In any business, having a productive team is essential. Good employees are the driving force behind achieving goals and objectives, and effective and efficient operations. The overall success of a business often hinges on the cumulative performance of its employees, so it is essential that management implements strategies to encourage and maintain productivity.
A study conducted at the University of Warwick, found that the old adage, "a happy employee, is a productive employee", is true. Their research showed that happy employees were 12% more productive than employees who experienced lower levels of happiness. These 'happy' employees tended to use their time more effectively, and worked at a much faster pace, without it impacting the quality of the work they produced.

So, if happier employees perform better and are considered to be invaluable assets to a business, how do you improve levels of satisfaction and motivation amongst them?
It might be shocking, but providing financial incentives isn't necessarily the answer. Financial incentives tend to provide only temporary compliance and doesn't inspire high levels of sustained performance. Extrinsic motivation may be a good option to jump-start productivity, however this approach will need to be supplemented with additional strategies for a more long-lasting impact.
To improve productivity, management needs to tap into the intrinsic motivation of their employees.

Here are some ways that you can motivate your employees and encourage greater productivity:

1) Allow For Open and Frequent Communication
Having open and frequent communications is fundamental to keeping staff motivated. If you're transparent about higher level decision-making and emphasise that your employees play an integral role regarding the direction that the company takes, this will give your employees a sense of purpose and encourage them to be more meaningfully engaged with the company. Keeping your employees in the loop will help to foster trust and mutual respect that can drive greater performance, as they will feel as though they have a greater stake in the company.

2) Get To Know Your Employees
Knowing who your employees are and their unique capabilities is an important factor in being able to play to their strengths and get the most out of their performance. If you take the time to really match employees with tasks that they are most-suited to, you won't have to spend big bucks to motivate them with external incentives. The inner motivation of completing a job successfully is often the most powerful type of motivation. It can also potentially have more long-lasting results on performance and inspire loyalty. If employees feel as though they are part of an environment they can thrive in, they are more likely to perform better and develop and build a deeper relationship with the company.

3) Acknowledge Achievements
A simple acknowledgement of a job well done, especially from upper management, can do wonders for an employee's morale and boost their drive to continue to do well. Recognition goes a long way and if employees feel as though they are visible and valued, they will do their part to carry the company. Also, acknowledging achievements can increase the productivity of others, as it sets the standard for the rest of the team, motivate them to emulate this behaviour, and work hard so they can receive their own praise.

4) Allow For Progression
Nothing motivates employees more than the prospect of progressing in their career and climbing the corporate ladder. If employees are aware of, and understand that there are opportunities available to them to build on their career, they are more likely to work hard. This is because a potential promotion in the future sets a goal for them to strive towards, and encourages the employee to stay with the company for the long-term.

5) Cultivate A Positive Company Culture
If you want to keep your staff motivated, you must create a work environment that encourages and supports them and the work they produce. If employees feel as though they are a valued member of the team, they are more likely to be meaningfully engaged at work and keen to pull their weight for the company.

For advice on how to build a positive company culture, click here.

Below is a short video on some additional tips on how to keep your employees motivated:

[Source: [HR360Inc](]

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