Low-Cost Ways to Motivate Your Employees

It’s important to figure out what will resonate most for each employee.  What makes this tricky is that sometimes the employees themselves aren’t entirely sure what motivates them.   You can get around this by asking them for examples of times when they were really happy in their work or job, and what specifically about the situation made it positive for them.  Here are some of the common motivating factors and how to address them.

What To Say When Giving Feedback To Your Employee

Giving feedback is probably the most important thing you do as a manager.  Feedback is how employees know whether they're on the right track, and whether what they're doing will help in achieving the organization's goals.  Managers often miss opportunities to give valuable feedback, though, because they want to think about it or find the right time, and the right time never seems to come.  The key is to be ready to give feedback at any time, and there is a simple three-part model that you can use to give both supportive and corrective feedback at a moment's notice.

What Really Motivates Employees

Keeping your employees motivated and engaged in their work is no small task.  On the one hand, you've probably heard many times that "it's not about the money."  On the other hand, your employees are probably telling you that it is, in fact, very much about the money.  That doesn't even cover the fact that you have little or no say over the money, anyway, so whether or not it motivates employees seems moot.  What's a front-line manager to do?!

The reason the information on employee motivation is so confusing is that people try to oversimplify something that isn't simple.  There is a difference between things that motivate and things that demotivate, and there is a difference between what employees want at a subconscious level and what they actually ask for.  Once we disentangle these things, it becomes much easier to figure out where to start.  

When to Give Your Employees Feedback (and When Not To)

There's a balance to be struck between giving employees the feedback they need to be successful and having employees dread the sight of you because it means yet another correction.    I've worked for an organization where not only was feedback too frequent, it was delivered by just about everyone.  It starts to make an employee feel like they're constantly being watched and judged, which does not provide optimal conditions for thoughtful, innovative work.  You do not need to give your employees feedback about every little thing they do, but it is important for you to recognize the times when you should give feedback so that you give them clear direction about how they're doing.

Tips for Managing Telecommuting (or Any Other) Employees

More and more organizations are offering flexible work arrangements to their employees these days.  This could include everything from getting to choose one's hours, compressing work schedules to allow more days off, and of course working away from the office, on a sporadic basis, a regular schedule, or even full-time.   These arrangements can be great for employees, but they definitely present challenges for managers.  The good news is that almost all the tips for managing telecommuting employees apply to management in general.  Telecommuting just forces managers to be more intentional in their approach, but a lot of it is hopefully stuff you're already doing just to be a good manager.  Here are a few best practices to consider, even if you don't currently have any employees working remotely.