Opinion: Motivating workers in tough times

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These are some great strategies for helping to motivate your employees as individuals during challenging times, but how do you engineer a highly motivated workforce, so they are acting and performing as one highly motivated unit on a continual basis?

An authentic and open leadership team is crucial to strong employee engagement and commitment. An employee who feels appreciated and trusted is more likely to be productive and performing at their best.  High-quality, regular conversations between employees and managers regarding performance and expectations are essential.

Develop individual goals to align with the overall business strategy.  This means everyone, no matter their personal KPIs, is working toward the same objective.  This approach allows employees to see the value they’ve added to the business and nurtures within each person a feeling of ownership and responsibility for the company.  

Initiate, encourage and enable collaboration. When information is available to a wider audience, knowledge is shared more freely, people learn more, become interested in new areas, further develop existing skills and are encouraged to do the same in return.  This is also a great way to solve new challenges and initiate thinking on new, creative strategies and concepts.

A motivated and engaged employee is a productive and profitable one, in good times and tough times. Mark Green from Performance Dynamics says there are three key areas central to motivating people:

1.    Help them find meaning in what they’re doing
2.    Strengthen their personal qualities 
3.    Foster a commitment beyond the job

If the results on the latest consumer confidence surveys ring true, it will be an important time for businesses to engage and motivate employees to maintain workplace confidence and in turn, business success. 

 - Aaron Green is the vice president of applications at Oracle.

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