Want to Retain Your Employees? Motivate Them

Often times throughout our daily lives, we can fall into the same routine; wake up, go to work, go home/to the gym, go to sleep and repeat. As a result, we might fall into a rut and lose motivation for our work. As an employer, this might lead to a high turnover for your employees. With such a low unemployment rate (currently around 4 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), it may become difficult to replace the employees who decide to quit.

Leadership IQ, a workplace training and research company, created an online assessment to determine what the biggest motivation driver that keeps employees happy and satisfied in their jobs. After analyzing the data from over 20,000 respondents, the team discovered five most popular motivating factors for employees:

  • Achievement – “people want to excel and continually reach for a higher level of personal best”
  • Power – “driven people want to take charge and make decisions that impact others”
  • Affiliation – “driven people want to build harmonious relationships and feel accepted by others”
  • Security – “driven people want to maintain continuity, consistency and predictability”
  • Adventure – “driven people want to seek risk, change and uncertainty”

According to the data, employees who are achievement-driven are 44 percent more likely to love and stay in their jobs. If you’re an employer looking to retain your employees, the question becomes “how do I motivate the team, especially in terms of achievement?” Leadership IQ founder and Forbes contributor Mark Murphy suggests a few ways to do so:

Find a Goal That You Can Control

Often times throughout our careers we shoot for the stars when setting goals. While there is nothing wrong with that, these goals are often out of our control, and as a result, become unattainable. This could lead to feelings of failure which can derail your career trajectory. If one of your goals is to gain a 10 percent raise, that decision is mostly out of your control. You can control how hard you work and how productive you are, but you cannot control whether or not your company can make the raise happen due to budget, etc.

Instead, set attainable goals (see: SMART goals), write them down and set out to accomplish them. Murphy gives the examples of making eight sales calls a day or completing your online MBA program. Further, he mentions that people who describe their goals are 1.2-1.4 times more likely to achieve them.

For employers, setting these goals for your staff can provide motivation and reinvigorate them into their jobs.

Look for Projects You’ve Never Done Before

It has been said that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” and this rings true in terms of motivation at work. As an employee it may be common to settle into a routine at work and become comfortable doing the bare minimum. However, this can lead to a lack of career fulfillment and create turnover.

On the employer side, challenge your employees to do new things. You can create inter-department tasks or set up team building exercises to test the limits of their comfort zone. In doing so, you might create a new focus and perspective of the employees. After all, perspective is the fire that ignites change.

Start With A Plan

Having a plan of attack for what you want to accomplish each day is important throughout your career. As an employer, you can start each week with a meeting outlining the plan of attack or course of action for the team to follow. By doing this, you create tasks for the team to accomplish and set a vision of how the week should go. You can revist this plan throughout the week and look back on how successful it was at a later date.

Leadership IQ found that people are 45 percent more likely to leave work feeling happy and fulfilled if they start their day/week planning rather than diving straight into emails and playing catch up.

Wrap Up

In today’s competitive, candidate-friendly job market the challenge of finding and retaining top talent is magnified. Instead of continuously having to rehire employees, figuring out ways to keep them motivated and fulfilled at your company becomes increasingly important. If you’re looking for ways to do so, consider the aforementioned tips. They can also be used on a personal level if you find that you’re lacking motivation yourself.

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