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With Employee Engagement at an All-Time Low, How Do You Motivate Your Staff?

While he may be a hotly contested political candidate, Donald Trump knows a thing or two about motivating employees. Remember, as a CEO, when it comes to inspiring his team to reach greatness, Trump emphasizes the importance of a little attitude adjustment in this well-known quote:

“Get going. Move forward. Aim high. Plan a takeoff. Don’t just sit on the runway and hope someone will come along and push the airplane. It simply won’t happen. Change your attitude and gain some altitude. Believe me, you’ll love it up here.”

Right now, employee disengagement is at an all-time high, according to the latest Gallup poll. However, that doesn’t mean your employees have to be among that group. While the business tangibles are easy to measure, it’s harder to measure a team’s morale. Leaders have to tap into their staff’s potential, consistently harvesting talent to make the business grow.

While ‘pushing’ those employees isn’t necessarily the right way to go, there are some ways to inspire authentically. In fact, that’s one tip CEOs offer one another: Be authentic. Disingenuous praise is easy to see through, and no one wants to be manipulated. Offering praise that is a genuine expression of appreciation will go along with any team, and get results.

Here are a few more of those tips.

1) Flexibility. No doubt about it, your employees have lives outside of work. They are working parents, they are single parents, they have pets, ailing parents…an active social life…something. A new University of Minnesota study reported that 70% of all U.S. employees struggle with some type of work/home life balance; showing that you understand this is important. Offering flexible schedules can help retain staff and even draw new talent.

2) Look for the little things. While we tend to remember to reward big gains, it’s important to recognize the little things, too. The CEO of Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Amit Kleinberger, says that his team offers him their utmost because he offers small gestures, like bringing in food trucks, several times a year.

The CEO of ConnectWise, Arnie Bellini, agrees. He pays for quarterly outings, like renting out the entire movie theater on premier nights, bringing in food trucks, or taking everyone bowling.
Both CEOs say they find these small gestures show their team that their work is valued. The numbers agree: A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology notes that rewards increase both job satisfaction and employee performance.

3) It’s all about perspective. A study published in the Academy of Management Journal found that the more authentically humble the CEO, the more engaged the employees, and the lower the turnover.

No matter how you slice it, improving your employees’ happiness at work is a win-win. The workplace becomes a better place to be, and sales improve. Everyone goes home happy.


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