Great leaders know how to effectively motivate their employees, but knowing how to motivate employees and finding the time to do it aren’t simple tasks. Organizations that have motivated and engaged employees are typically 21% more productive and 22% more profitable. Yet, while 90% of business leaders think an engagement strategy has an impact on business success, barely 25% of them have a strategy. Here are five ways that could help motivate your team, create a happier work environment and increase productivity.
1. Share the Organizational Vision
When employees identify themselves solely by their job function and day-to-day tasks, they are looking at their role in your organization through a small lens. They may not see how their efforts impact the success of your organization as a whole, and consequently, they may not feel as motivated to give their very best. Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College, points out in his article in The New York Times that “most of all, we want work that is meaningful — that makes a difference to other people and thus ennobles us in at least some small way.”
Leaders must show employees a bigger picture—a sense of purpose. At The Ritz-Carlton, our highest mission is to provide “genuine care and comfort of our guests.” The employees of The Ritz-Carlton—known as our Ladies and Gentlemen—know that whether their job is to clean rooms, clean dishes or calculate payroll, their purpose is the same. This greater purpose is emphasized through our Gold Standards and enlivened through Daily Line-Up.
2. Make People Feel Appreciated
One of the greatest needs we have is to be appreciated. Author Victor Lippman notes that feeling valued at work “can be a difference maker, at times allowing employees to accept lower compensation, or longer hours, or the inevitable frustrations that accompany difficult tasks.”
Valuing the contribution of our Ladies and Gentlemen is an important part of The Ritz-Carlton culture. Our Employee Promise recognizes that “our Ladies and Gentlemen are the most important resource in our service commitment to our guests.” When Herve Humler, President and Chief Operations Officer at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., goes to the openings of new hotels, he says to the Ladies and Gentlemen, “I’m the president of the company, and I’m a very important person.” Then he tells them, “But you are more important than I am. If I run the best hospitality company in the world, it’s only because of what you do.” When leaders recognize the contributions of employees, they will feel more valued and appreciated.
3. Encourage Innovation and Improvement
When you rally all of your employees to help your organization improve, then not only will your organization benefit, but your employees will be more engaged in your operation. They will no longer be passive spectators on the sidelines—instead they will be active participants and contributors.
One of the Service Values at The Ritz-Carlton states “I continuously seek opportunities to innovate and improve The Ritz-Carlton experience.” One way The Ritz-Carlton fosters a collaborative culture is through a platform referred to as Lions Share. Lions Share is the repository of ideas for improvement and innovation from all hotels around the world.
4. Offer Learning Opportunities
Giving employees the chance to learn new things will prevent them from feeling stagnant. Along with providing stimulation, learning new skills has an additional benefit. It keeps your employees up-to-date and relevant. An article in The Washington Post points out, “With today’s more complex business environment, learning is not just a nice thing to do — it is essential for staying on top of things.”
The Ritz-Carlton culture promotes learning through an annual personal development plan. In addition, Ladies and Gentlemen can fulfill the Service Value “I have the opportunity to continuously learn and grow” by receiving training through onboarding, mentoring, lateral service, cross training or online and in-person courses.
5. Celebrate Each Success
Often we are so focused on an overall goal that we may forget to celebrate the milestones on the way to success. Even the smallest team achievements are worthy of celebration. It helps your employees and your teams to recognize progress. It gives them evidence that their work is making an impact, and by recognizing even small improvements you’re showing your team that their work is valued. Taking the time to applaud improvements can refresh and revitalize your staff.
At The Ritz-Carlton, we celebrate the contributions of others through First Class cards. These 4” by 5” cards are handwritten “thank you” notes typically given from any employee to any other employee, group of employees or department for exemplary or outstanding actions that go above and beyond expectations and standards. Employees often display their First Class cards, and this serves as a visual reminder of The Ritz-Carlton culture of recognition.
Motivate Your Team Through Organizational Culture
Employee motivation is not something that can be easily remedied by adding a few perks. In an interview, David Ulrich, a business professor at University of Michigan and co-author of The Why of Work, noted that “A leader can let you bring your parrot to work or give you a gift certificate but, as isolated events, they don’t change much. Leaders need to recognize that offering meaningful work has to become an integral part of the culture of their organizations. Out of that will flow a deeper and longer commitment.” By integrating motivational techniques into your organizational culture, you’re implementing a sustainable, engagement strategy that will have a lasting impact on your employees’ happiness and on the success of your organization. ∞
Join us for a one-day symposium on November 12th. Take advantage of the early-bird rate and sign-up by September 1st. The day includes a Ritz-Carlton executive panel with Herve Humler, president & chief operations officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.