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Making Your Employees Part of the Team – How to Motivate Employees During Economic Slowdown

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 4/1/2011

It is imperative to instill confidence in employees in order to increase loyalty and employee retention. This is indispensable for the long–term success of the organization. During times of economic downturn, it becomes common for managers to overlook the importance of motivating employees.

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    Making Your Employees Part of the Team - Instil Confidence in Employees

    Fig 1 - Employee Motivation The secret to long-term employee retention and loyalty is to understand basic human behaviour and psychology. For employees to decide whether they would like to work with an organization, they have to look at both the intrinsic meaning and the extrinsic reward. After all the former drives people to work more effectively and the latter is the practical reason why people work.

    Apart from extrinsic rewards like stock options, money and other benefits, it is also important to give employees meaningful roles in the organization that provide them fulfilment and a sense of purpose beyond the job. Very often people have to make a difficult choice between intrinsic meaning and extrinsic rewards (though the linked article is about classroom training, it gives you an idea of how to implement a reward system for your team). Organizations and business managers can do much to minimize the effect of this trade-off by balancing both.

    The first thing for all business managers to remember is to take steps to build trust, confidence, loyalty, and goodwill among all their employees. This would lead the organization on the path of long-term success.

    Very simply put, if an employee likes and respects what he or she is doing, he or she would be interested in the overall success of the organization. If not, he or she would not care much about the success of the organization. Thus, for the overall growth of the organization, it is important to make employees happy at their jobs. This would also inculcate assurance and increase employee retention in the organization.

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    Tips for Employee Motivation During an Economic Downturn

    During the recent economic downturn, many priorities often get shifted. In fact, many relationships suffer and so does the leadership performance in many organizations. While employees at some organizations are happy, just because they have a job, many others are stressed and exhausted, as they feel ignored because they are not provided with proper training and feedback.

    The best way to overcome an economic recession is by making sure employees are motivated and happy by letting them know that they are valued. It is important to invest in personal development of employees, as this is the best way to make sure that employees are satisfied and will remain loyal. Bridge the gap between business managers and employees by following some basic strategies like:

    • Staying engaged: It is important to remain upfront with all employees at all levels from executive to branch. Regular contact is necessary to keep them motivated. It is important to keep reminding them of the organizational and personal goals. By making employees part of a team, business managers would be able to instill a great deal of confidence in the employees. It is also important to be transparent, as transparency would ensure a higher level of employee trust and belief.
    • Stay focused: It is important to work with a goal and motivate employees accordingly. It is imperative to make employees feel they are part of a team in all circumstances.
    • Make employees part of the team: It is very important to make employees feel like a part of the team. The employees should be trained and coached but should be allowed to think individually and should also be given a platform to voice their ideas and feelings. It is vital to make employees feel part of the team, which is like a family. By doing so, employees will want to grow with the organization.
    • Set measurable goals: Aggressive, realistic, and reachable goals that can be clearly measured should be maintained. This list should be timely checked and new goals should be added. This would allow employees to stay focused and be rewarded properly. It is also vital to communicate these goals to all employees.
    • Feedback: Regular and honest feedback is a must. For this to happen properly, business managers must be proactive and specific. Also they must be able to develop a progress and development plan and should be able to link the employee’s performance with the organizational goals.
    • Professional Development: It is important to make an investment in the training and development budgets of organizations. Regular coaching and courses for personal and technical development of the employees should be organized.
    • Appreciation: It is important to reward the employee by both intrinsic means and extrinsic recognition. A simple card saying "Thank You" could also go a long way in keeping employees motivated.
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Using Human Resources in Small Business

This article series aims to offer information on how to hire and use talent to increase your company's performance. It covers how to hire new employees, how to train them for max performance and how to keep them motivated for excellence.
  1. Hiring Employees in a Small Business
  2. Tips on Increasing New Hire Productivity
  3. Using Employee Coaching to Increase Business Productivity
  4. Making Your Employees Part of the Team – How to Motivate Employees During Economic Slowdown
  5. Helping Employees Avoid Burnout Syndrome