Think of the last time you were around someone who was really enthusiastic; did that enthusiasm spread to you? The same will happen with your employees. It has been shown that motivated employees do a better job and perform at a higher level; the success of your business relies upon this. Figuring out what motivates your employees begins with looking at yourself. Do you appreciate time with family, recognition for a job well done, or the opportunity to learn new things? Likely, your employees appreciate these things too.
Every person is different, so interact with each employee and find out what it is that drives him or her. This can be done by listening to them, observing them, or simply asking them. In the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, author Daniel H. Pink writes that the crash of Wall Street is a striking example of the dangers of motivating employees strictly with gobs of cash"so don't just throw money at your people. If you run out of money, you'll run out of help.
Employees prefer a boss that is empathetic and has concern for their staff. It's as simple as getting to know your employees and learning the little things like the names of their children, their alma mater, or achievements in their lives they're especially proud of. If you are sincere in your actions, it will show and pay off. If you have to set aside time for these interactions to take place, do so. A good example is online apparel company Zappos. Often hailed as the most employee-friendly business out there, Zappos maintains its high level of employee satisfaction because CEO Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) really cares about making his employees and customers feel good.
Every business owner should delegate tasks. Delegation includes conveying responsibility and authority to your employees so they can carry out certain tasks, but the trick is to let the employee decide how they're going to do that. This increases self-confidence in their ability to do their job and results in more fulfillment and motivation. Along with delegation, performance management is absolutely necessary. This involves creating a career plan that allows both you and the employee to evaluate their production, aim for goals, and track achievements. This keeps you in touch with your employees and available for feedback. During the performance appraisal meeting, be sure to outline how the employees' efforts directly affect and benefit the company. If a particularly important goal is met, celebrate it. Without ongoing acknowledgement of success, employees become frustrated, skeptical, and even cynical about efforts in the organization.