In any workplace in the world, there are a few similar issues that all workers must overcome. One of these is motivation; the idea that no matter how qualified, how intelligent, how hard-working, or how diligent a man or woman may be, they may eventually become lethargic, nondescript, and apathetic.
For supervisors, this can truly be a significant hurdle. When employees are not motivated, they will not work as hard, thus eroding overall efficiency and productivity. Although money is the most obvious motivator, and many high-concept schools of thought exist on other forms of motivation management, it still stands to reason that sometimes people just need a little pick-me-up rather than a complete office overhaul. There are some simple ways to give the office pool an overall motivation boost.
Many workplace incorporate a “casual Friday” policy, meaning that employees are free to show up to work in a more casual outfit than the usual dress code would allow for. As minor and simple as it may seem, workers nonetheless often look forward to every Friday for this little reason. The refreshing outfits not only provide enhanced comfort, but also provide a friendly conversation piece between peers.
Despite our best interests and efforts in denying it, a fundamental truth still persists in that one of humankind’s great common ties is our mutual love for food. This can be used as an effective motivator in the office, with something as easy as having a surprise pizza lunch one day, or everyone pooling to order for Chinese. Even if budgets and wallets are tight, try designating a specific counter space in the kitchen for office treats; then, gently encourage employees to, every once in a while, bring in something that can be shared with their co-workers. A pan of brownies brightens everyone’s day, and healthy community competition might begin between resident bakers and chefs in the mix.
Every human being is different in innumerable ways, both subtle and obvious. Different methods of encouragement might have a different effectiveness per individual. For some, one very viable form of motivation is words of affirmation; that is, a compliment, or other positive verbal recognition. One neat idea that incorporates systematized verbal affirmation is the affirmation board. This can be a pegboard or other type of posting set in a common area, like a break room. Then, by it is left a pad of paper, a pen, and thumb tacks, or perhaps sticky notes, or other items that would work. What follows is that, at any time, a worker may use one of the slips to write a co-workers name on one side, then an encouraging, complimentary note on the other. In a large enough office, this creates the delightful effect of a board full of positive notes that people check their name for, then take down their compliments, even if it is as simple as “You are always so helpful!” or similar. Properly done, an affirmation board can be a profoundly positive motivator for an office environment.
There are innumerable other ways to motivate employees, and there will always be entire seminars, courses, and consultants based entirely on the art of motivation. But, when all factors are taken into consideration, it possibly may be best to stick the basics and ask: What do people want, and how can I give it to them? When workers have the proper motivation in a functional environment, it will increase both the quantity and quality of their work, yet within the framework of a positive attitude.