The Art of Employee Motivation goes way beyond just putting memorable quotes like the one below on office walls:
“Winners take time to relish their work, knowing that scaling the mountain is what makes the view from the top so exhilarating.”
Your people are too smart just to get charged up by superficial efforts like this.
Many people believe motivation is the driving force behind an action. This is probably the simplest explanation. Motivation can be considered as a feeling inside that encourages a certain action. Some managers still try to get their work done by simply bullying the staff. They call it ‘motivation – a stimulus to their employees to work hard!’
That’s a surefire formula to lose the game. Instead the following six ideas will make you the master of the art of employee motivation.
1. What motivates you?: First of all think about what inspires you to work. Make a note of all those things that are important to you in your working life. If you have come a long way in your career, you must have carried along from your early days some things that motivated you as well as others that did the opposite. Check them out once. It might give you some ideas on how to go about motivating your current team.
2. What motivates your people?: Motivation is a complex area. It’s different for each individual as each person has got a different reason to work. Some might love the work they are assigned to do. Some might like change, challenge and diverse problems to solve. Others may wish for greater status, higher pay, better working conditions and flexible benefits. It simply means you can’t take up a common policy to motivate and retain your entire workforce. Find out individually what your employees want most from their jobs by asking them in performance appraisals, attitude surveys, e-mails or informal conversations.
3. Monetary incentives: That being said, regardless of the various reasons to go to work, compensation is a common denominator. Therefore, make sure you give enough importance to monetary benefits, by paying what your employees deserve. Healthy pay packages not only attract efficient people, but also motivate them to work better everyday. And it is a fact that your other motivational tactics work only when people are happy with their earnings on the job.
4. Recognize and reward hard work: This is indeed a motivation to people who work for love and thus always give their hundred percent. Research reveals that nothing inspires them to work harder than a public pat on the back. Added to that, your appreciation motivates others to give their best shot so that they are also recognized among their peers.
5. Growth and development: As an important employee motivational factor, you can also consider giving opportunities to your people to grow in their work domain. Provide them with education and training; occasionally allow them to sit in high-level meetings; and empower them to take some decisions.
6. Make it a fun place to work in: Add some fun to the daily grind. Small things like birthday parties for your employees, a team dinner to celebrate a special achievement, installing a games room on the premises…there are loads of options.
Remember, the art of employee motivation is not a science. That means that you need to use your judgment when applying the above to your particular team, industry and company values. For example, having a tough challenging environment may work if you are an investment bank, but not if you run a kindergarten!