Keeping employees motivated can be a difficult task, and there is no need to make it harder. You can unconsciously decrease employee morale by decreasing the proper amount and quality of communication. Whether it’s from employer to employee or employee to employee, communication can be the difference between a motivated, encouraged employee, and a discouraged, underperforming employee.

One question you can ask is, am I giving my employees the proper amount of recognition? Compliments and positive recognition should not be given sparingly. When you see an employee doing something good, say something.If an employee feels recognized, they are more likely to enjoy work and feel motivated. This motivation will increase employee success, and give more reason for recognition to be given.

Another question you should ask yourself, is if you actually listen to what your employees have to say, or if you spend time thinking about what you’re going to say next while others are talking. Participation is a big part of improving employee motivation. For an employee to feel valued, they must contribute and understand how their contribution was important. If you are sincerely listening to your employees, they will feel more appreciated. This will also increase employee participation and communication between employees.

Once employee engagement is up, it is important to encourage an environment where it is safe to share. Employees will communicate more if they feel it is safe to do so, as well as that their input is appreciated. If an employee knows they are needed, they will be more motivated to get their work done, and to do it well.

Additionally, encouraging equality and uniqueness in the workplace promotes motivation. When an employee perceives that favoritism exists in the workplace towards a different group than themselves, regardless of intention, they will become frustrated and discouraged. It is hard for employees to stay motivated when they feel that their talents are going unnoticed due to a factor they have no control over. Taking the time to appreciate each employee for their individuality can drastically boost motivation.

If your employees appear to be lacking motivation, take a look at the communication habits of yourself and other leaders. Changing a few simple habits can build up motivation in your business.