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How to Motivate Employees and Improve Work Ethics by Lisa Bigelow, Demand Media

Don't point out mistakes that are mistakes in your eyes only.
Related Articles * Can You Motivate Employees by Reducing Supervision at Work? * Decisions Employees Can Make to Help Motivate Themselves * Advantages of Training Employees About Work Ethics * How to Motivate Your Employees' Team Building * A List of Good Work Ethics by Employees * Different Types of Organizational Structure

Motivating employees to work more productively and to be happier while doing it is a stiff challenge for even the most seasoned manager. Human behavior specialists indicate that the best way to avoid motivation and laziness problems is to assess potential employees carefully by way of personality testing. But what do you do when the hiring's done and you need the employees you have to perform more productively? Try proven, specific techniques designed to keep even your most cynical employees satisfied and productive. The first step? Back off. Nobody likes a micromanager.
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Set specific goals, and trust your employees to reach them. According to Forbes, nothing makes enthusiasm vanish faster than a micromanager who doesn't trust her employees to do their work properly. Force yourself to let go by setting a clear and achievable goal; for example, "I want to beat increase our sales by 5 percent over the next 60 days." Ask for feedback, then back off and see what happens.
Step 2
Reward top performers publicly and meaningfully. Inc. magazine suggests that letting employees share in success keeps them happy and motivated. It also increases the work ethic of those who aren't top performers. Financial incentives are always appreciated, but even a simple "thank you" from top management goes a long way toward keeping employees feeling appreciated and happy. Inc. also suggests that giving employees more autonomy gives them satisfaction and incentive to work hard at the same time.
Related Reading: Decisions Employees Can Make to Help Motivate Themselves
Step 3
Take actionable steps when confronted with employee complaints. Letting employees speak freely about any reasons they may be unhappy or bored -- and providing a remedy for those complaints -- shows you care about their well-being. Being a good manager isn't just working and talking, it's listening to those on the front lines. Pay attention. Low-level staff may have easy and rational ideas on how to improve efficiency. Sales staff probably have ideas on where your customers really want to be. Don't just show interest: Be interested.
Step 4
Walk the talk. Don't complain that your employees aren't motivated or working hard if you're not motivated or working hard yourself. "Attitude is contagious," according to Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour and quoted in Inc. Keeping a smile on your face and a can-do philosophy not only keeps people happy, it makes work fun.
Step 5
Take steps to improve or weed out employees with chronic bad attitudes. These employees are poison to a motivated, hard-working environment. Approach these employees privately and lay out specific expectations, then give then an opportunity to perform. If they don't, you may have to take a punitive action.

12 Ways to Motivate Your Employees

Some employers may find it difficult to encourage staffs to give of their best commitment at work. Some employers may overlook the power of motivating employees is too evident in the company's bottom line. There is only a simple theory implicated: the happier and more motivated the employee, the happier the customer, the healthier the bottom line.
"But how should I motivate my employees?" Remember, recognition and communication always keep employees motivated"
Other than monetary rewards, frequent recognition of accomplishments is the best way to encourage staff members.
The following are Top 12 ways help to motivate your employees ensuring best performance and commitment of employees to the company.
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Number 1
Personal thanks
A simple "thank you" employees for doing a good job-one on one, in writing, or both, still goes a long way in motivating employees. Do it timely, often and sincerely.
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Number 2
Give praise in public
Acknowledge an employee's achievements in a public forum such as a staff meeting. This is great for the individual's morale and motivational to others.
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Number 3
Promote two-way communication
The best managers spend more time listening than talking. Maintain an open-door policy; employees who feel comfortable communicating with supervisors are more inspired to deliver their best work.
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Number 4
Feedback and respond
Provide specific feedback or give respond on performance of the person, the department and the organization.
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Number 5
Tailor your reward
Recognition can be formal, such as starting an "Employee of the Month" program, or as simple as a face-to-face compliment or thank-you note. Learn what works best for each individual and acknowledge his or her accomplishments accordingly.
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Number 6
Happy environment
Strive to create a work environment that is open, trusting and fun. Encourage new ideas and initiatives.
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Number 7
Clear direction
Provide information on how the company makes and loses money, upcoming products and strategies for competing in the marketplace, and how the person fits into the overall plan.
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Number 8
High involvement
Involve employees in decisions, especially those decisions that affect them.
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Number 9
Reasonable rewards
Recognize, reward and promote people based on their working performance.
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Number 10
Sense of ownership
Provide employees with a sense of ownership in their work and the work environment.
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Number 11
Employees' development
Give people a chance to grow and learn new skills; show them how you can help them meet their goals within the context of meeting the organization's goals. Create a partnership with each employee.
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Number 12
Celebration
Celebrate successes of the company, of the department and of individuals in it. Take time for team-and morale-building meetings and activities.
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Conclusion
A motivated staff is the cornerstone of quality customer service and product innovation. By acknowledging your employees' achievements, you let them know their contributions are integral to the organization's success.

