What’s my motivation? 6 tips for engaging your team

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 16:47

Guest post by Alison Vidotto

How do you keep your employees motivated and engaged? Is it something you struggle with?

Research now tells us that contrary to popular belief, money is not the primary motivating factor for employees to be happy with their job. If you want to retain good staff it’s not as simple as offering a pay increase or an attractive benefits package. There is something else that they value more than remuneration, something a little more intangible. They value job satisfaction.

So what exactly does job satisfaction look like and how can we as leaders provide it for our employees?

Job satisfaction does not have a set criterion that can be followed. It may differ from one employee to another, depending on how they define it. It’s personal. Once you do know what they are looking for, it is so much easier to increase their level of satisfaction and engagement.

The following suggestions will assist you as a leader to increase the level of job satisfaction in your workplace.

1.   Communicate authentically

The most important skill as a leader is to have purposeful communication with your team. This is how you will find out what is important to them as an individual. Leadership is about knowing yourself and knowing your team. Talk to them, are they happy? What frustrates them in their work? Do they feel overwhelmed? An open door communication policy that goes both ways will soon let you know what it takes for your employees to feel great job satisfaction.

2.   Share your vision and purpose

Knowing where the business wants to go and the reason for going there makes a huge difference to employees at every level of an organisation. Understanding how they fit into the overall bigger picture gives them a sense of belonging and will increase engagement.

3.   Offer continuous improvement

Most employees have their own vision and bigger picture of where they would like to go. Offer them training and other opportunities to increase their skill sets and professional development. Talk to them about areas they struggle in and would like further training in to improve or upskill.

4.   Invite them into the loop

Keep your employees up to date on what’s happening.  Employee engagement will increase when they feel part of the team. Hold regular meetings to give them updates about both short and long term goals, they will soon become their goals too.

5.   Be inclusive

When you are communicating with your team, whether individually or in a meeting, let them have their say. Value and respect their opinion, even if you don’t use their suggestions let them know you appreciate their input. Knowing their voice is heard will contribute to an increased level of engagement and communication.

6.   Show gratitude

Constant feedback, both positive and negative keeps everyone engaged and on the ball. Don’t hold back when you see someone doing a great job. Offering praise in public and giving negative feedback in private will contribute to both engagement and the positive culture of a workplace.

Alison Vidotto is an award winning author, professional speaker, CEO of Vidotto Group, leadership trainer and Founder and Managing Director of the Australian Charity for the Children of Vietnam.