How to Keep Your Star Employee Motivated

You want to reward the high-performing employees on your team that you know deserve recognition.

There’s only one problem: You don’t have the budget or resources to make that happen right now.
You’re eager to show those achievers that you value their contributions. But, when money talks, you’re struggling to figure out to keep your employee engaged and motivated.
It’s stressful, but you don’t need to start huffing and puffing into a paper bag quite yet.

Get Candid With Your Direct Reports

Not being able to give an employee what they want can inspire feelings of guilt and shame. Yet, it’s important that you maintain a certain level of transparency with the people who work for you.
The fact that you’re not using those standard methods to recognize the high-achievers isn’t going unnoticed. It’s far better to address that with them head-on. This way you don’t leave them feeling cheated or even doubtful of their own performance.

Ask Questions

Sure, a raise or a move up the ranks tops the list of desires for your direct reports. But, now is a good opportunity to find out of there’s something else they want that you can realistically offer.
Do they want to spearhead a project? Dip their toes into another department? Is there a certain skill they’ve been aiming to bolster? Supporting those efforts goes a long way in making employees feel valued.
Even outside of learning and development, there are other creative solutions you could try. For example, if one of your direct reports is craving more flexibility and greater work-life balance. See if you could offer a regularly-scheduled work-from-home day.

Recognize Them in a Way That Resonates

Your attempts to match rewards with employees’ desires won’t go unappreciated, but you also need to pay close attention to how people on your team prefer to be recognized.
“When employees ask for promotions or raise, it usually means that they just want to be recognized. Most employees jump to promotions or raises because these are the first things that come to mind as a traditional reward system.
Making recognition a frequent and constant pillar of your team’s culture can hold as much power than a sporadic pay bump. Particularly if you offer recognition in a way that’s tailored to each employee.
It’s critical to understand how each person on your team likes recognition or appreciation. While many enjoy being recognized in front of others or a large group, you may be surprised to find out that many do not. Fortunately, you can learn a lot by simply observing how they react to different forms of praise.

Advocate for Your Employees

If employees are truly deserving of a promotion or raise, fight for them. You might be able to find a way to give them even a small increase.
If that’s not the case? You can advocate for your direct reports by collaborating to achieve long term goals.

Not being able to give an employee a raise or promotion that they deserve is disheartening. Don’t get discouraged, instead, look for meaningful ways to reward and recognize them.

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