Whether you run your own business or work for a large organization, you know how important it is to have motivated employees. Motivated employees are happier and more productive. Some workers welcome praise and recognition, while others like to be left alone to do their jobs. Very few are motivated entirely by money. Companies that provide a range of benefits have the best chance to increase motivation. Employees can take advantage of those that suit them and ignore those that don't.
Anyone who has had to wait at home for a repair person or tried to fit in an early gym session values flexibility. The ability to work at home occasionally, or to leave early and be able to make the hours up later, can motivate employees. These sorts of arrangements show staff members that they are trusted. In turn, they will feel more committed to the company.
A pleasant work environment is a welcome benefit for many employees. Large companies may offer a subsidized staff cafeteria, while others make tea, coffee and milk freely available to facilitate breaks and encourage productivity. Seating in an outdoor space encourages lunchtime relaxation, while plants and attractive artwork make staying indoors a nice experience. A comfortable area to hang out during breaks increases communication and team spirit. If people enjoy being in work and like the people they work with, they will put more effort into what they do.
Successful companies offer benefits tailored to those who are motivated by money and those who like public recognition. Bonuses and profit-share schemes can motivate workers with easily quantifiable objectives, such as sales staff. To reward harder-to-measure behaviors, such as going "above and beyond," companies may present restaurant gift cards or publicly recognize workers in staff meetings.
Having fun in the workplace engages workers and increases teamwork. Fun activities can motivate employees by breaking down the barriers between senior and junior staff. How you have fun depends on your company and the people you employ. Some businesses host parties with food and entertainment. Others have an annual sports day and company softball match. Even a simple activity -- such as a regular joke in the staff newsletter or pinning up a Dilbert cartoon on the bulletin board -- can make a difference.
- NA/Photos.com/Getty Images