Last year when we wrote about the biggest Employee Motivations of 2022, many elements, such as flexibility and autonomy, stood out as vital to employees; which is still holding true for 2023.
The Great Resignation of last year spoke to the growing movement of employees seeking purpose and personal value in their positions.
Some companies have really heeded the call and expanded mental health coverage or instituted retention programs that focus on personal and professional development. And some are still operating under the status quo.
If you are an employee, keep reading to see which of these motivations resonate with you the most. Our hope is that you can use this information to evaluate your current role. Maybe you will notice which of the aspects mentioned you feel satisfied with. Alternatively, maybe you will discover elements you can work with your employer to see more of as we move into the new year.
If you are an employer, we hope that these employee motivations will help you reflect on your current team and take into consideration what their motivations are. And ultimately, we hope that by keeping these in the forefront you end 2023 with a team that is even more motivated and engaged.
Why it’s important
Encouraging professional development allows employees to envision what their future might look like at the company. It also tells them that their role is not stagnant and that they will continue to grow. What’s more, having you as an employer support their professional development lets employees know that you value them and care about their careers.
Another benefit is that learning new skills will help employees increase their self-efficacy and sense of autonomy, which contributes to increased motivation.
All of these outcomes benefit the company; its culture, retention, and bottom line – it is an investment that needs to be taken seriously.
How to provide opportunities for professional development
Encouraging professional development can be done in a variety of ways. One of the simplest ways is to discuss personal and professional goals with employees. Asking them about their aspirations will show them that you care.
It also provides a chance for you to get to know your employees better. Another action you can take is to offer opportunities for upskilling and reskilling. Upskilling and reskilling helps employees feel more competent in their roles and more confident in moving into new ones.
It can be accomplished through a variety of means, including classroom training sessions, access to online courses, seminars/webinars, and mentorship programs.
Flexibility and Autonomy
Why it’s important
Giving employees more autonomy is critical for feeding intrinsic motivation. If employees are micromanaged, they will get the work done, but it will be out of fear of being reprimanded, not out of their own interest or drive. And if they keep completing work this way, it will inevitably lead to burnout.
Giving employees breathing room to do work on their own terms will decrease burnout. It will also foster a relationship of trust, which is essential when it comes to motivating employees.
It is also important to acknowledge that employees have lives outside of work and that this doesn’t mean that their work will be any less effective. Along with autonomy, offering employees flexibility to make their jobs more manageable.
Flexibility doesn’t mean scrapping deadlines altogether. It just means giving employees the freedom to do work on their own time.
How to allow more flexibility and autonomy
So, now that we’ve established their importance, what are some ways to offer flexibility and autonomy to employees?
One way is to provide flexible schedules. This may mean allowing employees to take extended lunches. It could also look like being generous with sick days or half days.
Additionally, you might consider giving employees the chance to choose their own hours or at least work collaboratively to decide on them. Some workers might prefer to start earlier or later in the day so that they can manage their personal demands.
Furthermore, in a study of 30,000 U.S. workers, 88% reported that the flexibility to work from home or the office had increased their job satisfaction.
Even if you prefer an in-person workplace, offering remote work, even just one or two days a week could go a long way toward improving employee satisfaction.
Recognition and Appreciation
Why it’s important
Everyone welcomes being recognized and appreciated. It doesn't have to be a grand public gesture, but it is always a good idea to show people that you see them, on a human level. Showing recognition and appreciation facilitates a positive relationship between the employee and the manager, which is huge. Going to work every day feels much less like a chore when you get along well with your boss.
Being shown appreciation makes work feel more human.
In addition, it helps employees see that their work matters and is making a positive difference in someone’s life. Feeling valued is essential when it comes to motivation. Nobody wants to do work where they feel their skills are not seen or appreciated
How to show appreciation
When it comes to expressing appreciation, consistency is key. Don’t wait until the performance review to pay someone a compliment. When an employee does good work that makes your job easier, make sure to let them know!
Small gestures, such as thank-you emails, written notes, or verbal words of thanks, can all help someone feel appreciated.
Furthermore, if your budget allows, bonuses and increases in compensation certainly go a long way in telling employees that you recognize their hard work.
Another way to help employees feel recognized is to celebrate milestones. Giving them a shoutout on their anniversary of working at the company or on their birthday shows them that you value them.
Positive Company Culture
Why it’s important
As a culture, we are becoming more aware of the role that mental health has on our overall lives. And hopefully, one of the positive outcomes of the pandemic we’ve all been dealing with these last few years will be that work will become more human.
If employees don’t feel that their basic needs are accounted for, they can’t be expected to perform well. Because let’s face it, we’re not robots made for work, we’re human beings with aspirations, ideas, and feelings.
Having a positive company culture makes employees feel cared for and comfortable at work. It also helps them stay mentally and physically healthy, which allows them to have the capacity to perform at their best and be most engaged.
How to make space for a positive company culture
A positive company culture is one that places emphasis on wellness, emotional and physical.
This might mean offering fitness programs to help employees stay physically and mentally healthy. Another thing a company with a positive culture might do is offer food and snacks throughout the day, to keep employees feeling well-fueled and energized.
Also, a company with a positive company culture encourages employees to have a good work-life balance. For example, especially with remote or hybrid work, it can be beneficial to gently remind employees to switch off at the end of their working day to help them avoid burnout.
Furthermore, something that is essential to a positive company culture is fostering emotional safety. If employees don’t feel comfortable speaking up about issues they’re having at work or in their personal life, they’re probably not feeling their best at work.
One way to foster emotional safety is to have an open-door policy. Make sure that employees know that they can come to you with their concerns at any time. This will strengthen your relationship with them and will help them to feel supported.
The bottom line
No two employees are the same, but in general, being treated with humanity and respect goes a long way. There are many actions you can take, both big and small, to make your employees feel like they belong at your company and to increase motivation.
And if you want to learn even more about what makes your employees tick, ask them! Asking for input demonstrates that you care.
If you are an employee, we hope that these elements resonated with you and that you are seeing them in your current role. You deserve to be appreciated and treated well.
We hope you found this useful, for more personalized advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Contact@quardev.com!