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Employee motivation is a well known concern of most business owners. It’s essential to productivity and particularly important during periods of business growth – this is an exciting but demanding time and you need all hands on deck to get the business where you want it to go.

There are plenty of articles and research studies into the subject – we all know that money alone doesn’t motivate, and are familiar with the definition of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It’s widely understood that allowing personal development and ‘self-actualisation’ are the key to a motivated team…

So what do you do when you’ve done everything you can, but something doesn’t seem to be working? The business is growing…and one or two members of the team just lack the energy you hoped for but you can’t put your finger on why.

Retaining motivation during times of change is one of the biggest management challenges; regardless of whether the change is good or bad it’s often tricky to navigate. However, as a small business one of the greatest assets you have is the ability to quickly, easily and effectively communicate. Communication is the key to successfully manoeuvring through change – so make the most of it!

So what needs to be communicated?

With everyone pushing forward and working full steam ahead it’s possible that some people may find themselves left behind or misaligned from the rest of the team. Both of which can be resolved by communication.

As businesses begin the growth phase it’s common for employees to start questioning why they are working so hard for ‘your benefit’ and not theirs. It’s important to make it very clear that their hard work will be rewarded once the business reaches its goals. As such there is no such thing as ‘your benefit’ and ‘their benefit’, just one shared goal! Emphasise the potential for future training and promotional opportunities and you should see their eyes light up. Growth should be an exciting time for everyone so make it known that you won’t leave anyone behind, and they should expect to get out what they put in!

Perhaps they are naturally predisposed against change, or maybe it’s just all too much for them – not what they signed up for! In this situation, a great tool in your management kit is to remind them of the value they bring to the team. Regularly thank them for their work, and set them tasks which exercise and stretch their skill sets. Encourage them to find ways to become more proactive and really use their talents to make important contributions towards the common goal. When possible allow them to own part of the change so they become involved and excited by growth.

Good leadership = Good motivation

It sounds simple, but throughout a time of change most individuals will be looking towards the leader for guidance. Effective leadership occurs when a leader remains actively and visibly engaged during the entire process; which is used by individuals to create and guide their motivation. Good leaders provide the new direction, remove any barriers to success and give support to anyone who needs it. As such, individuals become more motivated to work towards a goal that benefits everyone. Read more on how to build trust and engagement.

Following these simple tips will help keep everyone motivated and working towards successful business growth. If you need further advice regarding your team, give the experts at South Coast HR a call!