Technology Can Change How You Motivate Your Team
Motivating your employees does more than just make them more excited about coming to work. It also makes them more productive, which can improve your customer retention and satisfaction rates as well as your profit margins. Motivating employees, though, is much easier said than done. There are a number of different methods you can use to improve employee motivation. Some of these newer techniques involve technology. There are a variety of ways you can use today’s new technology to get your team motivated and improve productivity. Here are a few of these unique methods.
Automate the Workplace
The Internet of Things or IoT is the term used to describe equipment and appliances such as copy machines, refrigerators, thermostats, light bulbs, and other devices that have traditionally been offline but are now coming with WiFi connections. Using IoT devices in the office can help automate a number of basic, manual jobs so your employees can focus on things that are more important. This makes your workforce more motivated because they’re working on tasks that require high-level thinking and creativity, not simple jobs that quickly get boring.
Create Flexible Work Options
Today’s technology allows for collaboration from any location. This has led to a rise in employees who work from home or who are able to collaborate with office personnel from the job site or other locations. When this option first became available, many employers were concerned that those working from home would not be nearly as productive. However, they were quite surprised when they discovered that the opposite was often true. Employees who work from home, even if it’s only now and then, are just as productive, if not more so.
Allowing employees to work from home provides a number of benefits. First, you don’t have to allocate office space for them, nor do you need to provide furniture or other office equipment. Second, you can hire or retain employees who have young children or who are no longer able to come into the office for whatever reason. This flexibility can even extend to the office itself — you can create a common area where employees can gather to work on laptops while collaborating in person.
Gamification is the idea of transforming anything into a type of game. Online learning, employee training, and much more can be presented in the form of a game, making it more enjoyable to do. You can use technology to gamify onboarding processes, learning opportunities, and other things to increase motivation. People like to play games and get a high score. Gamifying increases motivation and should be used wherever it can be to increase employee engagement.
Provide More Educational Opportunities
Employees who want to progress in their careers are often motivated by educational options, and technology makes learning much easier than it once was. Online courses now include videos, interactive experiences, and real-time conversations with the instructor and others taking the course. Your employees can learn at their own pace, gaining the skills and knowledge they need to get promoted or to change departments.
By providing these opportunities, you’re showing your dedication to your employees’ future and well-being. You’re investing in them, and they will see this investment as a sign that you value them. This helps motivate your employees to learn more and stay with the company.
Increasing Employee Engagement
Engaging employees involves making them more invested or involved in the company. The more someone is engaged, the more they’re going to want to see the business succeed. Engaged employees enjoy their work, while non-engaged employees are simply collecting a paycheck. When employees are engaged, they’re motivated to make the company better. Technology can improve this engagement by allowing employees to be more involved, whether it’s through training, online meetings, or simply being able to find information more quickly and easily.
One of the best ways of increasing employee engagement is to bring in conference speakers to share their ideas, thoughts, and techniques. Traditionally, these speakers are brought in to speak at an employee gathering. However, this involves your company paying for their transportation costs, hotel costs, and any other expenses the speaker has. This can limit the number of speakers you’re able to bring in every year.
Technology has changed this. Now you can have a conference speaker virtually address your employees from anywhere. All they need is a webcam and an internet connection. Your employees can watch from their own offices, too, rather than gathering in a conference room or auditorium. This makes these speakers more accessible since there are fewer costs involved.
Feedback Becomes More Instantaneous
Sitting down with an employee to give them quarterly or even yearly feedback often takes a lot of time, especially for supervisors that oversee large teams. Supervisors may spend days preparing formal evaluations, but how useful is it to provide feedback for something that was done several months ago?
Thanks to technology, it’s easier to provide short, real-time feedback to employees regularly. You may still want to continue with the quarterly reviews, but it may be more helpful to implement short, quick feedback using HR software. This allows employees to immediately see what they need to do differently or be more motivated to continue with what they’re doing. It also helps the company since employees can constantly make small changes to how they do things, improving their productivity and overall performance.
This feedback can go both ways, too. Employees can provide feedback, suggestions, or complaints more often and more easily. Some employees may be more comfortable writing out their feedback, especially if it can be done anonymously, rather than talking directly to their supervisor or HR representative.
As Technology Changes, More Motivational Opportunities Arise
While you may not be comfortable making use of all of these technical methods to improve motivation, you may want to experiment with one or two. As technology changes and evolves, you’ll find that the way you approach motivating your employees has to evolve, too. These methods are just a few ways you can use technology to increase engagement and motivate your employees to go farther and do more.