Enhancing Employee Motivation for Success

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” Anne M. Mulcahy

Motivation is that aspect which fires and drives someone to get better and achieve a lot more. By this premise then, it is not hard to see why enhancing employee motivation is imperative. A company’s processes, strategies and long term goals are dependent on the behaviour, attitude and work output of its employees and without motivation, it would be hard to imagine the fulfilment of any of these. When a company places importance on increasing employee motivation, it is paving the path for increased productivity, better work quality, higher standards of customer service and overall its own long term success. Managing and enhancing employee motivation is therefore a crucial aspect of any business and is directly related to increasing profits and sustainable gains.

Employees that are motivated and happy in the workplace are energized and driven to think creatively and consistently look at better ways to complete assigned tasks and take on more. Such employees are focused and hence produce not just high quantity but the quality too, of their work is superlative. Enhancing employee motivation translates to more efficiency since such employees require minimum or no supervision to accomplish their goals. In fact, they would have the drive to help others in the team achieve their goals and the targets of the team.

The great part of enhancing employee motivation is that there is no downside but only requires consistent focus and commitment on the part of the company, leaders and team managers. It is not hard to be trained in the art of motivating. The truth is that suitably motivated employees will strive for personal development as well and learn new skills and acquire new knowledge. Ensure that with motivating tips, your company also has employee retention strategies – as employees get smarter they also become restless and need more to keep them motivated and will seek new avenues if your company fails at it.

Even those employees who do the bare minimum – i.e. stick to the list of job responsibilities – receive a salary. In the endeavour of enhancing employee motivation, salary then would not suffice. While the employees are working to earn a salary, it only serves to keep them away from being disgruntled (not even that if their salary is not up to a certain standard). It is not possible to motivate and encourage employees to do more, based simply on paying them a salary. Over time salary and increments do not mean as much and the employee’s motivation and loyalty would wane, leaving them open to explore new opportunities. Enhancing employee motivation is about understanding the needs of the employees and truly knowing what would motivate them. A poor work environment, noisy and cramped workspaces, repetitive and boring work, no team spirit, no opportunities for challenging and exciting assignments and other such aspects contribute to discouraging and demotivating employees.

What practices does your company follow that work towards enhancing employee motivation? Companies put in place a variety of strategies in an effort to keep their employees happy and encouraged. Some strategies are ubiquitous while others may be specific to a particular company – whatever the case, the fact is that all organizations must strive to enhance and sustain employee motivation for their own success. Enhancing employee motivation is employees as customer service is to customers. Both must be done from their perspective and based on their needs and what they hold as important. Each employee has different needs and therefore their motivators too would differ. For some, a better pay and benefits would suffice whereas for another flexible working hours would be highly motivating. Enhancing employee motivation must aim at increasing loyalty and longevity of the employee in the company, which also translates to higher productivity, creativity and superior quality work. Happy workforce means happy customers – a winning combination of any successful and highly profitable company.

Just as customers stick with a company that makes them feel important, so also employees stay with a company that empowers them and allows them to make decisions and take complete responsibility for their outcome. When employees are put at the helm of a task, they make it their responsibility to carry out the task and accomplish it with the highest standards of quality. Completing an important task brings satisfaction, a feeling of fulfilment and of course, recognition from those in positions of authority – all factors that are critical to enhancing employee motivation. Such employees would then be encouraged to ‘sign up’ again for similar projects and in the bargain grow in stature within the company and be eligible for the next position up in the company, thereby able to earn more and gain more monetary benefits. The company gains too, since it is able to produce leaders and responsible people from within its ranks and saves money and effort on looking to fill the vacant positions from outside. With a highly organized and motivated workforce, a company is able to increase its market reputation since the customers would be served better and would see a significant improvement in the quality of offerings.

Companies can also get that much closer to their aim of enhancing employee motivation by improving the quality of life for their employees. Allowing flexi timings, flexible work days, shorter work weeks, work from home options and other work life balancing practices, work towards significantly enhancing employee motivation. Employees that are happy at home and able to devote time to their personal life are much more balanced and focused on their jobs at office. It is a gratifying and healthy situation for both employees and the company.

Challenge your employees – ask them to volunteer on projects that will take them out of their comfort zone, tasks that would be ‘unchartered territory’ for them and projects that would be completely different to their actual jobs. By giving them opportunities to focus on improving each time or going just that much further than they thought possible, will not only improve their skills and knowledge base but will go a long way in motivating them. When they achieve success on something, they never thought they could accomplish, their levels of motivation would ‘go through the roof’.

We have just looked at some steps that a company should take in order to increase and enhance employee motivation. However, we believe there are some things that are being done, that should not be part of the list of motivators. Many companies make the mistake of rewarding behaviours and jobs that employees already enjoy doing. Why is this, a mistake? When a person enjoys what they do, they are already rewarding themselves by doing the task – the need and motivation to accomplish the task arises from within them. Using incentives and monetary rewards for the accomplishment of such tasks could actually lead to disengagement and demotivation. Monetary rewards work well and increase motivation on tasks that may otherwise be unappealing to an employee, but such rewards for something they already like doing could end up in them doing the task solely for the reward and the actual interest would have disappeared. This is not long term motivation.

Help your employees achieve their personal development goals. However, over visualizing success of those goals could sap their energy that is required for the effort in making these goals come true. Provide achievable and realistic targets such that employees make time to actually attain them, rather than being counterproductive by envisaging their success.

Enhancing employee motivation influences the reactions of employees to their work, colleagues and the work environment. Increased motivation leads to direction or purpose and would make it easier for the achievement of personal, team and company goals. This overall, leads to the success of the company and all those connected with it.

 

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