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Ivan Lilov
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Alt text: Keep your employees motivated and they’ll be as happy as the employee on this picture!

When you're running a business, having a team of carefully chosen employees who are motivated and feel appreciated for their work can make a difference between a successful company and the one that's in need of improvement. While having a good salary certainly plays a role in your employees' happiness level, it is far from being the only thing that will influence their performance. And even if their salary is more than adequate, your employees could still be unmotivated to work as well as they could. So, how to keep your employees motivated? Read on to find out.

Maintain a functional and pleasant working environment

First of all, your offices certainly play a role in your employees' motivation levels. This means that taking the time and the effort to make the working environment pleasant and uplifting will definitely pay off. As opposed to working in a dark, dingy, and colorless environment, you will be able to keep your employees motivated more easily in a kind of environment that will work toward keeping their spirits high and toward providing a much-needed energy boost. 

However, it's not just the office's looks that are important in this regard; the office should also be as functional as it is possible. If you're using old work equipment, such as outdated PCs, then that can obviously affect your employee's motivation. Not only will they be working slower due to their gear not being as good as it should be, but they will also most likely feel frustrated, which will further degrade the quality of their work.

Keep your employees motivated by keeping your offices bright and functional! Alt text: A bright, visually-appealing office, and some team members working in it.

Instead of pouring their energy into the work itself, a good chunk of that energy will be spent while they're, in a way, trying to combat their equipment. And if you were to sell your business later on, you will certainly get a better price if the business comes with pleasant and fully functioning offices.

Try to be supportive and act as a role model to your employees

Being a good leader involves a lot of important skills and characteristics. However, before anything else, it is very important to set a good example. If your employees recognize you as a serious manager who holds himself accountable for the quality of his work, then they are more likely to behave in a similar way and to take their work as seriously as they should.

The kind of work you do is irrelevant; if you were, for example, running a moving company, such as Movers 101, then you'd need to make sure that your employees don't have a problem with dealing with customers, that faulty moving vehicles are not causing any problems, and so on. Basically, lending a sympathetic ear is vital if you want to keep your employees motivated and ready to give their best.

Be there for your employees and listen to any problems they might have. Alt text: Team members fist bumping.

Then, by being a supportive leader, you can get the best out of them. By showing them that you trust them and that you're there for them, you'll make them feel more confident in their skills. If it seems as if you don't have enough faith in your team members, then in a lot of cases they won't have faith in themselves either. And after asking yourself where to find all the good candidates and then actually finding them, it would be detrimental not to show faith as well.

Regularly reward your employees

Doing a good job will make most of your employees happy simply because they did well. However, in order to further elevate that feeling of satisfaction, introducing some sort of a reward system will make your employees even more motivated to keep doing their best. 

A reward can be anything, from something as big and costly as handing out a monetary bonus, to something seemingly trivial as mentioning that a customer was pleased with your employee's performance. Rewards can be especially useful when people are working in a team. Just praising someone in front of the rest of the team can make your other employees work harder so that they can be recognized for their work as well.

Keep your employees motivated by offering flexible scheduling

Many people today are looking for a job that will offer them a large degree of flexibility in scheduling their duties. This is especially true if your employees are also expected to frequently or occasionally work from their homes (by finishing tasks on their laptops, for example), to regularly check e-mails, and do any such work that's accomplished outside out of your office and outside of the regular working hours. 

Flexible scheduling is important to a lot of workers, especially to those who will also need to work from home. Alt text: A woman looking at her smartphone while working on her laptop.

Having flexible scheduling will allow your employees to organize their workflows much better, thus eliminating much of the stress they'd otherwise feel. In fact, Forbes ran a study a few years ago, showing that as much as 46% of people who are looking for a job consider flexible scheduling to be the most important factor that will decide whether they'll take the job or go look for another one.

This flexibility extends beyond task-related scheduling. You'll also have to notify your employees in time about anything that might interfere with their regular scheduling. For example, if you plan on transferring your NY business to Florida, you'll need to make your employees aware of that in time; otherwise you'd be derailing their schedules and your company's results as well. 

Provide your employees with the opportunity to grow

Finally, a good way to keep your employees motivated is to provide them with an opportunity to grow, both as individuals and within the company. A lot of business owners are looking to eventually expand. Knowing that there could be an opportunity to eventually get a better paid and a more responsible position will make a lot of your employees work harder than they normally would.

The increase in pay that a new position would entail is only one of the motivating factors in this case. Knowing that there's room to grow will make your employees see their tenure at your company more as an opportunity for having a successful career, rather than only as a temporary job. What's more, even being considered for a higher position will make them feel appreciated for their work. And, as we said, a worker who is adequately appreciated is the one who is most likely to shine.