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How to motivate your staff
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Ensuring your staff are motivated and stay that way is an important part of running a business. This guide looks at what skills and tools to use to make sure you keep your staff involved and happy. * Why is motivation is important * Make people feel valued * Lead by example * Training and personal development * Communication
Why is motivation important?
Motivation is important because even at the most basic level, it costs more to replace staff than to keep them. Staff liked to feel needed and respected and keeping them happy means they'll stay with you for much longer. Remind yourself that even in tough times; you need to keep motivating your staff high on your list of priorities. * Make staff feel respected * Check on your staff regularly
Make people feel valued
Hopefully your staff are performing well and helping drive your business forward. In that case, you should be letting them know how much you value them on a regular basis. Whether you tell them or buy them a slice of cake both work equally well. It shows you've thought of them and if you can afford to splash out on weekly drinks - then do so. If you're staff enjoy socialising with you as much as working with you, then you're doing something right. * Incentivise your staff by with social events * Let your staff know how much you value them
Lead by example
It's important that you lead by example when dealing with staff, if you expect to your team to stay late, then you should stay late too. Likewise, if you don't want staff rolling in at 11am on a Monday morning, then make sure you're at your desk bright and early. It's not just about working hours though, show you staff respect and you'll (hopefully) get it back. They'll also pick up on the way you speak to people and act in different circumstances, so make sure you're behaving how you'd like them to. * Don't expect your staff to do what you won't * Have firm leadership qualities
Training and personal development
Investing in your staff is important, not only will it mean you're getting the best and most up to date in the business but they'll be grateful for being able to develop under your watchful eye. Make sure you fully research courses to send your staff on to get the full potential. It's also important to get feedback from staff on how they feel the courses benefitted them. * Set aside money to spend on training courses * Fully research courses * Get feedback from staff
Communication
Communicating with your staff should be high on your list of priorities. Most staff like a visible boss - one they know they can go to with problems. It's important that you hold frequent job chats to make sure they're happy, getting on ok and aren't confused about anything. Aside from this, make sure you communicate with your staff on a daily basis. Saying good morning and good night are simple motivational tools but can make a world of difference. * Have regular chats with your staff * Communicate daily however insignificant * Make yourself accessible
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Creative Ways to Motivate Employees | | | | How do you motivate your staff when you can't afford to give them a raise? Use a different kind of currency. Contrary to popular belief, money is not the best motivator because it sends the message that nothing is worth doing unless you get paid extra. This can develop a sense of entitlement that quickly becomes a bottomless pit and does nothing to increase job satisfaction. A 2005 study by psychologist Adam Grant of the University of Michigan suggests that a better performance booster is when workers have personal contact with beneficiaries of their work. For example, cafeteria line workers are significantly happier than those who work back in the kitchen, because line workers are able to see the happy customers. An employee's morale is positively influenced by knowing his or her work is meaningful. Employees want to be recognized as individuals, shown appreciation, and be given opportunities to grow. This requires bosses to manage one-on-one rather than treating every employee alike. Here are some low-cost ideas for motivating your staff that can have a big return on investment. * Encourage comments from external and internal customers. Post praise. * Remind staff how their work matters to customers and encourage some level of customer interaction for everyone. * Call an employee into your office just to say thank you without discussing any other issue. * Write a thank you card or e-mail. * Send a card to the employee's spouse/family thanking them for their support. * Create an employee newsletter to share updates and recognition. * Post a bulletin board for employees to share news, hobbies, and recognition. * Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and special achievements. * Reserve the best parking spot for an employee-of-the-month. Let staff decide how the spot is earned. * Add a note to an employee's paycheck highlighting something great he/she did that week. * Join in and help an employee who is under pressure. Ask what can be done and help complete the task side-by-side. * Create a change of pace by giving employees a chance to work on exciting projects or learn new skills. * Delegate worthy projects, not just menial tasks, to increase feelings of trust and pride. * Create light-hearted awards that recognize something unique about each person like, "Best Screen-Saver," or "Best Joke Teller," and present them at a potluck lunch. * Pass on helpful articles that could benefit employees and attach a note that says, "Saw this and thought of you." * Learn about their hobbies, families, children, pets, etc. showing interest in what matters most to them. * Ask an employee who is proficient in a certain area to train others, or make a presentation at a staff meeting. * Book a community speaker to speak on subjects of interest to employees like personal finance, stress management, or improving relationships. * Help build skills with a training library filled with books, tapes, and other resources that employees can check out. * Allow employees to attend seminars and ask them to make a presentation to others sharing what they learned. |

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