We saw three weeks ago that Shoes’R’Us suffered from a very common problem in any organizationunhappy employees. Any company that has unhappy employees should genuinely be worried since it’s employee morale that makes or breaks any organization, and we wouldn’t want businesses to suffer because of that, right?

But what exactly keeps employees happy? In the case of Shoes’R’Us, it’s something simple, really: employee motivation.

Remember that employees are not robots that can work at a whim. The best employees are the ones who are motivated enough to work for the company, and know that the company will reward them for the work they’ve done. That in turn gives them the incentive them to give more, since they feel that they’re not only moving ahead, but also that the company really cares for their work.

We don’t see this though at Shoes’R’Us, especially since so many employees weren’t happy with the way things were going at some of the stores. What led to employees being demotivated at their jobs?

  1. They weren’t rewarded for the work they did. Despite Shoes’R’Us being a successful company, the employees weren’t made to feel any ownership in that success.
  2. They weren’t invested in a culture of success. This was particularly a problem with newer hires, who felt that their work had no impact on the company being successful despite that being ingrained in the company’s culture.

This all points to a failure of company management to effectively articulate the company’s values in order to better motivate their employees to be attuned to them. In another post on this blog, we talked about how employee communication is important to ensuring that you have happy employees. Good communication also helps you keep motivated employees, too.

More especially, good communication also sends the signal that you care about your employees’ success. A new hire should be made to feel that his contribution to the organization is just as valuable as the one made by his colleague five years his senior, and a lot of misconceptions about working for a particular employer—and the demotivation that results from it—can always be addressed with the right messaging. When a company properly communicates how much they value their employees’ work, the more satisfied employees become, leading to better employee morale.

What’s the best way to measure motivation, though? The best way to measure motivation in any organization is quite simple: just ask them about it! There’s no harm in getting input from your employees about how they feel about your company, and everyone will come out happier for it. We can certainly help you there.

(P.S.: If you would like some additional pointers on how to properly address messaging, check out the seven properties of effective messages from the customer engagement platform Intercom. While this specifically refers to engaging with your customers, this is good too for engaging with your employees.)