Elena Badea, Managing Director, Valoria Business Solutions
Employee motivation is the basis of a company's success. When employees are motivated, they are more engaged, more productive and more innovative. However, many managers tend to overlook simple measures that can significantly increase employee motivation.
Here are five easy-to-implement approaches that many managers often overlook, but which will bring immediate and long-term results. Statistics and examples convincingly illustrate their impact.
1. Recognition and appreciation
Many managers underestimate the power of recognition – of effort put in, results achieved and contributions made, as well as appreciation expressed genuinely, honestly and simply. In some teams, words of thanks and appreciation are not heard even once a year. What is the effect? Employees feel undervalued and demotivated when their efforts and achievements go unnoticed.
According to a Gallup study, employees who receive regular recognition and appreciation are more engaged, leading to a 21% increase in productivity.
What to do? Managers may consider implementing an employee recognition program, but it's much simpler to consider recognizing colleagues' achievements at team meetings and providing timely, specific, and prompt feedback.
2. Opportunities for development
Managers tend to underestimate the importance of investing in the professional growth of employees or use cutting the training budget as a way to cut costs. What is the effect? When employees feel that they are not developing personally and professionally, their motivation decreases, they consider that they are only seen as "human resources" and, at the first opportunity, they go elsewhere.
Statistically, companies that invest in employee training and development experience 24% higher profit margins than those that do not.
What to do? Managers can encourage continuous learning among team members by offering skill-building workshops, mentoring programs, and ways to express creativity, innovation, and a desire to contribute to the community.
3. Flexible work options
Although not as many as before 2020, there are still managers who are hesitant to offer flexible work arrangements, fearing that they will lose control and that employee productivity will decrease. What is the effect? Where employees can and want to work hybrid, when they cannot, they end up considering other employment options.
Research shows that flexible work options, such as telecommuting or flexible working hours, can increase employee motivation. According to a Stanford University study, employees who work remotely saw a 13% increase in performance.
What to do? Companies in the fields of activity that allow the implementation of a flexible work schedule must at the same time establish clear objectives for their employees. Especially since a study carried out in 2023 by eJobs shows that over a third of employees want flexibility from the employer regarding the start and end time of the work schedule.
4. Feedback for development given by managers
Many managers tend not to give enough constructive, developmental feedback, but more corrective feedback. Others do not properly align individual employee goals with the company's mission and goals. What is the effect? Employees often feel "scolded" or end up feeling unimportant and/or disconnected from their colleagues in the management team.
Numerous studies show that employees who receive constant feedback - even in real time - are three times more engaged in the work they do, which they find a source of satisfaction and fulfillment. The same report shows that novice employees prefer positive feedback because it helps to boost their self-confidence, but once they become experts in an area, they prefer negative feedback because it helps them push their limits.
What to do? It is critical that managers communicate clear goals and expectations, provide regular feedback, and align individual goals with company goals. Providing feedback for development must become part of the company's organizational culture, and managers and employees should be regularly trained in the art of giving and receiving feedback in an honest, specific and open way.
5. Balance between professional and personal life
Some managers believe in intense focus on work as essential to success, neglecting the importance of a healthy work-life balance. What is the effect? Employees will refuse this style of work or, on the contrary, will fall prey to it, which is very serious.
Studies have clearly shown that employees who maintain a healthy work-life balance are more motivated, more creative and less prone to burnout.
What to do? In this regard, managers have the role of supporting work-life balance by setting a positive personal example, implementing well-being programs and encouraging employees to take time off to disconnect and re-energize.
Employee motivation is making success fulfilling and sustainable. Managers who implement the measures mentioned here, even if they are downright overlooked in some companies, can benefit from the full potential of team members, which will lead to an increase in productivity, creativity and loyalty.
By recognizing and appreciating employees, providing opportunities for personal and professional development, by allowing flexibility with work schedules if possible, but especially by providing feedback and advocating for work-life balance, managers can build a motivated and efficient team.
Valoria is a consulting, training, and executive coaching company. Through our services, we help entrepreneurs to grow their business and make success concrete and predictable. Companies turn to us for marketing, human resources and sales consulting. We often respond to requests for training or coaching of management teams. Competence, trust, innovation and passion are the values we uphold in everything we do. We build long-term partnerships and collaborations, because we offer guaranteed results and the best quality, at the right price. In 2022, the Daily Finance publication nominated Valoria in the Top 20 management consulting companies in Bucharest. Find out more at: www.valoria.ro.