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Five Steps to Keeping Employees Motivated

Motivated employees typically perform at a higher level than employees who are disengaged from their work. They are willing to go beyond their job description to see a project through to completion. Very often, their enthusiasm inspires and pushes coworkers to excel.

Certain strategies can help foster a culture of motivation and enthusiasm within the workplace. When consistently applied, they can motivate previously disengaged employees while supporting employees who are already self-driven and motivated. Here are five such strategies.

Communicate Corporate Goals

Engaged employees work toward common goals. However, they need to see the big picture first, and it is up to you to paint that picture for them. You do so by communicating your expectations to them clearly and regularly. That involves spelling out the duties, responsibilities, and the objectives of each employee's job, ideally when they first start working for you. You also need to explain how each employee's efforts affect the company and its bottom line. The goals of your company must be aligned to the goals of the employees if all employees are to work together to make the company successful.

Identify What Motivates Employees

Try to understand the factors that drive each employee to excel and to deliver exceptional performance. You may find that some employees are motivated by external recognition or by a sense of personal achievement or satisfaction. Others may be motivated by money. Bonuses and other forms of incentive pay are effective monetary motivators. Non-monetary incentives, such "employee of the month" awards and special, reserved parking spots can appeal to employees who are motivated by external recognition.

Give Employees the Tools They Need

Follow through by ensuring that employees have the right tools and resources to do their jobs. In fact, ask them what they need to perform at the highest levels possible. Soliciting employees' opinions empowers them.

Conduct Regular Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are an effective tool for tracking the progress of your employees in meeting their stated goals. They are also helpful in keeping employees motivated and productive. Consider scheduling performance reviews quarterly or even monthly instead of annually or biannually so that employees receive more consistent and regular feedback about their performance.

Provide Additional Training and Education

Give employees the opportunity to acquire additional skills related to their fields -- sales, technical, mechanical, etc. Employees gain from the additional training by adding to their skill sets, and the business may gain from having a workforce with enhanced capabilities and a higher level of motivation.