This article will hopefully shed light on the importance of keeping your employees motivated, and also provide you with different techniques of how you can boost morale and make individuals want to work for you.
It is generally accepted that the more motivation employees have and the happier they are in their work then their levels of productivity will increase and the higher their standards of work will be. People differ on a personality dimension called locus of control, referring to which factors people believe influence their mood and behaviour.
Depending on what your employee thinks, you should manufacture your approach appropriately. For example, soft sell strategies have logical appeals, emotional appeals, advice and praise. Alternatively, hard sell strategies involve bartering, outnumbering, pressure and rank. Different types of reward appeal to and motivate different people.
A survey by ‘Business Finder’ recently showed that in about 85 percent of companies employees’ morale, whilst good at first, sharply declines after their first six months, and then continues to deteriorate for years afterwards. There are several reasons why employees struggle to stay motivated throughout their careers. One of these is that many individuals struggle to gain recognition during their time at an organisation. If someone is consistently producing an excellent quality of work, and is an ever reliable source when it comes to meeting deadlines etc., then if this is not recognised by more powerful heads at the company then this can leave the employee feeling worthless and forgotten.
Another key factor when it comes to motivating employees is ensuring there is room for growth and development. Nothing is worse for employees than knowing they are stuck in a dead end job, with no hopes of promotion or advancing their career. Not only will this make them feel rubbish, but it will make them think they have nothing to work for, and therefore likely decrease their efficiency levels. One last example is the work environment. The office space an employee may be spending 40 hours a week in can go a long way to determining how they feel when they are at work.
One method which can come in useful when motivating employees is talking to them one on one. Here are some tips to help you go about this conversation properly. Firstly, make them feel important by explaining how their behaviour affects company culture and productivity. Rather than hammering home the negatives and explaining what they need to cut out, focus on what you expect from them instead. Next, eliminate any judgement about them. Do not go in with any premeditated accusations as this will just cause the individual to take up a defensive stance. Ask questions which lead them to admitting to recent mistakes or areas to improve. It is also vital you justify that the issue you have actually affects the work environment, and is not just something which annoys only you. Penultimately, let the employee create solutions for themselves. Locate specific behaviours, then let the employee analyse why they are taking these behaviours up. Finally, during these conversations try to make the individual feel as though they have control over their behaviour and it is up to them to do something about it. This will give them a greater sense of ownership and responsibility.
If you want to learn more about employee motivation or are looking to implement it in your business, here are some places you should definitely take a look at:
- Vivian Giang is a general business writer, who has done work about keeping employees motivated.
- Nadia Goodman is a freelance writer who writes for entrepeneur.com about topics including employee motivation.
- Grass Roots Projectlink can provide you with ways to influence your business through keeping up morale.
- Train in a Day can provide effective training courses to help you learn more about employee motivation, and show you enhanced tactics and processes to make individuals more happy working at your company.
by Tom Witcomb