How to keep your best people motivated and productive.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting a shortage of over eight million workers in the U.S. over the next 10+ years compared to the number of jobs that will be available. This shortage is even more significant considering anywhere from 50-80% of current employees are starting to look for a new job because they think the grass is greener elsewhere. In addition, the American workforce has become an increasingly unmotivated and unhappy group who feel under-valued and under-appreciated. Take all these factors into account and suddenly you realize that a solid recruitment and retention program is more necessary than ever.

But, every company wants to hire and keep the best people – how will you stay a step ahead? The key is getting your employees to feel so much a part of your company’s mission that they are driven to lead themselves. In other words, you must keep them engaged.
Studies show that an engaged workforce significantly out-produces an unmotivated one. They also reinforce the notion that employee creativity is the key to innovation and customer satisfaction. And if an employee isn’t engaged creativity is not present! So, how do you keep your employees engaged? Here are a few simple tips:

Be positive.

Employee engagement begins with a company culture that is dynamic and nurturing. As a manager, you are in a position to significantly influence the atmosphere in your workplace, so be positive! If you can create an environment that people actually enjoy working in, they’ll be more likely to give you their very best.

Listen to your people.

Money is not the #1 motivating factor for everybody. In fact, given the choice, an increasing number of people would prefer to receive non-financial benefits. So pay attention to what they want – the more in touch you are with your employees’ needs, the better they’ll feel about putting forth their best effort. Here are some examples of what employees are looking for these days:
  • Opportunities – Developing talent within your company and grooming employees for leadership positions is a good way for you to prepare for the future. It also creates a sense of company loyalty and helps people feel as though they’re working hard towards something better.
  • Challenges – Giving your best people more responsibility or ownership of a particular project helps them feel that their contributions are more meaningful. If they are more directly connected to the company’s success, they’re more likely to try harder to meet your common goals.
  • Training – An effective training and development plan is one of the best ways to show your employees your commitment to investing in them. And, when you consider the costs, in time and money, of a high turnover rate, the expense of a solid training program suddenly doesn’t seem like too much to bear.
  • Balance – Yes, your employees do have a life outside of the office. So let them enjoy it! Flexible work schedules and mandatory vacations help employees put some breathing space between them and their jobs and give them time to re-energize and return to work at full strength.
Talk with employees – not at them.
Keeping open lines of communication is vital to employee engagement. Try scheduling regular meetings where employees can share ideas and concerns. Set up a company e-mail address for feedback and suggestions. When you allow employees to take on a more active role in your company and listen to their input, they can’t help but feel like a valuable member of the team.
Interested in learning more about employee engagement? Contact your local Adecco branch today to speak with a staffing professional.  They're experts on your industry and job market, and they have a strong pulse on the latest HR trends.

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