In the pavement marking business, like many construction-related fields, the work can become repetitive over time. Sure, each project is unique in some respects, but the day-to-day similarities can make it challenging for staff to stay motivated to excel. In this article, Mark Kelly, Founder and President of Safety Marking Inc. in Bridgeport, CT details seven ways to motivate employees to get excited about the work they do.
Provide Plenty of Recognition
Everyone loves to be recognized for a job well done. Use creative and fun ways to recognize performance. A formal employee recognition program is a useful tool to keep motivation high. Ensure the credit is applied fairly, consistently, and transparently or it may backfire and create animosity toward the effort.
Incentivize and Gamify the Work
Many people enjoy playing games. More than a few workers pick up a game system at home to unwind. Playing games provides a sense of accomplishment and carries a low risk of failure. Many ordinary tasks can be gamified. See who can learn to load equipment on their truck the fastest and safest. The greatest number of incoming calls fielded today wins a prize. These are simple tasks that can provide employees a sense of accomplishment. It’s a good idea to make sure the rewards of winning a game are not significant, some workers may begin to take them too seriously. The idea is to provide a sense of accomplishment while keeping the risks low.
Develop Incremental Goals
Another great way to use a sense of accomplishment to motivate employees is to develop achievable daily, weekly, or monthly goals. If the interval for accomplishing a goal is too long, many workers will lose interest. Small goals that are incremental to the individual’s larger objectives can keep work exciting and increase the likelihood of successfully reaching significant milestones.
David Steffens, Director of Operations at Safety Marking, states, “Every job requires teamwork. We work together. We leave the yard as a team, and we return as a team. Safety Marking thrives on teamwork. Nothing we do can be done by a single person. At Safety Marking we exercise three principles: Learn together. Work together. Succeed together.”
Motivate on an Individual Level
Keeping the team motivated is not always a team activity. Many managers find that one-on-one pep talks and recognition at the individual level will create contagious optimism. Besides keeping the entire team revved up, spend time with each person and find ways to address their needs.
Prioritize a Healthy Work-Life Balance
The surest way to win an employees’ heart is to give them every opportunity to sustain a healthy work-life balance. It may seem counterintuitive to prioritize non-work-related activities to improve the company’s bottom line, however, it will. Even the most dedicated employee, without a healthy work-life balance, will eventually burn out.
Emphasize the “Why”
Understanding why a task, job, or role is vital to the company’s overall success will keep many workers motivated to succeed. Most people care about others, including their workmates. If they sense that their work function is essential to the entire team, they won’t let the team down if they can avoid it. Help each employee understand why their role is necessary and how their work contributes to the team’s overall success.
Daniel King, Manager of Learning and Development at Safety Marking, explains, “Nothing builds confidence like skills. The more capable we are as individuals, the more effective our crews will be. We are building the Operational skills necessary for success at Safety Marking.”
Build Employee Autonomy into the Culture
Having ‘skin in the game’ is a great motivator. Allowing staff to govern themselves to the greatest extent possible will ensure they are vested in the company’s success. Provide latitude in work schedules, tools to accomplish their goals, and autonomy where possible to improve motivation. In essence, leave as many decisions as possible up to the individual that will do the work.