Employee motivation is a challenging and complex issue. Why shouldn’t employees be skeptical about investing their future in a single endeavor? They once faced the assumption that if they were honest and worked hard, their jobs would be secure. Clearly this is no longer the standard in our merge and purge world. Businesses themselves are under increasing pressure from their stakeholders whether it is their shareholders or customers to be lean. So given that employees have little sense of trust any longer in their employers, what can you do to build loyalty and engagement in your workforce?

Treat your employees as business partners. Involve them, when it makes sense, in the direction of the company and help them really understand your vision. Reward performance (and that doesn’t always mean monetarily). Be honest about the status of the company. Spend time talking to as many of them as possible and, if you have managers, ensure they are doing the same. Weed out problems early, but fairly and look for and focus on strengths instead of bolstering weaknesses. Just because you hired someone for an accounting role doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be in sales if that is a better fit.

Finally, never expect your employees to be enthusiastic about business and clients if YOU are not. A significant part of effective leadership is a passionate vision. You have to believe and communicate that passion if you want to instill it in others.

Your business success rests squarely and evenly on your shoulders and your employees. They ARE your partners. Make sure you are treating them that way. For more information, check out this free e-book on Motivating Employees.


by Steven Schlagel