How to Motivate Workers in Tough Times

One of the primary tasks of a manager is to keep the morale of team members high. Workers are at their most productive in a positive environment and every organization would like its employees to stay motivated so that they perform their duties enthusiastically. This is especially true when economic or market conditions are difficult. A dedicated and industrious workforce can be the key factor that can take a company ahead of its competitors. But how can a manager get his team to stay motivated and function in a manner that helps to achieve the company’s goals? Share the bigger picture Employees will give greater attention to their tasks if they are aware of the importance of the role they are playing. A customer service representative’s job may be to provide answers to client queries. But if staff members in this role are aware that satisfied customers are the best advertisement for any organization, they will go beyond merely answering questions and try their best to solve the problems that are raised. All employees should know how critical their function is to the company’s business. They should understand that if the organization’s sales increase and its profits grow, they too will benefit. Empower workers A manufacturing company would expect its employees to produce high quality, defect-free products while a service oriented firm would want its workers to meet and exceed customer expectations. But are the firm’s staff members given the tools and the authority to do their jobs effectively? It is essential for every organization to provide a safe and comfortable working environment, modern and up-to-date equipment, and all the other facilities that will enable workers to carry out their tasks efficiently. If a shop-floor worker is provided with outdated machinery, or if a sales representative is not authorized to commit on time schedules, it will not be possible for them to deliver the expected results. Treat employees with respect Encouragement or a kind word can do wonders. Praise and recognition for a job well done will boost morale and lead to increased productivity. On the other hand, an acerbic manager who is constantly shouting at employees will only serve to demotivate them and harm the company’s image. Set measurable targets Tell workers what is expected of them in a clear and unambiguous way. On a periodic basis, check actual achievements against the goals that were set. A detailed job description for each role will provide clarity and help employees focus their efforts. When an organization’s staff realize that their work will be judged objectively, they will concentrate on results. Consequently, the company will witness improved performance. Encourage workers to communicate Every successful organization is very particular about keeping its communication channels open with staff at all levels. This practice gives senior management the opportunity to learn about issues and problems as they arise. Employee grievances can be addressed at an early stage. Managers should inspire by example Most workers look to their team leaders or members of senior management for guidance on various issues. If managers have a positive attitude, it will rub off on the staff. Conversely, if top executives are autocratic, it will adversely affect the morale of employees. Managers should bear in mind what Maya Angelou, the poet and civil rights activist said about motivation, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” If you want employees to remain happy, motivated and productive, treat them well.

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