Motivating Employees in Tough Economic Times

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Keeping yourself motivated during a difficult economy can be a challenge for any supervisor or manager. And, trying to extend that motivation to your employees can be even more challenging. What do your employees care most about? Money? Flextime? A pat on the back? While most employees have to be able to "pay the bills" in order to stay motivated, the deeper and more controllable reason that employees stay motivated involves the ability to have choices and to overcome meaningful challenges. 

Create Shared Goals 
You and your employees determine your organization’s success. When you exhibit a passionate work ethic, not only will you personally succeed, but your employees will be more likely to follow your example, and they and your department will benefit from your leadership. The increased amount of buy-in motivates employees to want to accomplish their goals and seek creative solutions to overcoming the obstacles they may encounter along the way. 

Make Positive Contact 
All effective supervisors maintain the ability to remain linked to their employees. You must be able to connect with your employees to inspire their success and to keep them moving forward. Nobody likes to believe their job is unimportant. Great motivators are able to convey how important each and every employee’s position is to the success and achievements of the entire organization. 

Provide Opportunities for Growth 
During times of economic stress, make sure you're looking at new ways to keep your good employees inspired and productive. Make sure that you are constantly learning by reading, attending trade shows and informative classes. But, also make sure that you retain that knowledge and make it worthwhile by sharing it with your employees. The values of employees are usually what guide their performance. By understanding the values of your employees, training them well and matching them with your organization's values, you create consistent and worthwhile opportunities. 

Engage in Preventive Maintenance 
Is your department in proper working order. Just as equipment needs maintaining to keep it running properly, your staff also needs to be checked out to verify that everything is in proper working order. By making adjustments periodically to your equipment and your staffing patterns, you will reduce the possibility of failure. You must constantly monitor the vital areas of your responsibility to make sure that productivity is not slipping. Do not allow complacency to enter any part of your operations. You and your staff should always move forward in every area of workplace activity and responsibility.