By Alice Williams

It’s a new year and a chance to start fresh with invigorating and motivating your employees. Your staff are the backbone of your business, and their performance is essential to achieving your business goals. It’s important to ensure that your employees are happy, not feeling burnt out and most importantly, highly motivated.

Motivating sounds like an easy enough task until you remember that everyone is different, and that different personalities are motivated by vastly differing things. Instead of resorting to standard methods of motivation, such as cash incentives, try out one of these clever ways to keep your employees motivated all year long.

Challenge Your Employees

If you have team members who are good at their jobs, consider delegating challenging projects or tasks to them. It sounds counterintuitive, but employees will respond positively to the trust you put in them. Having your staff focus on a more challenging task can also get them out of a rut.

Offer Constructive Feedback Regularly

If you aren’t offering candid, constructive feedback regularly, now is the perfect time to start. And don’t be afraid to offer both negative and positive feedback. Your staff will feel valued if you take the time to provide them with feedback that helps them grow professionally. It can be incredibly demotivating for employees to be doing what they perceive as a good job but receive little praise from their manager. And while providing negative feedback is never easy, it will lead to positive results in the long term because it will help them grow and correct any bad habits.

Provide Opportunities to Volunteer in the Community

Some people find great joy in serving others. The opportunity to give back to their local community while still getting paid can be a huge motivator. It offers them a change of scenery and shows them that their company cares about their community. Furthermore, volunteering can help build news skills and step into leadership roles. If you’re struggling to find ways to give your team growth opportunities, help them learn and grow professionally through their volunteer efforts.

Care About Them as a People

A good manager is one that can walk the line between treating them professionally while showing that they care about them as people and not just as workers. You’ll be surprised at how far a small gesture can go, such as shouting out a vacation your employee is excited about, or taking them out for a birthday lunch. If your team knows that you genuinely care about them, they’ll feel motivated and empowered with the knowledge that they aren’t being viewed simply as a worker bee.

Incentivize Them Through Social Media

Is your company’s social media nonexistent? It’s time to start putting it to good use. Social media, when done correctly, can remind your staff of your company’s mission statement, celebrate their key milestones publicly, and provide a way to recognize and reward top performers. If your social media is currently sporting posts from two years ago, it might be time for a brand refresh. Take the time to figure out your company social media’s tone of voice and reboot your social media networks to the benefit of your company.

Alice Williams has written in-depth on a wide variety of topics which include business, technology and social media. She has a masters degree in Communication Studies from San Francisco State University. Follow her at @1alicehw.