By Emily Bates
Apple’s new employee-friendly ways under CEO Tim Cook are designed to keep employees happy and retain them, the Wall Street Journal reports. Taking a page out of Google’s book, Apple is exploring ways — matching charitable donations or letting employees spend time on a favorite project — that may not lead to a complete culture change immediately, but are a start.
Google, the master in developing innovative methods to motivate employees, believes motivating and engaging employees can work for anybody. In a post on the company’s website, Laszlo Bock, Google’s senior vice president of People Operations, explains that openness and giving a voice to employees go a long way in motivating them.
Like Apple and Google, most organizations believe that keeping employees satisfied and motivated can lead to growth. But how do you do it? What works for Google or Apple may not necessarily work for your organization. The challenge lies in customizing solutions to fit your business.
Going beyond monetary perks: How to satisfy and motivate employees
Money can be a big motivator but, it’s not the most important one. Raises and bonuses can lead to temporary happiness, but this can also easily dissipate in the long run — not to mention heavy investment without receiving much in return. Non-cash motivators can help build the future of an organization, a McKinsey study reports. Looking for ways to motivate your employees without blowing your budget? Here are five waysyou can raise your employees’ motivation levels to benefit both them as well as the organization.
1. Be an inspiring leader
Motivating your employees starts from you. Develop leadership that helps motivate employees in your organization. A Forbes article lists some ways that a leader can help motivate employees — encourage your employees in such a way that they’ll be there with you even in the hard times!
Motivating your employees can also be as simple as saying “thank you” or appreciating an employee for a job well done. These few words can help differentiate between a satisfied and a disheartened employee, a blog post on the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) says.
2. Let your employees shine
Never curb the talents that your employees possess — let them loose in their strong areas and see them shine. If that means designing flexible work schedules, having competitions, encouraging socialization among employees or starting a community service program — do it, says Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, in a blog post on Inc.com.
Creating membership is also important. Encourage employees to follow outside interests, reports the Harvard Business Review, on things that actually motivate employees.
3. Provide training to sharpen skills
Being part of a learning culture is an important motivator for an employee. Corporate training can help fill the gap between lack of skills and better productivity after training needs are assessed. Although expensive at times, appropriate training should be viewed as an investment rather than a liability.
Time crunches and a need for increased flexibility have given rise to virtually-available corporate training courses. In the healthcare industry, online corporate training institutes like CareerStep conduct online technology training courses for employees to become proficient in Microsoft Office applications. Many of these online corporate training institutes can develop a customized program based on your organization’s training needs. With training available on the Web, it’s more convenient and accessible for employees.
4. Get more transparent
A closed-door policy will only discourage employees and may even lead to high attrition. Being transparent doesn’t mean revealing all confidential or sensitive data about your company, but developing a culture of approachable leaders and regular meetings helps in letting your employees know that they are valued. Create open communication, urges a WSJ guide on how to retain employees. Effective communication helps boost a company and save it in tough times, an eSkill blog post says.
5. Create a great workplace
Tony Hseih, CEO of Zappos, an e-commerce business, believes in creating a corporate culture that caters to the happiness of employees and develops loyalty, a Forbes article reports. A recent Business Insider report shows Zappos doing away with a hierarchical management system and opting for a flatter organizational structure. Integrating employee and organization goals can also help encourage an employee. If an organization looks out for an employee’s interests, he or she is motivated to work harder.
Happy employees do not appear overnight — sometimes it may take years for your efforts to bear fruit. But if your focus is on the bottom line and long-term growth of the organization, it’s important to focus on your most important asset. Innovation is the key when it comes to creating ways to engage employees. Have you got what it takes to create a happy team?
Image credit: Flickr/Glen Wright