. Similarly, you can’t expect the same from an employee when they invest their time, energy, and passion in a lacking work culture.
Improving morale is a gradual thing, but improving the workflow and making your employees feel useful and valued are the first steps.
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