In the RingCentral Small Business Blog, RingCentral CEO Vlad Shmunis gave interesting strategies on how to invest in a company’s growth. Among the points Shmunis emphasized is the value of investing in people. To quote Schmunis, “ As we’re growing, the focus is more the sense of the overall vision and culture understanding and making sure that everybody is on the same page. As far as the people we want to hire, how do we incentivize them? How do we keep them excited about what they do?”
The assumption is that employees are motivated because they like what they’re doing. But big news for businesses: Staying motivated in a job does not only constitute liking what you do. If someone likes cooking, this doesn’t mean that he’d automatically enjoy working as the solitary cook of a 24-hour burger joint without benefits.
Shmunis was not just mouthing nice words; investing in your top performers is actually one of the best ways to keep your business productive. In fact, employee engagement research by Gallup shows that engaged employees are more productive. The research, a result of over 30 years of in-depth economic study involving 17 million employees, says that engaged employees are safer, more profitable, more customer-focused, and are more likely to stay in your company. If you want to win the marketplace, engaging your employees remains vital.
Motivation boils down to a management issue, unless an employee is just naturally argumentative and has a personality problem. Telling people to stay motivated is not enough. People need clear goals; they need leaders they can respect; they need to see results. If more and more of your employees are doing their jobs listlessly or leaving for other companies, then it’s high time to take some action.
Give them a sense of purpose
The company vision-mission exists for a very good reason. Employees need to stay focused. Working to make a living brings people to the workplace, but working for a worthy cause inspires them to do their jobs passionately. Level up your goals beyond getting more money. One thing that would make people stay with you is making them realize that they’re contributing to something worthwhile. Your company’s goals may be written down perfectly, but the question is, do you take them to heart? Do you make it a point to anchor tasks to bigger company objectives? Don’t let your employees stagnate into meaningless jobs.
Be clear about your expectations
Employees who don’t know what’s expected of them may do three things – aim too high, aim too low, or aim aimlessly. In all cases, employees may feel a sense of demotivation. They say that you should aim high; but if the results of aiming for something doesn’t come useful for your company, you and your employees could feel demotivated., The best way would be to set targets and corresponding rewards when appropriate. Also create a quantifiable evaluation system and make sure that this system is understandable to all.
Be a mentor
What’s your management style? Do you stay silent if workers do well and speak up only when they do something wrong? Are you overly monitoring or are you too busy to even notice what your employees are doing? Being a good leader also means reflecting on your role as a mentor. Great leaders are not insecure about showing appreciation or sharing their knowledge. They don’t worry that the “underling” will get the recognition. They’re already there. Know when to step up for your employees and know when to give way when the time comes.
It takes soft skills and genuine concern for employees to be able to do these things. In the end, your team will feel if you’re just there to give them their salary or if you actually care about their professional growth.