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Motivational Checklist

Choosing the right Employee with a great attitude is a start, however, as a great employer, adopt best practice to ensure that do your part to motivate staff to high levels of performance. While you’re figuring out how to move staff forward, keep in mind that building trust and goodwill goes a long way in setting the foundation for a healthy, motivated workforce.


Give meaningful work

Nothing is more mind-numbing than repetition effort where there's no connection between the task and job fulfilment. All jobs have routine tasks that must be fulfilled, be sure to balance that by providing work that inspires people, too. Consider tailoring positions around people’s passions and strengths rather than forcing them into a job description.


Connect purpose to roles

Provide employees with a vision of where the organisation is heading and how their work contributes to its mission. Conduct a workshop that helps your employees understand how their role supports your business and objectives.


Communicate role expectations

People will not perform to your expectations if they do not know or understand the end goals.  As a manager, communicate what you expect people to do based on their communication styles. This may mean communicating in various ways and multiple times.  It is important to always be specific with your instructions. For instance, "Will you please do X by Y date?" instead of, "Could you do X?”. Use consistent messaging if you want to maintain a motivated workforce.


Make it fun

Elements of competition and pushing yourself are precisely the attributes demonstrated in high performers.  If they play hard, they probably will work hard too.  Whatever generation or combination of generations you have in your organisation, everyone wants to have fun, even at work.  Think about how to sponsor celebrations for hitting department, team or individual milestones.  Or have surprise employee events such as pop-up parties, half days, volunteer events and days that allow total self-expression.


Autonomy does go a long way

One of the best motivators you can give to your employees is to trust them with decision-making and choice of projects. However, it is important that when autonomy is offered, you brief them on what the possibilities and constraints are so that their choices feel supported and not burdensome. A good ratio is to interject, or correct, 15% of the time, and only when you know it requires correction, 85% of the time you need to"trust".

Encourage a sense of belonging

Feeling “left out,” or having a fear of missing out (FOMO) are negative emotions that can impact trust in one another.  It creates distrust about management.  Not everyone is an extrovert who can instantly jump into a work setting and connect with others easily.  Create opportunities for all people to work together collaboratively on projects, particularly ones they are interested in. Go out of your way to learn people's names and use them when you see the person.


Investment in individuals

Each of your employees having a development plan will help them achieve their career goals to stay competitive and retains your team. If your focus is organisation growth, take the time to invest in your employees. Being successful requires expertise, and it is important to remember that career advancement does not need a title or upward path. Status, respect and high ranking in the meritocracy are more important than title.


Boost your involvement in the community

Team building outside of the work environment establishes close ties among co-workers and defines commonalities.  Charitable and community give-back opportunities bring staff together for a common cause. The good feelings springing from participating in these activities translate to feelings of goodwill for the organisation, especially when you give your employees paid time off to volunteer.


Provide fair compensation

The first attribute in a trust relationship is fair compensation.  If Employees are not paid fairly instead of thinking about the work, they think about their financial situation, which leads to thoughts on taking another job where the pay meets their requirements. Paying people a fair and competitive living wage is the right thing to do, and it is the foundation of the employment contract.  It also says a lot about your work culture.


Give praise

Praise is easy to do—and costs nothing. Why not do more of it? Look at ways recognition can be given, bring in their family (as a surprise) and in front of everyone praise them. It may seem to be a small gesture, but it goes a long way and will continue to be a source of pride and motivation for that person.


Offer tangible rewards

Tangible rewards are bragging rights and give you one thing that cash can not shareability. People love telling stories about winning.  Get staff talking about how great your culture is with tangible awards.


Set achievable goals

For those who report to you, give them goals to strive towards is an extrinsic motivator.  Goals are solid reminders of job expectations and achievement levels. You may choose to attach tangible and experiential rewards in combination with personalised recognition to those who achieve or exceed their goals. The reward needs to be commensurate with the achievement.  When goal setting and reward structures are set up correctly, this not only reinforces their behaviour, it creates role models for other team members.


Make recognition cool

Not everyone is motivated by a gift card. Having the recipient's family and friends share the recognition is the most powerful recognition you can provide. Find new ways to recognise your high performers with exclusive rewards.  Find out how the individual likes to be recognised as some like public, some like private, and it always needs to be commensurate and in line with the level of achievement.  It is for this reason that a one-size-fits-all recognition no longer works (i.e. the tired old gift card isn’t as exciting as it was a decade ago). Be creative, it takes creative ideas, culturally relevant activations, and it makes you being 100% genuine for recognition to be cool.


Create friendly competition

This is especially effective within sales teams, where leaderboards are often used to ignite motivation. It can also be useful within the employee population where teams might compete for special recognition.  To be the first to complete certification training or being the first team to work all of their designated volunteer hours. Healthy competition in the workplace is good.


Drive fear out of the workplace

Fear of failure, having one’s credibility questioned or getting stuck in a dead-end job are negative motivations that hinder productivity.  Someone afraid to fail is working in a toxic environment.  What is worse is the fear of one's Manager has long-reaching ethical and moral ramifications for the individual and ultimately, the organisation. Another massive problem in the workplace are factions and ostracising colleagues. When you observe people being ignored, it’s important to react positively, inclusivity drives motivation.


The most important benefit your organisation can offer regarding employee engagement is personal, social and cultural identity benefits. Do the right thing, and treat others, everyone, with RESPECT and the way you like to be treated.


Give credit due where credit is due

Professional coaches and good people leaders have known this for a long time.  Give credit to others for the win and take personal responsibility for the loss.  It is important to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of individuals along the way. Yes, teamwork is essential to the health, wellbeing and vitality of the organisation. It should be recognised, but don’t overlook people who give it their all every day and are making substantial contributions to their accomplishments. Handing out tributes to individuals and teams is like most things in life, it is all about balance.


Let them know how they’re doing

To provide feedback isn’t something you do once in a while or when someone does something wrong or really great. Give ongoing feedback, so your Employees and team know when they are heading in the right or wrong direction. Positive feedback has the same effect as praise. It can be used as a coaching tool when people are off-track can also have an encouraging influence on a person's motivation.

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