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Start-Ups

How to Keep Your Employees Motivated, Engaged, and Moving Forward

By Townes Haas   |    February 6, 2015   |    9:39 AM

It's a long stretch between the holidays and the first days off of spring, which can make employees feel dreary, bored and unmotivated, especially if they feel they're in an apathetic, directionless work environment. Here are a few tips to keep your people on track to make sure their performance doesn't mean poor business results for you.

Give credit where and when credit is due.

A paycheck is what we need to get by the in world. Regular raises and cost-of-living increases are always appreciated but largely forgotten in the day-to-day processing of tasks, and unless you are working at Apple or Google, your company's benefits are unlikely to be particularly memorable to employees on a daily basis. But people really remember praise. Whether it's just a kind word, a handwritten note, or a small gift, even the smallest gesture can help employees remain motivated, feel thankful for their roles in your business, and more likely to continue offering new ideas and simply doing good work.

Communicate your vision clearly and often.The most unnerving place to work is the one where you have no idea where the company is going. Especially in niche markets throughout the country, companies are struggling to define themselves in the marketplace, communicate their brand and value to their customers, and give their employees a clear picture of their strategy and vision to communicate success. As the economy improves, employees who are uncertain of your company's leadership are far more likely to jump ship—and it could very well be that they land with your competition. Share your understanding and ideas about where and how your company will move forward clearly and often to dispel any notions that could shake your employees' faith.

Give them what they need.

You are not psychic. Whether you have six employees or six hundred, there is no foolproof way for you to be certain that every single employee is receiving the tools, training, support and encouragement that they need to feel like they are successful in their role and performance. Fortunately, there are tons of assessment tools, performance review strategies, and other measurements that can help you determine whether your employees really are happy, and if not, why.

Let them do good.

One of the most powerful movements in corporate America is the notion of “corporate social responsibility." It's a complex term that simply means that companies that benefit from being in a community have a duty to give something back. Whether you support workplace giving or a volunteer day of service, there are lots of ways to give your employees a genuine sense of generosity. It's a small investment that will definitely have a positive effect on your bottom line.

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