As a manager, it’s tempting to allow staff motivation efforts to fall by the wayside. You have bigger things to think about, like reaching your consumer lending goals and dealing with irate members about their NSF fees! Why should you have to worry about keeping your employees motivated? “People should feel lucky just to have a job!”…right? But if you manage with this state of mind, your staff will be made up of people who ARE just lucky to have jobs. They show up (most of the time), they do the work (most of the time) and they have a good idea of what it takes to NOT get fired (most of the time). Your superstars will have moved on and your potential superstars will be watching the clock by day and surfing employment sites by night.
Sure, a person needs a job to survive. But your best employees need meaning to live. Make your employees’ jobs meaningful to them, so they give it their all because they want to, not because they think they have to.
I think Zig Ziglar put it best, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Positive motivation creates positive momentum. Keep motivation top of mind and regularly use our simple, universal tactics to create a culture of motivated employees. The benefit to you is that when treated well, your employees are more invested in the success of the credit union and your branch in particular. There is a sense of being “in this together.” People are more innovative and more open with their ideas. This means that a well-motivated staff will put that extra effort into meeting goals and moving the branch forward.
And the good news? A little motivation goes a long way! Not everyone is motivated by the same things, but here are some universals to let your staff know that you appreciate them:
- For a job well done, say “Thank you” and mean it.
- Let people know specifically how their contributions are helping the company.
- Talk to people, and listen, not necessarily just about work. Being seen as human is a pretty big deal to most folks.
- Ask employees what would make their jobs better. They might surprise you! Get back to them about what is possible.
- Let people know they are trusted and respected.
- Allow them to use their strengths, and encourage growth: Let your best and brightest lead (or drag) you forward.
- This should probably go without saying, but don’t ever tell someone, “You’re just lucky to have a job!”
Now that we know some of the universals, let’s talk specifics. At an individual level, one size does not fit all. Personality drives motivators, so what works to energize your credit union may not do much for your tellers.
Social employees often appreciate recognition in front of other people. Being hailed in a meeting or event is the ultimate high, while a low-key analytic might cringe and feel embarrassed. Assertive employees are comfortable competing with team mates while supportive employees prefer more collaborative goals.
Understanding the unique personalities on your team will help you tailor your management and motivation tactics during coaching sessions, performance reviews and simple one-on-one meetings.
When your people feel recognized, rewarded and managed as individuals, you’ll see a return on your motivational investments!