18 Strategies to Keep Your Employees Happy and Motivated

Keeping good employees happy, motivated and engaged in the company is important to any organisation. Happy and motivated employees are loyal, dedicated and proactive. If you expect the best performance from your team, you should also exercise good leadership and employee management.

Here are 18 human resource management strategies that will keep your employees happy, motivated and loyal to the company;

1.       Empower

Give them the tools they need to accomplish their tasks faster and easier. Provide the needed training, equipment and authority. This will not only increase the productivity of the employee and of the company, you are also encouraging work efficiency and boosting employee morale.

2.       Set clear goals

The employee job description should be clear and complete. It should include his or her set of tasks, responsibilities, expectations and any applicable rewards. Anything new – changes or additional tasks, should first be properly communicated. Changing of rules, tasks and goals too often and without warning or good reasons will demotivate and dishearten employees.

3.       Recognise contributions

Every team member has a role to perform and is an important contributor to the success of the organisation, and everyone likes to be recognised. Acknowledge everyone’s hard work and service. Yes, they are paid to do their job and for the skills that they are bringing into the company. However, a little appreciation will turn a skilled worker into a dedicated team player.

4.       Reward accomplishments

Rewarding exceptional accomplishments is a win-win for both you and the employee. It will encourage employees to work harder knowing that their efforts are appreciated and will be aptly rewarded. Non-cash rewards like a pat on the back, a special mention during team meetings or an extra day off will just be as effective as monetary rewards.

5.       Keep open lines of communication

Be transparent with the company’s goals and position. Employees are relying on the company for their livelihood and would want to know how the company is doing. You are on the same ship, after all, let them know of your goals and challenges. They will appreciate the knowledge and will work with you for the company’s success. Keep them in the dark and they will become suspicious and demotivated.

6.       Let them talk

When an employee wants to talk, let them. Encourage them to share suggestions, opinions and concerns. Listen without judgement. Hear them out and address their concerns as necessary. An employee who takes the initiative is an engaged employee.

7.       Keep goals attainable

Goals are meant to encourage hard work and increase productivity. Setting up goals and rewards will inject a positive energy into the workplace. However, too steep and unattainable goals can work adversely – discourage and dishearten employees. Find the sweet spot.

8.       Celebrate individual milestones

Many companies give out special recognition and gifts to employees marking their fifth, tenth or fifteenth year with the company. Many offer birthday leaves as part of the benefits package. Celebrate weddings, engagements and new babies with the employee. It will bring the team closer together.

9.       Offer career growth opportunities

Employees at a career dead end are unhappy, bored and demotivated. Sooner or later they will start looking for better opportunities and channels to grow professionally. Give them that opportunity to grow within the organisation.

10.   Support their ideas

Soliciting suggestions and opinions from the team is a good idea, especially if it concerns their department or their line of work. Take everything into consideration and implement the good ones.

11.   Give everyone a chance to be in-charge

Give everyone in the organisation a chance to lead or be in charge. It could be a major marketing campaign, planning the company’s annual event, or managing office supplies. Giving responsibilities and the chance to oversee something empowers, engages and builds confidence.  

12.   Promote before hiring managers

Hiring managers should be your last option, and only when you need a skill, experience or qualification not present within the organisation. Your first option is to promote from your qualified pool of employees. Bringing in a new manager when you have qualified team members for the position will demoralise the team.

13.   Match positions and people

Start by getting to know your team as much as you can. Know their strengths, weaknesses, habits and hobbies. This will give you a better hand at matching positions with the perfect person. All positions are unique and come with a different set of tasks, responsibilities, environment, challenges and perks.

14.   Inject fun into the workplace

Make your workplace a fun place. Give them excitement and something to look forward to coming to work. Provide entertainment that will break down the monotony of daily work grind – Friday team lunch, pet days, team building activities or movie screening at the office, after work hours, of course.

15.   Set company events

Start company traditions and events that everyone will look forward to. Holiday parties, sports competitions, recognition and awarding events, founding anniversaries, outreach programs and summer company outings are great ideas for major company events where everyone in the team can enjoy, relax and interact as friends and equals.

16.   Encourage work-life balance

Too much work is never a good thing. It will eventually burn out the person. Give ample opportunities for your employees to live a balanced life. Vacation leaves, balanced workload and undisturbed weekends will give you and your team opportunities to pursue other interests, relax and take a much-needed break from work.

17.   Maintain a healthy working environment

Make any kind of discrimination and bullying against company policies. Racism, ageism, sexism and the like should have no room in your organisation. Every employee should be able to enjoy a supportive, understanding and conducive working environment. A toxic working environment is the single most destructive factor that affects employee performance and drives them away.

18.   Get to know them personally

Take the extra mile of getting personal with your employees. Get to know the person more than the position. As much as possible, know their names and the names of their spouse or children. Know their birthdays, or have a calendar that will remind you of the dates.

Make sure that you remember or know significant events or influences that could affect their working behaviour. A recent relationship breakup, a child getting to college or an annual travel schedule are major personal events that will also affect work. Get to know your employees as much as you can, and use what you know to the advantage of all parties involved.