The ‘I am the boss, the boss is me’ mentality is a poor – even counterproductive – one. And, when it comes to hitting goals and boosting productivity among your employees or team members, it’s especially useless.
Placing the interests and well-being of your workers on the front page of your to-do list is a much smarter strategy. According to statistics on motivation, employee productivity at companies offering incentive programs is a whopping 14% higher.
Without taking deliberate steps to boost workplace productivity, all you’ll get are zombies, who show up at work only to mark attendance. They’ll clock in, pretend to be interested in the continuous meetings, drink copious amounts of coffee to keep them awake, and repeat the process ad infinitum. There’s no creativity, zeal, nor a genuine interest in being productive.
Thankfully, you can avoid this joyless cycle if you know how to leverage career milestones. Even if you fear you’re already stuck in it, there’s no better time than now to reinvent yourself.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the need for motivation and how career milestones can light a positive fire under your employees.
The Need for Motivation in the Workplace
The word ‘motivation’ means an incentive or reason for doing something. Your pet dog will sit when you ask him to. This isn’t because he’s a good ol’ dog, but because of the treats, loving pat, and compliments that come with this behavior. That’s motivation!
Sure, your employees are not pets. However, the same principle applies. When work is more than a mere chore or necessity, people tend to do a better job.
When there is an incentive – a form of appreciation, special care, or attention – employees naturally enjoy the work process more. Consequently, they’ll contribute more to the overall success of the team.
The Concept of Career Milestones
Let’s say Fredrick, a dedicated employee, receives a work email reading:
“Hello, Mr. Fredrick John. It’s been three years working with us today. Thank you. From HR”
This is thoughtful, but if you were Fredrick, it’s likely you wouldn’t feel particularly special.
Career milestones are career feats worth mentioning at work. However, we often find they’re a highly underutilized employee motivation strategy.
Let’s do a replay:
It’s three years today since you started working with us. In this time, you’ve been a wonderful addition to this organization. Your impact has very much been felt in the tech team. We want to use this opportunity to thank you for your contribution in introducing and installing the latest sales tracking software. Your diligence and attitude to work are much appreciated. Here’s to an even more amazing year ahead. Thank you.
Now imagine how much more zeal our example employee Frederick would pour into his job after reading that email and how much more seen and appreciated he would feel. That’s how the concept of leveraging career milestones works.
Leveraging Career Milestones: What You Need to Do
We must, first of all, understand what should be termed as a ‘career milestone’. These include:
- Work anniversaries
- Closing a long-awaited deal
- Getting a specific number of clients or customers
- The arrival of a new child
- Introducing and setting up new and effective technology
It doesn’t have to be a rigid set of achievements. Mostly, anything that’s nice, thoughtful, or contributes to the overall success of the business should be celebrated.
Here’s how you can leverage these milestones to boost work productivity.
Give Credit to Teams
Acknowledge the efficiency of a particular unit of the organization and celebrate every member of the team. You can do this if a particular team proffers a solution or hits an accomplishment. While you can choose to celebrate every member of the team one on one, group praise is also important. For instance, you could present an award to the team as a whole.
Do Something Nice on Special Days
It’s a special day for your employee, and there’s no better way to leverage milestones than by making them feel seen and valued. You can do this by providing a small treat, such as a gift card, a day off, or a handwritten note. To show you really care about their well-being, you could even go as far as gifting them a spa day, for example.
Celebrate Business Successes Together as a Company
The success of the company is not only a win for the managers and executives. If you take a closer look, you’ll find every single team member has contributed in some way. As such, make it a habit to pat everyone on the back.
You can even make it a fun interactive opportunity for sharing tips and guides to staying focused. Another option is to turn these meet-ups into a social session — an opportunity for your team to relax and recalibrate ahead of upcoming tasks. This is great for bonding.
Create a Conducive Work Environment
Maybe you think a sterile, tension-filled space is well suited to working. After all, it’s easy to assume that the more serious the atmosphere is, the more productive it will be. That’s not the case.
You should try to create a work environment that’s supportive and pleasant. From your physical facilities to your data quality software, each aspect of the wider workplace contributes to overall employee happiness and productivity.
It’s all part of leveraging career milestones. Most employees will agree that they want things to become easier with every achievement. The work environment should be a testament to this.
Create a Listening System
A listening system is one where employee feedback, complaints, and suggestions are considered a top priority. With more career milestones, you can give employees increased responsibility. This can take the form of a voice to contribute and deliver constructive criticism.
Whether it’s feedback about the company’s digital transformation policy or ideas about the general break room, a listening ear signals to the employee that you trust them. They’ll feel part of the team and will therefore be more inclined to be productive.
Celebrate Employees Individually
As well as celebrating the whole team, deserving individuals should be singled out for appreciation. Doing so will give the individual a sense of pride and fulfillment. This is very important for boosting overall productivity.
It can also have a ripple effect across the team. Everyone will aspire to earn their time in the spotlight and will be encouraged to work harder for it. You don’t need to be a genius to deduce that this will affect work productivity in a positive way.
The Results of Celebrating Career Milestones
The benefits to expect when you leverage career milestones include:
Increased Employee Engagement
Celebrating milestones deconstructs the invisible bridge between you and your employees, leading to better work relationships. Utilized alongside other tools, such as VoIP providers for business, this makes it much easier to speak to your staff. It also helps to streamline operations and increase productivity.
The Achievement of Long- and Short-Term Goals
Short-term goals are things like securing a particular number of customers in three months. They can also be practical steps like maximizing business tools. For example, successfully implementing an automatic call distributor system to improve customer engagement.
Long-term goals require more time to accomplish. For example, where does the organization see themselves ranking in their field in the next five years? With happy and productive employees, these goals are made much more achievable.
Every employee should be encouraged to work effectively to meet deadlines, and celebrating milestones and making them feel seen acts as the perfect incentive. Combine this with the use of improvements to your wider systems and processes, such as the installation of Vonage phone alternatives, and you’ll achieve swifter and more efficient collaboration across the board.
Increased Passion and Enthusiasm
Employees will no longer show up to the office merely to go through the motions, before scrambling for the door as fast as they can come 5. Instead, they’ll find their work much more enjoyable.
Access to tools that provide flexibility and mobility, such as the best virtual phone service, will also ensure that they feel their needs are being met and their struggles recognized and addressed.
Improved Work Relationships
It’s possible for work friendships to make you happier, and with the proper use of career milestones, there will be a much better working relationship between employer and employee. This typically leads to more effective communication, and transparent communication is vital for brand success.
Start Leveraging Career Milestones Now
It’s important to plot out your organization’s vision and goals for the future. You should also have a plan for your employees. With contract management software, this is made much simpler. This makes it easier for them to understand what is considered a milestone, what needs to be done, and why.
Every member of the organization has to know their pre-set targets before they can think of meeting them. This helps to remove any form of uncertainty. A combination of this approach and the use of specially designed productivity tools will accelerate output from zero to one hundred.
In the end, computer programs are cool, and sure, gadgets are fancy, but they’re not the only or most effective ways to boost productivity in the workplace. To be effective in doing that, you need to think about employee motivation.
Use the tips outlined in this blog to leverage milestones and boost your workplace productivity.