By Marlin

While hiring the right individuals for specific jobs is very important, even more time-intensive and challenging is the ongoing task of managing employees and keeping them motivated. Here are some suggestions that may help.

Make sure employees know what you expect. It can be frustrating for both the worker and the supervisor if there isn’t a common understanding of what the worker is supposed to do. Providing a carefully crafted job description can relieve employees’ anxiety and give them a better sense of how their duties fit into the larger picture at your business.

In addition to knowing what tasks they should be performing, employees need to understand how much they should be accomplishing on a daily, weekly or longer basis. Establishing reasonable productivity expectations encourages workers to meet those expectations.

Recognize employees for a job well done. This can take several forms, including verbal or written compliments for short-term performance and promotions (or merit raises) for longer-term performance.

Another practice common in larger employee groups is some form of “employee of the month” recognition. A plaque or special parking spot for these employees can mean a great deal. The additional benefit of this approach is that other workers see it and are often driven to achieve that same recognition.

Provide regular feedback on performance. Offering day-to-day feedback is an important part of managing employees. You need to let people know what they are doing well and what they are doing that needs improvement.

A more formal (and longer-term) evaluation process gives you the opportunity to see how the employee is growing in the job and becomes the basis for decisions on compensation and promotions.

Offer well-rounded compensation and benefits packages. Monetary compensation is an important aspect of motivation. An employee’s wages must be competitive and yet reflect the value they’re providing to the business. Employee benefits are also critical. The right combination of a retirement plan, various insurance benefits and other perks can be the basis of a total compensation program.

There are also other ways to provide rewards in a less structured and perhaps less expensive manner, including providing flexibility in work schedules and hosting team bonding events.

Motivation can take many forms. The physical, monetary and emotional incentives that a company provides should serve to respond to the wants and needs of the company and the employees. Examine what you want employees to accomplish. Try to hire the right people and then make sure your motivational practices address what is important to them.

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