How to Build a Motivated Workforce

Employee engagement is a top business issue, and there’s a good reason for that: Employee disengagement costs an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion every year. And, as we know, people don’t quit their jobs; they quit their bosses. Then again, it turns out that the inverse is true, too: Inspired management creates more team engagement. This translates into employees who are motivated to work harder, greater productivity for your credit union, more overall satisfaction and higher employee retention. There isn’t one magic potion that can motivate all your employees and keep them engaged throughout the years. However, a few simple practices help build a work environment that keeps employees engaged and happy. Individual attention is important. Teamwork is an important element of credit union success, but nothing beats individual attention. Taking a moment to speak to an employee alone and personally can make him or her feel truly appreciated. Special, individual attention demonstrates respect. It shows that you care about the person behind the work as much as the work itself. Set small, measurable goals. It’s demoralizing to work on a project that never ends. Visible progress not only feels good, it’s also a clear indicator that our work is making a difference. Setting clear, achievable goals provides a real boost of motivation each time one is conquered. See and share the big picture. A large part of understanding the purpose behind your work is seeing how it fits into the larger picture. You can boost motivation in the workplace by ensuring your team understands how each of their efforts impacts the larger goals of your credit union. Be transparent. Every relationship, including work relationships, is built on trust. Defaulting to transparency is one of the best ways to encourage an atmosphere of trust between you and your team – and a team that trusts you will be more motivated. When people understand that you aren't hiding anything, and that you'll listen to anybody, they're far more likely to respect you as an authority and appreciate you as a leader. It also opens inter-departmental channels, giving employees and supervisors greater clarity and more opportunities to communicate openly. Employees are more comfortable bringing up what they like and don't like, and there are more chances to nip potential problems in the bud by calling them out. Promote autonomy. Autonomy is an incredibly effective motivator. Giving employees the ability to choose when and how they get their work done can actually improve their efficiency, and help keep them motivated. The key here is that you're giving employees the freedom to work on their project when their motivation is strongest, not just when they're in the workplace. Giving employees more control over their work also helps eliminate one of the worst enemies of motivation in the workplace: micromanagement. Change the scenery Sometimes a minor shift in scenery can motivate people. If possible, reflect on how the environment you and your team work in impacts motivation. Spending even a few moments in different surroundings can provide a new perspective and often a noticeable boost in motivation. Business is part of our life, but it’s also a living, breathing entity. It evolves, breaks and heals over time. Your job as a leader is to keep this entity healthy, lively and always evolving. This will ensure your employees will be happy to come to work each and every day.