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November 14, 2023

How to Motivate Seasoned Employees

New workers are often eager to prove themselves and to climb up the corporate ladder, but their enthusiasm may fade over time. Workers who have been with your company for a long time are extremely valuable due to their experience. To keep them performing at their best and to inspire loyalty, consider these strategies to motivate seasoned employees.

Create Continued Opportunities for Growth

Workers want to learn new skills and develop professionally. They also want their employers to help them. According to research from Better Buys, 92% of employees think that having access to professional development is important or very important. Professional development opportunities boost retention by 34% and employee engagement by 15%.

Professional development is not just for new workers fresh out of school. Seasoned employees can continue to learn new skills and take on more responsibility. Employers who assist in this often benefit from a more loyal, more engaged workforce.

Experienced workers may be especially interested in learning new tech skills. The 2023 Workplace Learning Report from LinkedIn says the skill sets for jobs have changed by approximately 25% since 2015 and this figure is expected to double by 2027.

Watch for Burnout

Burnout is on the rise. The World Health Organization defines burnout as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress, characterized by feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, reduced professional efficacy, and increased mental distance from one’s job or negative or cynical feelings toward one’s job.

According to a Work Trend Index Special Report from Microsoft, 48% of employees and 53% of managers feel burned out at work.

Certain factors put workers at increased risk for job burnout. According to the Mayo Clinic, these factors include a heavy workload, long hours, struggle with work-life balance, and having little or no control over their work.

Since burnout can undermine employee motivation and engagement, employers should take steps to reduce the risk. Michigan State University has several suggestions, including promoting a work–life balance, monitoring workloads, and holding walking meetings to help employees recharge and stay active. Gallup has additional recommendations, including educating managers about burnout and making wellbeing part of your company culture.

Keep Showing Your Appreciation

When your most reliable employees have been around for years, it’s easy to take them for granted. Avoid falling into this trap.

Research from Deloitte found that 85% of professionals want to hear “thank you” as part of their daily interactions. Additionally, 25% want recognition for their effort and not just their big wins. Although 54% of survey respondents said they were happy with a verbal “thank you,” 31% wanted appreciation expressed in writing, 7% wanted a celebration, and another 7% wanted gifts.

Managers need to make gratitude a habit with all their workers, including their most seasoned employees. On a daily basis, simply saying thanks may be enough. However, to ensure all employees feel appreciated, managers should consider writing cards, providing small gifts, and organizing occasional celebratory events and outings.

Create a Mentorship Program

Mentorships are generally seen as a way to guide new and inexperienced employees, but mentors also benefit from the practice. By asking your seasoned workers to be mentors, you’re recognizing the value of their experience. A mentorship can also be an energizing experience.

Research from Moving Ahead found that 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered by their mentoring relationship. Additionally, 84% of respondents said that mentoring provided two-way inspiration for both the mentor and the mentee.

Provide Incentives and Rewards

New employees are often motivated because they want to earn raises and promotions. However, workers who have been with your company for a long time may have reached the top salary and title available. When this happens, they may be less motivated to work hard due to the lack of rewards. As a result, they may start to coast.

Employers can help by providing incentives and rewards. This is possible even if the company cannot provide a higher salary or a promotion. For example, the company could provide a bonus to recognize years of dedication. Alternatively, it could increase paid time off or provide other perks for seasoned employees.

Don’t Forget About Employee Benefits

A comprehensive employee benefits package can be a great motivator for both new and seasoned employees. Heffernan Insurance Brokers can help you put together an employee benefit package that will motivate your seasoned employees and support your retention efforts. Learn more.

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