When it comes to things that motivate employees and keep them excited about their day-to-day role and responsibilities there are three factors that are fairly universal. Effective leaders will know how to promote these particular attributes of the job. It will be important for management to keep these factors in mind when it comes to structuring the organization and establishing standard procedures. The ones who are successful will be able to fold these factors into their hierarchy and the ones who are unable to will likely struggle with things like turnover and employee retention.
Not every employee will value all of these factors, or value them all equally. Another role of management should be to determine the individual wants and needs of each employee and adjust as possible. These are the attributes that most employees cite as being of critical importance to them:
A Level of Autonomy
Most employees will feel as though they are able to perform their best work if they do not have someone looking over their shoulders throughout the day. Each will develop their own rhythm and way of performing their tasks. Ultimately, it is better to show some direction at the beginning and then allow the individual to find the most comfortable way for them to work. Of course, you should be checking in at regular intervals and assuring that the work is being completed properly and on time. If there are issues, have a conversation with the employee, there may be factors of the role that should be adjusted, or it is possible that they would be better suited for something else.
An Amount of Flexibility
This is an attribute that will look different to different people. For some, it might mean the ability to work remotely or during certain times of the day. Essentially, it allows employees to structure their days to have a better work-life balance. Luckily, given the advancement of technology and the slew of communication and project management tools that are available today, this should not be too difficult to accommodate. Again, it is just important to check in regularly to ensure that the work is being completed to a satisfactory level.
A Feeling of Purpose
As humans, we desire connection. This includes not only interpersonal relationships but also a meaningful connection to one’s position and the work that we spend our time and energy on. This is generally true of all individuals regardless of age or background. As a manager it is important that you not only establish the what and the how of the projects, but also the why. A sense of purpose will go a long way in the quality of the work you receive, as well as the overall feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction felt by your employees.
By accommodating these three factors you can greatly improve the satisfaction of your employees. And happy workers generally produce better work and have lower turnover rates which means that your bottom line will also benefit.