The purpose and objective of a business to make profit will amount to nothing if it is run by unmotivated employees.
Just as money is the lifeblood of a business, the employees compose the organs of a profit-making body. The Chinese are especially particular when it comes to motivating employees, because they understand its importance in business. Here are 10 practical tips on how to unleash your employees’ full potential.
- Make them know that you trust them
Employees already know that there is something expected of them. However, not all employees feel that they are trusted. Expectations sometimes give undue pressure; trust motivates. You can express your trust by simply saying, “I know you can do this.” or “I need you to do this.”
- Make them understand the importance of their work
No person will feel motivated if he knows that his line of work is negligible. Thus, every employee must know that his role is necessary in the conduct of the business. This gives them a sense of importance and respect. It is important for them to realize and feel that they are needed.
- Give incentives and additional compensations
Incentives are motivation boosters. They encourage the employees to perform work beyond the standard. Of course, this also means an increase in efficiency and productivity of a business, which all lead to profit. In fact, there are some employees who are willing to exert extra efforts because they rely on the incentives to meet their personal needs. In China, they motivate employees by giving housing compensation and social reimbursements, among others.
- Set short term goals
A study shows that employees perform better when they focus on just one thing at a time. Remember that the grand success of a business does not happen overnight. It is made of small successes done regularly. A goal, no matter how big, gives the same satisfaction once accomplished. By setting short term goals, each employee is given a chance to be a success.
- Express your appreciation
No amount of hard work will feel valuable if it is not recognized. The Chinese value recognition for their work. You can express your appreciation by giving recognition to the efforts of your employees. Thus, it is important to be more conscious and observe their day-to-day activities. You do not always have to make a formal recognition. A simple tap on the back or simply by saying, “You did really well.” is often enough. You should realize that employees work not just for money, but also to feel appreciated.
In one study where Chinese workers were surveyed, it was found that being recognized is one of the main reasons that kept them in their jobs.
- Be a good example
It is impossible to expect high quality of work from the employees if their manager or superior does not demonstrate dedication and commitment to work. Being a good example must reflect in your everyday dealings. Show them that you also work hard just like them. To be a good employer or manager, be a good employee.
- Focus on every individual
Every individual in an employee group has differences. To ensure that the group performs properly, each of the individuals that compose the group must be motivated. Although it is more efficient to just set a meeting and talk with the group using a microphone, it is more motivating and meaningful for an employee if you converse with them individually. This does not have to be too formal. You can do this during a regular meeting or during hours of work. You can start by simply asking, “How are you?” Be sure to listen and learn from your employees.
- Set advancement opportunities
Employees will feel more motivated to work when they know that their efforts will lead them somewhere. Just as the business wants an increase in profit, employees also want to be promoted and enjoy increase in their salaries. Of course, such advancement opportunities are only given to those who have demonstrated impeccable performance and truly deserve better positions.
- Train them as a leader
When you think that an employee can solve a problem on his own, let him make the decision. This gives an employee an active participation in the business. Although this may not be a big matter to you, this means a lot to an employee. It is also a message and reassurance of trust. The renowned Chinese business magnate, Jack Ma, always trains his employees to become leaders by letting them make their own decisions.
- Create a healthy environment
A healthy work environment is not composed of employees sweating hard on their work, but of people who can smile at each other knowing that they are doing something meaningful. These are the employees who are highly motivated, because they are happy. Thus, it is important to listen to your employees and be flexible enough to make the best adjustments without fully sacrificing business objectives.
Motivating employees should be treated as important as making profit; otherwise, you will face a significant rate of employee turnover, and you will be left with people who can barely do their jobs. Except for the giving of incentives, these tips cost nothing, but they can retain the good employees who can continue to advance the interests of the business.
Free Book: Doing Business in China - Tips and Tracks
China has its own business culture and etiquette.
There are many things that a businessman from West needs to understand if he wants to enter the China market and succeed.