23 More Ways to Inspire Employee Performance

April 12, 2018 | Roger and Susie Engelau

Increasingly in our coaching practice we see overwhelmed business leaders. Fully disclosing here… we occasionally get overwhelmed ourselves.

If we as the business leaders are overwhelmed, we can be sure our employees are feeling the same.  Many studies tell us that a majority of US workers report feeling depleted and uninspired by their work.

That’s a really sad thing. It’s certainly not how any of us want our employees to feel about their work at the company we own and run.

While you want top performance from your employees so that your company stays profitable, we know you also want your employees to like, even love, being there.

In our Feb 9 blogpost we shared the first 21 of 44 practical ways that business leaders can inspire employee performance. Since millennials will make up 75% of your workforce by 2020, we focused the first 21 ways on millennials. We cited the 4 influences that shape millennials from this 15-min interview with Simon Sinek. Then we listed 21 ways business leaders can inspire employee performance.

In this blogpost, we list 23 more ways to inspire employee performance. We created our list by going back to research we did in 2016 called What Your Employees Look for in Their Work. At that time, we culled through the top thinking on the subject and summarized it into these 6 things that all employees want:

  1. Challenging, engaging, and meaningful work—to make a difference in other’s lives.
  2. Discretion and control over their work—input into when, where, and how the work is done.
  3. Managers and colleagues who respect them and appreciate their contributions.
  4. Growth and development opportunities.
  5. Work-life balance.
  6. Ability to renew and recharge regularly.

Next we brainstormed and researched ways to meet these 6 employee desires, culling it to these 23 practical things you can do, many immediately, to inspire employee performance:

Challenging, engaging, and meaningful work—to make a difference in other’s lives

  1. Get to know each person personally. View each as a unique source of knowledge. Ask them what kind of work is meaningful to them.
  2. Instead of a SWOT, do an SWL… have each employee list their Strengths, Weaknesses, & Likes, then work with them to create a job description that matches the SWL.

Discretion and control over their work—input into when, where, and how the work is done

  1. Give employees input into setting work hours, work schedules, lunch times, and even where work can be done. Let them determine how work gets done, process improvements, work sequencing, etc.
  2. Give them input into the office/workspace environment: music, décor, foods in the break room and at the work station, for examples.
  3. Hold listening lunches with 2 or 3 people at a time until you’ve worked your way through the company. Conduct a survey or hold focus groups to get input.
  4. Implement a suggestion program. (This seems a little too formal to us but if you have 150+ employees it can be an efficient way to involve employees and improve processes).

Managers and colleagues who respect them and appreciate their contributions

  1. Give employee input in the hiring of team members.
  2. Set goals jointly.
  3. Schedule a 2-4 hour teambuilding session with the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator.
  4. Engage employees in critical thinking; involve them in problem-solving.
  5. Provide a welcoming onboarding.
  6. Communicate with people individually vs broadcast methods like email and bulletin boards.
  7. Recognize people’s contributions to encourage more contributions

Growth and development opportunities

  1. Provide “stretch assignments” or job enrichment opportunities outside the normal job duties, such as writing a recommendation, implementing a process improvement, leading a team, making a presentation, or training someone.
  2. Conduct 5-10 minute training sessions once/week or once/month.
  3. Establish a mentor program or provide coaching, job shadowing, or even temporary job rotation.

Work-life balance

  1. Set the example by leaving work at a reasonable hour. Be seen going home early, attending kids’ functions, and taking vacations.
  2. Allow remote work.
  3. Partner with a gym, masseuse, or concierge service

Ability to renew and recharge regularly

  1. Discourage multi-tasking; allow for concentration on one task.
  2. Create a retreat space such as a picnic area.
  3. Provide healthy snacks.
  4. Maintain a clean, uncluttered work space.

You can begin to inspire employee performance to a greater degree today. The more of these 23 things you do, the more inspired your employees will be.

And the more inspired your employees are, the more productive they are both in your company, in their families, and in our community.