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Six Ways to Motivate Employees for the New Year

Motivated employees.

Motivated employees make your business more efficient and effective. By extension, they drive business growth. But at the beginning of the year, when the holiday festivities are over, days are short and the weather’s cold, it’s not uncommon for employees to become less enthusiastic about their work. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to boost motivation and get your team back on track. Keep the following six tips in mind:

    1. Lead by example. In order to motivate your employees, you need to show that you’re enthusiastic about the upcoming year. Tap into your own inner motivation to determine what’s driving you, and communicate your enthusiasm to your employees by being upbeat, energetic and excited about the opportunities ahead.

    2. Set goals. It’s important for employees to know what they’re working toward. Inform your team about your company’s objectives for the year and explain why those goals are important, not only to the organization, but also to the team. In addition, it can be helpful to discuss how your work is relevant to the community and makes a positive impact in people’s lives.

    3. Provide training. Companies are making more use of digital platforms and advanced technologies. Consumers want more digital products and are willing to shop around for what fits their precise needs. Since these changes can be intimidating for employees, it can be helpful to offer training in various areas to help them further their knowledge. Moreover, Millennials in particular, want to advance. That’s why offering employer-funded training is not only a good way to motivate all members of your team, but also to keep the younger ones engaged.

    4. Schedule team-building activities. A strong, cohesive team of employees is more likely to motivate one another and as a result, perform better. For this reason, it can be helpful to invest in team-building activities. This can include anything from a team lunch to let people get better acquainted to a company retreat with specially designed trust and motivational exercises.

    5. Pay for employee education. If you want to do something that will benefit both your employees and your company in the long term, then it can be useful to create an education assistance plan. As Barbara Weltman explains in her article titled “5 Ways to Support Staff with Education and Development” for, you can offer a tax-free education reimbursement contribution of up to $5,250 per employee per year. For the company, these reimbursements are tax deductible. Employees can use the reimbursement to cover the costs of tuition, fees, equipment, books and supplies. Best of all: by helping your employees advance, you’ll be motivating them to become better employees.

    6. Recognize your employees’ contributions. Acknowledging someone’s efforts and achievements can be just as motivating as offering them some form of reward. It doesn’t take much effort — and it certainly doesn’t cost anything — to keep track of your employees' work and notice when someone has gone the extra mile to complete a project on time or went above and beyond to help a client. By consistently showing that you’re aware of your team’s hard work and appreciate everything they do, you can significantly increase their motivation.

Motivation is about more than just pay; it’s also about providing the support, training and encouragement your people need to feel respected and valued in the workplace

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