Two Tips to Motivate Your Employees

BY Kathy Crosett
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We all want to find the best way to keep employees motivated. But, succeeding at this task is a huge challenge. At least two factors can pose big problems for leaders who are seeking the best solution. These factors relate to a lack of customized reward systems and long-​term career planning.

Customized Rewards

Our automated systems for measuring and tracking employee motivations are rarely customized. Yet, each employee has unique motivators. Some team members will care much more about pay than about days off. Other team members are so desperate for extra time off that they’ll gladly give up a few days of pay in exchange. You may also have team members who only care about team recognition or personal development. Your system should, at a minimum, pay each employee their worth in the current market. Then, you should satisfy individual employee needs that address the top three motivators discussed by Leigh Buchanan in an Inc. article: “purpose, growth, and connection.”

You won’t know what your employees care about unless you take the time to ask them. Record their answers in an automated system. And, then, design a unique reward system that works for each individual.

Long-​Term Career Planning

Employees always appreciate being rewarded in the ways that work for them. However, they’re not likely to stay motivated if nothing changes over the long time, such as a period of five years. The best employees will grow restless, because they want to grow. They’re thinking about their career paths, even if they don’t mention it to you.

Jennifer Dulski, president and COO of Change​.org, has developed a system she calls Horizon Mapping. Using this system, Dulski asks employees about their ambitions and goals over the long term. She also has them consider their current skills. Usually, a gap exists between what employees are able to do now and what they’d like to do. By identifying this gap, employees, with their managers, can strategize about the kinds of professional development and experiences they need to meet their goals.

If you’re looking for a better way to motivate your employees, check Dulski's other recommendations.