How to Inspire Your Employees

August 18, 2014

Not all of us wake up every day, ready to take on the world and head into the office with a smile.  In fact, nearly two-thirds of American workers reported in 2013 that they felt “somewhat unsatisfied” or “unsatisfied” in their current professional positions.  Even more staggering: the Gallup Well-Being Index, which tracks how people feel about their jobs, estimates that these feelings are likely costing an astonishing $300 billion in lost productivity every year.

These astounding numbers indicate a serious problem for many companies. It’s a well-accepted fact that happy people tend to be more productive - so how can you, as a manager promote happiness in the workplace? BBB serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties has the following tips:

Make “fun” a part of your company. One of the reasons people become burnt out is simple: they’re bored. Doing the same thing day after day, with little to no variation can eventually wear a person down. Combat this by introducing an element of fun to your company culture. Implement something like a dress-up day, a pizza party, or a weekly office breakfast. Some businesses may have limits on funding or dress code, but find something that will make your employees excited to be at work.

Recognize and applaud achievement. Many managers with a lot on their plate forget to acknowledge their employees’ efforts to go the extra mile. Naturally, employees who feel that their efforts aren’t recognized are far less likely to continue giving 110 percent. When an employee does something notable, make sure to recognize it. If you can recognize it publicly (at a meeting, for example), or in a creative way (like a handwritten card), even better.

Give them naptime! It might seem silly to allot your employees this kindergarten privilege, but studies show that short naps can increase creativity and productivity. Google, Nike, and Time Warner all allow their employees to take naps. Many companies are establishing “nap rooms” where employees can take a quick snooze to recharge before getting back to work. If your office and time schedule allows, consider offering the same thing to your employees.  

Offer room to move up. Employees will be far more likely to be dedicated and hard-working if they see the potential for growth. When the time comes to create a new position, or hire a replacement for an exiting employee, make the effort to promote from within. Of course, there will be situations that require you to hire outside personnel, but when possible, make sure your employees know that hard work and dedication will pay off.

Mentor your employees. Some employers make the mistake of thinking that being “too nice” will make them a bad boss, and so they remain distant. This only allows the employees to be distant and disconnected as well, and an employee that doesn’t care isn’t an asset. Keep them engaged by checking in with them regularly and mentoring them. Tell them what they’re doing well, and what they could try to do differently. Let them know that you’re a resource, not just an overseer. Don’t make them feel nervous about these meetings.

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