How to Improve Employee Motivation

What business doesn’t want motivated employees? A motivated employee is a more productive one and their enthusiasm will inspire their coworkers to work harder. One way to keep employees motivated is to keep them healthy, both mentally and physically. That’s why more companies are implementing wellness programs.

Employees that are healthy are happier, more productive and motivated to put forth their best effort. They also miss fewer days from work due to illness and handle stress better. Here are some ways to use wellness to inspire and motivate employees.

Emphasise fitness
One of the best ways to keep employees motivated is by helping them get fit. Moderate exercise increases the body’s natural defenses against colds and flu viruses. This means fit employees miss fewer days from work. Exercise also boosts the production of natural “feel good” hormones called endorphins. This reduces stress that can interfere with an employee’s motivation to work. When employees are fitter, they have higher energy levels, more stamina and endurance to get the job done. There are a number of ways to encourage employees to stay fit.

• Offer discounted memberships to a local gym, and challenge them to go at least three times a week.

• Start an office fitness challenge by giving employees a pedometer to wear during the day. Read the pedometers at the end of the day and give a prize to the person who took the most steps during the week.

• Encourage employees to walk during lunch, take the stairs and take walking breaks every 30 minutes.

• Start a workplace walking club. Hold walks before work, during lunch or one Saturday a month at a local park.

• Start a workplace indoor soccer or netball team to encourage employees to stay active while having fun.

The importance of health checks
Employees who aren’t in good health won’t be as productive or motivated. Not all employees see their doctor regularly for a check-up and common health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes can go undetected. Start a health check program that gives employees feedback on their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level. A healthy employee has more energy and motivation to get the job done. By sponsoring health checks, you pick up health problems early and send a message that health is important.

Increase motivation by reducing employee stress
Stress is a big motivation zapper. Helping employees get a better handle on workplace stress will boost their motivation and willingness to work. Here are some ideas for reducing stress in the workplace.

• Bring in a speaker to teach employees methods for dealing with stress.

• Encourage employees to take periodic breaks for ten minutes when they feel overwhelmed.

• Offer flexible scheduling and work-at-home options to give employees more control over their schedules.

• Have a weekly meeting to discuss problems in the workplace that are causing stress and how to correct them.

• Maintain a positive atmosphere in the workplace. Interact with employees, and give them feedback and encouragement for a job well done. Be open to discussing stress-related issues with employees, and help them correct problems.

• Have a weekly lunchtime “social” with a healthy lunch to ease tension and give employees a social break.

• Encourage humor and laughter. Even the most serious workplaces can benefit from a little humor to ease workplace tension. Before meetings, spend five minutes sharing jokes or tell a funny story. Laughter boosts the release of natural brain chemicals that fight stress.

The bottom line
Keeping employees healthy and reducing stress in the workplace can go far towards boosting employee motivation. Don’t underestimate the benefits of health for keeping a team motivated.

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