Employees that are happy tend to be more productive, which is better for a business’ bottom line. Lots of research has shown the relationship between employee satisfaction/perception and a company’s success.
I’ve seen it firsthand for more than two decades. Motivated employees can make all the difference in a successful company.
There are a number of incentives that I’ve found to be helpful. Here are five:
- Bonuses: Employees usually respond to bonuses and other financial incentives as a way to reward great performances.
- Perks: I saw good responses to perks that weren’t simply financial, such as casual days at the office, half days, office parties, and social activities outside of the office.
- Amenities: Workplace amenities – like a gym, cafeteria, or daycare center – are nice incentives for employees to come to work and to stay focused on their projects.
- Education: I believe that people respond to educational incentives and a number of companies offer incentives that pay for additional education. They’re great because your workforce can become more skilled and you’re creating loyalty.
- Positive recognition: Recognizing someone in public for a job well done can make a big difference. I think it’s important to provide positive reinforcement. Programs that recognize employees can go a long way toward motivating someone.
And there are so many more ways to motivate employees. Entire books have been written on the subject. These five suggestions are just meant to get you thinking about ways to motivate employees.
Although entrepreneurs should remember that motivating employees is very important, it’s also important to keep them happy. Obviously, an unhappy employee is hard to keep motivated.
Zappos is a perfect example. The company is a true innovator and Tony Hsieh, its CEO, is brilliant. Zappos might not offer the most lavish perks for employees, but Tony is focused on creating a corporate culture that makes employees happy and builds loyalty. I couldn’t agree more and have seen the effects of similar approaches.
Motivating employees is good, but keeping them happy is the real secret.
I’ve found that the right combination of incentives/motivation and a positive work environment can keep employees happy and more productive.