Are your employees bored? That’s bad news for companies hoping to grow their brands. Uninspired employees lose their motivation to operate at high levels and stay engaged in their work, causing productivity to drop and customer and investor satisfaction to plummet.
Overall, it’s just really bad news when employees aren’t inspired.
“Happier workers were 12 percent more productive than unhappy employees.”
Employee engagement is critical to a company’s success. A University of Warwick study of 700 participants found that happier workers were 12 percent more productive than unhappy employees. And even leaders agree that engaged employees are more likely to bring life to their companies and improve the bottom line. Seventy-one percent of senior-level executives revealed that they believed more engaged employees would bring them success, a Harvard Business Review Study of 568 respondents reported.
So the question becomes if your employees aren’t inspired, how do you motivate them?
1. Think outside the box
Large or small, your business needs to get creative when you’re trying to inspire employees. It’s not good enough to give them a slight boost in salary or award them an extra day off. That satisfaction will quickly fade the next day when they’re right back to performing the same job functions.
If you need a little inspiration to stimulate your own workforce, study how the best in the business motivate their employees. Companies like Google, Zappos, Patagonia and Facebook are renowned for having outstanding cultures and awesome perks and benefits.
Take for example online e-commerce retail giant Zappos, which tests new employees’ commitment to the company by actually offering them money to leave. In a bit of reverse psychology, Zappos offers employees up to $4,000 as severance if they feel they have not made the right career choice. It’s their way of ensuring employees buy-in to their culture, reported Diana Ransom of Entrepreneur.
“At the time, they were just deciding on their core values,” said Jenn Lim, Zappos’s CEO Tony Hsieh’s cultural consultant. The word “their” actually refers to the employees that management turned to help develop the company’s culture. Each year employees write a few paragraphs describing what they enjoy about Zappos, and their statements are placed into a book that people even outside the company have access to.
While this approach may not work for every company, it should give you an idea of how valuable thinking critically and creatively is to keeping your employees happy.
2. Keep the lines of communication open
The only way you can make significant changes to your workplace is by ensuring management consistently talks with employees. The latter needs to know that management cares about their views and opinions. As we described, Zappos even took this concept a step further and let its employees build their work environment. That’s a fearless approach that not enough managers or companies currently embrace.
“HR professionals must instruct managers on best communication practices.”
To ensure employees communicate properly (and yes, there is a proper way!) HR professionals must instruct managers on best practices. Higher ups must understand how to manage situations and react accordingly. They should know to approach an employee who’s unhappy about a pay raise differently than someone who is having trouble working with a colleague.
Finally, we suggest encouraging management to have regular team meetings with their respective departments. This accomplishes a number of goals.
- It keeps employees on the same page.
- It allows employees to get to know each other better.
- It provides employees opportunities to ask questions in an open forum.
- It ensures employees stay up to date on company news and changes.
Inspired employees improve a company’s bottom line by increasing productivity and reducing turnover rates. Don’t be afraid to get creative when improving your company’s work environment. This will invigorate employees and inspire them to produce stellar work.