Maintaining employee motivation when expectations are high is extremely challenging. Here are five ways to generate renewed energy in your workplace.
Many organizations like Formula are fast paced with incredibly high standards and expectations of its people. At times, these expectations can cause even your highest performers anxiety and potentially burnout because of their desire to do their best at all times. Maintaining employee motivation when expectations are high is an extremely challenging thing to do, but following these five suggestions can lend balance, clarity, and renewed energy to the mission at hand in your workplace.
1. Challenge Curiosity
One of the worst situations is for an executive to lose their motivation because they are no longer challenged in their job. This will ultimately lead to boredom and potentially cause the employee to look for another, more stimulating job. Thus, it's important to challenge your employees to constantly analyze their job and the company overall by encouraging them to intellectually improve the organization through greater efficiencies, processes, or service offerings. When individuals feel like their intellectual contributions are being realized, they are more invested in the company and committed to their jobs.
2. Encourage Being Uncomfortable
Most employees long for challenges and typically want to feel a bit uncomfortable with what's ahead of them as that discomfort eliminates boredom. As an employer, one of the best ways to keep your team motivated is to continuously offer them opportunities to take on new responsibilities, challenges or projects. This not only validates your confidence in them, it will also inspire them to think outside of their comfort zone and will provide them with experience in areas they otherwise might have never faced.
3. Provide Constructive Feedback
One of the single best ways employees can stay motivated is to consistently ask for feedback on the work they are doing. Constructive feedback can be incredible motivators in driving employees to want to improve. In general, people always want to do their best work; so when information is shared on how they can improve the quality of their work, it is embraced by motivated employees. Conversely, when feedback is given in a negative way the exact opposite can happen--the employee ignores it and gets defensive. Thus, context is very important when providing feedback.
4. Encourage Fresh Air
When you are in a demanding work environment, one of the best things you can encourage your employees to do is take time away from their office or work environment--even if it's only for a few minutes. Fresh air, sunshine and idle chatter about anything other than work can be incredibly valuable in invigorating employees, which will ultimately ensure better quality work.
5. Longer Doesn't Mean Better
There is a perception in most organizations that long hours yield high rewards. Though partly true (it does show a commitment to one's job or the company), in most cases working extremely long hours ultimately leads to a demotivated employee. People often feel like they have no life other than work or like they can never get ahead of their workload. To avoid this, make sure your employees are working smarter, not longer. Many employees lack time management skills; with some clear training in this area, they can better manage their days so they don't become bitter about the time they are putting in at the office.
Though motivation can be a very personal thing, as each of us is motivated differently, the reality is there are many things that an employer can do to increase motivation in a fast-paced organization. All it takes is a commitment on both fronts to put those priorities into place.
MICHAEL A. OLGUIN is the president of Formula PR, a national public relations boutique with offices in New York, Los Angeles and San Diego. With over 25 years of experience, he has represented such high-profile brands as Newcastle, Kashi, and ESPN. @FormulaPR