How to Motivate your Employees and Improve Company Culture 46

How to Motivate your Employees and Improve Company Culture

This is a guest post by Stacey Cooper, a business consultant and a contributor on bizzmark blog, with interests in small business, finances and green business.

A successful business depends on good employees. In order to thrive, a business must have a motivated workforce.

Nowadays, most of the entrepreneurs seek to improve the relations with their employees. It’s only natural – workers are not just a means to an end, but they are also a part of the family, so to speak. Motivation brings out the best in employees, more productivity, better efficiency and more interest in the job altogether. Needless to say, motivation will be greatly beneficial for both the employer and the employees.

So, what is it that motivates workers to perform better? Surprisingly, it’s not always the money. Although money is a great motivator on its own, there are plenty of things workers would enjoy more.

Workspace

Imagine coming to work and not feeling frustrated about it. Improving work environment and work conditions is one of the ways to make “coming to work” more enjoyable. Most of the people have seen all those box-shaped workspaces in a crowded office, with phones ringing, people chattering, and some manager yelling in the distance. The level of stress in that environment is through the roof. This type of workspace should be avoided at any cost.

A work environment that is adjusted to the needs of the employees is the way to go. Give them space, let them decorate that space as they like. It will make them feel more comfortable, and they will appreciate it more than you realize.

Respect

There’s this saying “respect is earned, not given”, that goes without question in most situations, but sometimes you must give to get. In order to maintain a good relationship with your employees, you must respect them as individuals.

Offer sincere praise for a job well done and offer to help them if they have any problems. In return, your employees will feel more valued and respected, and they will also respect you.

When employees receive appreciation for their accomplishments, they will be more motivated and more productive.

Your Employees Well-being

Knowing that you care for their well-being will motivate your employees. Most of the work nowadays involves sitting at a desk for hours. You can equip workers’ offices with an adequate commercial fitout. A height-adjustable table, for example, is good for the spine, as it suffers the most when it comes to sitting all day. Encourage your employees to work out and exercise during the breaks – after all, it’s good for their health. Create a fitness area that they can use whenever they want. It will help them relieve stress and vent all the negativity.

Open Communication

Always have an open communication with your employees. An “open door policy” means that employees can communicate with you about everything. That way you can get to know them better and resolve any issues or dilemmas your workers might have. If your employees know they can talk to you freely, they won’t be bogged down by problems that will hold them back. Instead, they will be more relaxed and motivated – knowing that any problem they have can be sorted out.

Involvement

One of the best ways to really motivate your employees is to involve them in more business strategies and plans, and also be more engaged when it comes to your employees and their activities.

Set clear goals for your workers, and let them choose the best way to achieve those goals. Celebrate by throwing a party for reaching a business milestone.

Ask them for their ideas and opinions on important business decisions. Join them for a lunch in the canteen or take the team out for lunch elsewhere. Encourage group thinking and teamwork in order to motivate your workers to find the best solutions to any obstacle. Make sure you reward your employees for good progress, it will motivate them to keep up the good work they are doing. Don’t criticize them in front of their coworkers if they do something wrong. After all, you want to motivate your employees and not weaken their confidence.

You can do a lot to increase your employees’ motivation, and it won’t hurt you in the slightest. Small tokens of appreciation and random acts of kindness can go a long way, when it comes to employer-employee relationship. Some business owners hate to admit it, but the fact is that workers carry out most of the business projects. In the end, it’s in your best interest that your workers are happy and satisfied.

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 11

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

***
Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.