The reason that you brought each individual employee onto the team is that they all have unique perspectives. They can each contribute to finding resolutions to difficult problems. But there can be times when creativity is stagnant. HR experts recognize a few tips that can help you to leverage your employee’s problem solving skills.
1 – Take An Interest In Their Future
Employees need to believe that they are contributing something valuable to the company. If they do, they will be more likely to apply themselves at work. Management can help to facilitate that by taking a genuine interest in the individual’s future at the company.
Talk with the employees about where you might see them five years from now with the skills that they have. Ask what they would like to do with themselves and contemplate whether there is a clear path for their skills to manifest themselves and grow at the company.
2 – Encourage Introspection
This should be conducted, at least in part, by example. Show employees what it means to look inwardly and reflect on where you could put forth more effort. Tell them where you think you could improve your relationship with them or something that you think could change about the company. Then put that change into practice. When they see you practicing introspection, encourage them to look inwardly as well.
3 – Regular Performance Incentives
An employer who provides regular incentives is an employer who keeps the staff motivated. Broadly, these incentives can come in two forms: expensive and inexpensive. Primarily, you should focus on inexpensive incentives because they are usually sufficient to keep the staff motivated. Give away an extra personal day, a free lunch, an Amazon gift card, or similar prizes so that the team will always feel like they are working toward something.
The more expensive performance recognition incentives should be more infrequent, like once a quarter or just a couple of times every fiscal year. Give the top salesmen a paid vacation or a large bonus check. When people win or see their coworkers win, they will be motivated apply their problem-solving skills to their career.
4 – Put Up A Suggestions Box
Let employees make these suggestions anonymously if they prefer. You could sort through the suggestions weekly, hold a meeting and then read some of the concerns to the staff. This will let the employees know that their ideas are being considered and even implemented when necessary. Either way, they know that their concerns are being addressed and they will be more likely to continue providing insight. Management should always provide an outlet for employees to give feedback.
A similar practice could be to have personal conversations with each employee on a regular basis. You could do that just once every month. It will let them know that you are listening.
5 – Give Them Respect
Employees sometimes feel indignant toward authority figures because of their superior role. People tend to conflate ontological superiority with the superiority of a role. Treat employees as equals, even when you have to discipline them. One way to show respect is to respect their time. If an employee says that she needs to leave 30 minutes early to take her child to soccer practice, a respectful employer will do everything she can to honor that request if it is possible.
If your staff has been demotivated, know that the issue is not a lack of skill. They are simply not applying their skills. It is your job as the employer to facilitate their motivation.