A study conducted by Harvard Business Review about inner work life and performance found people are more productive and creative when their work lives are positive. It is probably no surprise to you to hear employees are more motivated when they are happy with the work they produce and when they have a positive view of the organization they work for. But how do you translate values, ideals and beliefs into action to motivate your team and grow your socially responsible organization? How do you take a concrete set of shared values and create a workplace enviroment that will foster motivation day in and day out?
As humans, we connect with the ‘feel good’ feeling that stems from doing something that has a positive outcome. Giving to a charity, promoting sustainability, or paying a little extra for a product to support someone in need; we do all of these things because we are motivated by helping a cause. Influencing positive change feels good, which is why working for a cause can motivate any team to excel in the workplace.
Here are 5 Tips to Foster Motivation in your Organization
1. Express Gratitude
Gratitude cultivates appreciation and puts emphasis on the individual. Thank team members individually to let them know how their sole contributions are valuable in serving a cause. Remind them that their talent is important and that those same talents are making a difference. Research has shown that gratitude is essential to happiness, health and social connection.
2. Have Confidence in Change
Remain confident in your values. You will serve as a model for expectations in your team on how to stand strong by what you are working for. Remember that people with amazing talent and strength work for change while more and more people prefer to consume products that make a change or promote some kind of social good.
Photo: Nielsen Global Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2014
3. Be Consistent
Be creative, share values by keeping them on a wall, the wallpaper of your computers, or publishing a company newsletter. Find different ways to convey the same message so that everyone understands how they could work towards fostering company values and making an impact. Consistent communication and creativity is a very important factor in keeping your team motivated.
4. Create a Courageous Atmosphere
Encourage questions, and always go back to the cause. It isn’t easy working towards change but bravery is what will drive your team to achieve goals. Remind yourself and your team of what you’re working towards; saving lives, promoting equity, or just providing the best customer service. If employees can enjoy, identify with and benefit from the core business values at hand, they will remain motivated and passionate about their work.
5. Reaffirm Tasks
Ask these questions; how is this project making a difference? How is the contribution of my company making an impact? How can I show my team that they are the driving force of the values behind this organization? These are questions that will serve to confirm as well as clarify business values. Make your values mean something, and they will influence a movement in your company’s success.
Keeshawn Nicholson is a third-year marketing student at Champlain College. As the Sr. Marketing Strategist of the College's Emergent Media Center, she's learned that a motivated team makes all the difference in a work enviroment. Keeshawn plans to use her passion for cause-related marketing, entrepreneurship, and learning new languages in her career to influence positive social change.