The Most Effective Employee Motivation Trends of 2019

A motivated workforce is an engaged, creative, and productive workforce. That’s why businesses all over the world are constantly looking for innovative ways to ensure their workplace culture is positive and productive. Catching up with your employees once a year for a development review and throwing an office party to celebrate a holiday simply isn’t enough anymore. Yet with so many new trends emerging that promise to revolutionize your workplace culture, it’s hard to know where to focus your time and budget. That’s why JCD has taken a look at a few of the latest employee motivation trends and chosen the four we believe offer the greatest impact.

Employee motivation trend #1: give frequent feedback

In many successful companies, the dreaded annual review has been replaced by quarterly or bi-annual reviews, with casual feedback sessions scattered in between. These reviews are a chance for employees to look forward as well as backward and make actionable plans for their future. Regular catch-ups to discuss mini-milestones make it more likely employees will achieve their goals and easier for managers to notice and reward them when they do. Constructive, targeted feedback is always welcome but not every moment is a coaching moment. Micro-management is not effective and constant critical feedback can have a detrimental impact on employee motivation. Ensure your feedback is timely, actionable, and supportive to keep your team on track and feeling inspired.

Employee motivation trend #2: understand your employees’ values

According to the Harvard Business Review, 40% of the success of team projects comes down to how motivated the team members are. HBR breaks down demotivating factors into four key traps, the first of which is “values mismatch.” It’s difficult to feel motivated if you can’t see your work having a meaningful impact.

To help alleviate this common feeling, successful managers are finding out what their employees value and connecting these values to the job at hand. This approach is time-consuming and requires an open perspective as not everyone is motivated by the same thing. Intellectual stimulation, the opportunity to use specific skill sets, and the promise of better tasks to come can all motivate, and you may be surprised by how simple changes can alter an employee’s attitude toward their work and workplace culture in general. Another simple change that can have a big impact is to keep team sizes small, as evidenced by Jeff Bezo’s two pizza rule, keeping a team small enough to be fed by two large pizzas. Pizzas or no pizzas, to get the most out of your employees, it’s a good idea to get to know them a little better.

Employee motivation trend #3: tackle the big stuff

The American workforce is getting younger. In 2016, millennials made up 35% of the workforce, making them the largest demographic earning a wage. This trend likely holds true across the world and has led to some interesting shifts in workplace culture. In recent years we’ve seen companies get more creative with their perks, installing ping pong tables in the office, filling bowls with M&Ms, and handing out vouchers for fun days out. The truth is that perks are great, but they are not particularly good for employee motivation. Cool office perks are not the same thing as a nurturing, positive work culture where good work is rewarded and discontent is dealt with head-on. Papering over big issues like issues overpay, unmanageable workloads or hostility between employees with a free lunch is damaging in the long-term. Many companies have realized this and are scaling back the perks to refocus on the big issues.

Employee motivation trend #4: create a diverse workforce

Workplace diversity is not about ticking certain boxes when hiring new staff. True diversity is about inclusivity and support. The best companies ensure people with different identities and from different backgrounds are represented within the organizational structure of the company. Allowing a diverse group of people to make impactful decisions is the only way to make positive change in the work environment. Being a fair and inclusive employer not only benefits your workplace, it also boosts your bottom line. A recent study from McKinsey on diversity in the workplace reaffirmed that companies with a greater proportion of women and a more mixed ethnic and cultural composition in leadership positions were more financially successful.

Unbiased hiring practices, equitable pay, and all-employee training sessions on diversity and inclusivity are a good place to start. Changing your company culture for the better will make your employees feel emotionally and psychologically safe. A sense of belonging follows which increases happiness in the workplace and sends motivation through the roof.

Employee motivation trend #5: hold a motivation event

You would be surprised how much influence a motivation event can have on your employees. An event where everybody comes together and celebrates their successes, unity, and bond as colleagues is a powerful and fun engagement.

As meetings and events specialists, it is our job to create events that leave an impact. We have managed numerous events and motivation events are one of our specialties. As one of our team members once said: “It is our job to have employees that basically don’t really like their company to leave the event loving their company.” We strive at making the best kind of event, looking at all the possibilities and implementations needed, working closely together with you who knows your employees best.

To name just a few examples, have a look at a motivation kick-off event we managed for our own employees, here, or for a milestone event for large company in the fashion industry, here.

Don’t hesitate in working together with us in bringing your workforce to the next level and making them feel welcome and treasured! Contact us today to start planning for the next event to motivate your team!

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