Running a business is all about staying at the top of your game—but are you helping employees stay at the top of theirs?
Recent studies show that 70% of workers are disengaged. Most of their distracted behavior seems “harmless,” like checking Instagram or making a quick online purchase. Much rarer are the cases where disengaged workers show up late, sleep on their desks, or blatantly disrespect you… but those things do still happen.
What’s more, those things may be happening because of your management style. So before you write them off, make sure you know how to engage your employees the right way.
Motivate Your Employees in 4 Easy Steps
1. Examine The Costs of Disengagement
Low employee engagement doesn’t just affect individuals. It impacts the whole team’s morale and efficiency and has serious financial ramifications.
Moreover, disengaged employees cost U.S. employers over $350 billion a year in lost revenue. And that’s on top of indirect turnover costs: disengaged workers are more likely to quit their jobs, and employers spend around 20% of their salaries to replace them.
2. Understand Why Employees Disengage
Contrary to popular belief, most employees aren’t lazy. Quite the opposite, in fact: they have an innate desire to find purpose and meaning in life, especially at work. When they spend the majority of their waking hours in a place that doesn’t bring this fulfillment, employees become demoralized. Disengagement is their coping mechanism; rather than focus on what’s making them unhappy, they complete personal tasks that yield greater satisfaction.
[RELATED: 7 Ways to Train New Employees]
3. Learn What Employees Need
It’s tempting to try to engage employees with monetary incentives. But if that’s your plan, you may want to think again. Surveys show that employees would rather have challenge, responsibility, flexibility, and a stable work environment. When these needs are met, employee engagement increases because they feel free and comfortable to try new things, test their skills, and share their expertise with others.
4. Use The Right Type of Motivation
Motivation isn’t just bribing employees to produce the results you want. There are actually four categories of motivation—intrinsic, extrinsic, personal, and peer—that affect employees in different ways.
Some people may have a deep desire to produce good work, making intrinsic motivation most effective with them. More competitive people would respond better to peer motivation. To really motivate your employees, you need to learn their personalities and goals, so you can appeal to them on a deeper emotional and psychological level.