Improve employee motivation

Employee motivation = revenue AND production

The job of owners, directors or managers is to get things done through their employees. And to make this happen, leaders need to be able to motivate their staff.

The job of owners, directors or managers is to get things done through their employees. And to make this happen, leaders need to be able to motivate their staff. Nevertheless, for many people, this is easier said than done.

Motivating people is poorly practiced by many leaders

Regardless of all of the research and books on the subject of motivating people in the workforce, employee motivation is not fully understood and often times poorly applied. To truly understand employee motivation, we must understand people (which tends to be the weak link in the process). Understanding people is a complex process; however, it is a necessary part of effective employee motivation.

On-the-job improvement is augmented through one's motivation

No matter what one does for a living, everyone needs to be motivated. Whether you are a cabinetmaker, chef or CEO of a Fortune 100 company, you need to be driven or at least motivated (internally and externally) to do your job.

Not everyone has high self-motivation

Self-motivation is a trait that everyone has, but the level of motivation varies from person to person. In order for any business to survive and succeed, it needs to have employees who are highly motivated. While there are scores of options for motivating employees, our research has shown that most people do not know where to start.

With that said, we have bulleted a few ideas to get you (or someone you know) started down the right path:

  • Set high expectations and/or goals
  • Employ positive reinforcement
  • Treat people, job descriptions and positions fairly
  • Meet an employee's needs
  • Restructure roles and responsibilities
  • Base financial rewards on job performance

On-the-job improvement is augmented through one's motivation

You can improve your staff's motivation quickly (and often at little or no cost) by following these five steps:

Improve everyone's work environment - Look for simple ways to make it more enjoyable to come to work, like putting on a fresh coat of paint, having clean bathrooms or replacing some worn-out carpet. Even a larger or updated company sign can bring new life to the work environment.

Make work more challenging, fun and interesting - Training workers in new areas and assigning new job tasks can give workers new insights about the business and improve their skill sets. This can build confidence in their ability to perform different job functions and increase worker morale.

Give kudos for a job well done - Everyone appreciates being noticed when they do something right or go above and beyond their normal responsibilities, especially if the job is monotonous or difficult.

Give money or perks for outstanding performance - Make bonuses or perks a motivation for employees to work harder and better at their job. Share their outstanding performance with other employees.

Keep an open line of communication with everyone - You need to know if your employees are no longer challenged or have become bored with their job. The only way to become aware of this is when employees are able to communicate their desires to their immediate supervisor. Although no one can accommodate the needs of everyone, you should try your hardest to lend a proactive ear to the needs of your employees.

Executive summary

There are many factors that motivate people. Surprisingly enough, pay, benefits and working conditions are typically given a low rating. And contrary to popular belief, money is NOT the prime motivator. People want to be respected, acknowledged and rewarded for a job well done.

Need help or want more information about motivating employees? Contact Daniel White using the information below.

Daniel White

Senior Consultant
Org. Development & Family Business Services

Daniel White assists organizations with their organizational development needs, including strategic and operational planning, leadership development, and employee engagement efforts. He has worked with a wide range of industries, including construction, healthcare, manufacturing, banking, not-for-profits, and government organizations. He has also worked internationally as an organizational development consultant, serving organizations in Bolivia, Guatemala and Ghana. Prior to advising organizations, he worked in not-for-profit leadership and operations, directing projects with clients such as the US Department of State and the United Nations Population Fund.

Daniel serves as associate director of the Kansas Family Business Forum, hosted by Wichita State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship. He holds a certificate in Family Business Advising from The Family Firm Institute. He has been published in Fast Company and several academic journals, and he has presented at a number of national conferences.

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