Your employees are arguably one of your most valuable assets. At least they are for my company. However, managing them can be incredibly challenging since you constantly have to ask questions like "What is it that motivates them?" "Why are employees leaving?" "What causes an employee to WANT to do their job successfully?"

The good news is that most employee turnover is completely avoidable and you can easily drive motivation up by using these five tactics.

1. Conduct stay interviews.

Exit interviews can provide valuable feedback on why an employee is leaving. An employee doesn't usually let you know what you can do right now to influence employee attrition.

But you can ask how you might boost morale, and ultimately reduce employee turnover. Those employees are nearly out the door and may be more forthcoming at this time.

Instead of waiting until it's too late, start conducting stay interviews.

Stay interviews are similar to exit interviews. These give employees the chance to share what they like and don't like.

They can explain the positives about your organization and their current positions. This information should clue you in what you need to change as an organization and they allow you to learn more about your team.

Stuck on the right stay interviews Beverly Kaye, author of Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go, suggests on Monster that you ask the following 11 questions;

I recommend you conduct them with each team member at random times every six months. Have managers do this help get to everyone at large companies. Trust your team.

2. Provide a safe and positive working environment.

Make no mistake about. The vibe of your workplace, which includes the layout, co-worker dynamics, and company culture. These variables will have a serious impact on your team's productivity, happiness, and ultimately motivation.

The good news is that you can create a more positive working environment by:

3. Seek buy-in and encourage contributions.

Make sure that you involve all of your staff in the decision-making process. Allow input about determining which goals will be needed to help everyone see the "big picture."

The reason? Since they are the closest to the work they'll be able to spot things more clearly than you. For example, your customer service team deals with customers on a one-on-one basis. This team can be more in-tune with the specific problems that your customers are facing.

Additionally, encourage your team to regularly contribute ideas, feedback, and suggestions. This makes them feel like an important member of the team and gives meaning to their jobs.

You can start by implementing an open door policy. Schedule time at the end of meetings for employees to share their thoughts, providing a suggestion box, or hosting hackathons.

Mark Zuckerberg has said that, "every few months we have a hackathon, where everyone builds prototypes for new ideas they have. At the end, the whole team gets together and looks at everything that has been built.

"Many of our most successful products came out of hackathons. Timeline, chat, video, our mobile development framework and some of our most important infrastructure like the HipHop compiler."

4. Drive a feedback loop.

"Feedback and recognition are the vehicles that drive performance and growth for employees and companies alike," states David Hassell - Founder and CEO of 15Five. "When leaders highlight the strengths of people at a company, they are far more engaged, productive and creative."

So, how can you drive a feedback loop?

Start with financial rewards. However, instead of using financial bonuses to motivate employee performance, "give it to them up front." Pay them "a fair salary based on market rates and one commensurate with a person's knowledge, skills and abilities."

Using this strategy "allows workers to feel good about their relationship with you and the company from Day 1."

Hassell suggests that you let them know that they're appreciated." Appreciation does not mean to just recognize someone. By definition, the word also indicates that you are adding value to them."

Let your employees know that you're aware of their efforts, which will drive "them to achieve through intrinsic motivation, which is scientifically proven to provide more sustainable drive than a bonus."

"Giving raises and bonuses for achievements and feedback on accomplished goals are only half the motivation game," says Hassell.

"The highest level of personal fulfillment is attained when people become something better. This is when the extrinsic and the intrinsic meet."

Simply put, this is "when your employee's focused work has led to a position of mastery, and you're telling your employee that beyond having performed well on a task or having increased revenue, you see this transformation in him or her."

5. Offering training and development opportunities.

Make sure that you're training employees from the second they join your organization. Training not reinforces their sense of value, it also helps them achieve goals and ensures that they have a clear understanding of their specific job requirements.

On top of that initial training, you should also provide opportunities for your staff to improve and strengthen their industry knowledge.

Encouraging them to attend a training program, conferences workshop, online class, or promoting them to different positions within your organization.

It's a simple and powerful way to demonstrate to them that you're investing in their future.

Published on: Jul 21, 2017