Employee Motivation: Beyond the Paycheck

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Your employees are performing at their peak, and you love it. But how do you ensure they remain motivated and focused on the goals of the organization? Are employee motivation strategies even necessary for a group of high-performing workers?

Employee Motivation Is Essential for Retention

As a manager or business owner, it’s important to find ways to make your most-valued employees feel needed and fulfilled. High performers in your organization could be the least engaged and quit without warning, leaving you with a large hole to fill. They recognize their worth and may be lured away by another company offering them more in the way of compensation, responsibilities, or career opportunities.

We present six strategies for keeping your best employees motivated:

1. Keep Them Engaged

Talented employees who don’t feel challenged tend to grow less interested in their jobs over time. That apathy could eventually lead them to quit. Don’t wait until you discover your high-performing employees are bored. Ask employees directly if they feel excited and challenged in their current situation. Then find ways to address their concerns:

  • Assign tasks that expand employees’ skill set and knowledge or offer them job-specific career development and training.
  • Encourage them to take on the projects they really care about. The more time they spend doing what they like, the more they will feel motivated to keep going.
  • Assign tasks that get employees out of their comfort zone so they can rise to the occasion. Just make sure that there is perceived value in their new assignment and that you recognize their accomplishments in the role.

2. Build Clear Career Paths

No matter the size of your company, provide your employees with clear career growth paths. If you have a small business, create new positions for your talented employees if necessary. Align them with the goals and aspirations of your employees. Once you have developed the career paths, share them with your staff.

This will help curb the temptation to move to another company to further their career. Employees will know their future is bright and secure right where they are.

3. Compensate Them Well

Simply put, employees work for money. The best employee motivation for high-performers has everything to do with how much you pay them. Research has established that high-performers value competitive compensation more than anything else. When high-performing employees feel their compensation does not align with their value and effort, they often leave.

If an increase in salary isn’t a viable option, think outside the box. A one-time bonus, additional vacation days, a valued parking spot, or a more enviable workspace are all more affordable alternatives.

4. Hold Poor Performers Accountable

Poor performers, if not treated as such, could lower the morale of high performers. Therefore, it’s important to directly address low performance in employees. Take measures to improve their results. If they continue underperforming, you may need to relieve them of their position. Your best employees will appreciate that mediocrity is unacceptable, and they’ll be grateful they no longer have to pick up the slack from their coworkers.

5. Recognize the Best

Top performers have been shown to crave recognition for their efforts. If you fail to recognize their performance, your best employees will end up feeling undervalued. And it’s not just your sales team that needs recognition. Each and every employee plays a role, and when an employee performs well, he or she should receive proper recognition. Publicly thank your best employees, and you will give the rest a reason to work hard.

6. Develop a Community for Your Employees

Developing employee motivation goes beyond adding incentives. You must make a way for employees to feel connected to something bigger than themselves. Create an online forum where the employees can engage with each other, add a monthly themed lunch, play games, add a little friendly competition, or celebrate important company milestones together.

Include interactions that go beyond working hours. Invite employees together with their families to the company picnic. Developing a community of strong, engaged employees takes motivation to a whole new level.

For happy employees that are excited to work hard and be a part of your organization, start implementing these motivation strategies today.

If you are a small business owner in need of human resources services, benefits administration, or insurance, Mercado Insurance Services is here to help. Give us a call today.