Value of a Motivated Workforce

by | Aug 24, 2015 | Customer Service | 0 comments

“The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.”– Sybil F. Stershic

In an earlier exposition we spoke about how continuous feedback and other methods lead to a motivated workforce. A motivated workforce is more tenacious, resilient and has a lot more loyalty for the company that employs them. The company is able to achieve more and get better results even with a smaller taskforce, which therefore cuts down their hiring, training and other costs. The profitability and reputation of such a company soars, ensuring that more customers give it their business and also refer the company to others. Thus in every realm and every aspect of business, the company finds itself doing well and surging ahead of its competitors. A motivated workforce is really one of the most important and crucial assets of any company and must be treated with dignity, respect and value.

When a person is motivated, they tend to care about what they are doing. So also there is higher value of a motivated workforce as they are more likely to regularly come up with ideas that are innovative and also ensure that the company’s customers receive the highest level of service. Motivated employees are more open to learning, improving and collaborating thereby not only increasing the amount of work output but also significantly raising the quality of their work. A motivated workforce is less likely to make mistakes, is more careful about the kind of work they deliver, are helpful and cooperative with their co-workers and because they are less stressed, the number of sick days and absenteeism is also significantly lower when compared to an unhappy workforce.

A motivated workforce carries its positivity and energy outside the confines of the office and delivers top class service to customers and other stakeholders. Their motivation allows them to gracefully accept changes, be agile and work with minimal or no supervision and yet delivers the highest quality of work. Conversely, a workforce that is demoralized can have serious and damaging effects on a company – resistance to learning and change, poor quality of output and work, negative vibes that create conflicts and lead to stress and other such severely debilitating consequences.

While we speak about the advantages of a motivated workforce, the harsh reality is that it may not always be possible to motivate each and every employee and there would always be some employees who resist any kind of training and coaching. The good part is that such employees soon become ‘outcasts’ and then look for opportunities outside the organization. It is crucial for managers to understand their team members and create a work environment that is congenial to motivate them, help them to achieve more and also get recognized for their efforts.

While understanding the factors that create and sustain a motivated workforce, it is also important for those in leadership positions to understand what the factors that do not contribute to motivation are. Topping the list, and surprisingly so is monetary factors. While everyone is working to earn a decent compensation and some benefits, this only provides for the basic requirements of the job and while a person is carrying out their job responsibilities well, there is no guarantee that the person is motivated towards the company and could easily leave if a better opportunity in terms of money comes by. The other thing that managers wrongly do is expecting only praise to get people motivated. This is not true. While the praise may feel good for a while, unless it is accompanied by tangible advantages, it will do very little to create a motivated workforce.

The worst of the lot is probably reprimanding and providing criticism that is personal in nature. No one likes to feel incompetent and be told that they are inefficient. Poor performance must be managed but must be done to portray support and a genuine attempt to improve the person. By launching personal attacks or being overly critical not only will there be no motivation, the employee / s might actually leave the company.

Just like with any other regular business practice, to gain a motivated workforce, it is important that the process begins early – that is hiring people that have proven history of leading, carrying a team, being in positions that demand integrity and a high level of trustworthiness. Granted that employees with such experience to back them might not come cheap or easy but the benefits are tangible and visible over a sustained period. Once the hiring has been done and the ‘right’ employees are on board, it is crucial that they are retained – offering a clear growth path and opportunities to move up the corporate ladder will go a long way in keeping the company’s talent and knowledge base intact. Promotions and plum assignments are clear messages that the company values them and is interested in their welfare, which in turn leads to a motivated workforce.

In the words of Lewis Caroll – “running to stay in the same place” – simply means that unless there is continuous effort to upgrade one’s skills, knowledge and talents, it would be tough to gain any corporate benefits. The business environment is changing every minute, new technology is flooding the market and customers are becoming more demanding and so today’s skills and knowledge will become obsolete if not upgraded. In order to keep a motivated workforce that is intent on learning and keeping themselves updated, it is important that a company offers them training sessions and programs, courses to add to learning and skills, projects that will utilize and enhance their current knowledge and also help them gain new knowledge. As employees gain more information and upgrade their skills, their self-confidence and desire to utilize the knowledge increases, thereby adding to the productivity and work output which will help the company to move ahead. The investment the company makes in training its employees is in fact used to gain profitability and sustainable success for the company.

For a motivated workforce, companies must ensure that their employees feel like they are partners with the company. The senior leadership must share the company’s goals, mission and vision clearly with all levels of employees and place the responsibility of achieving them in the hands of the employees. When they are made to feel important and know that their contribution is crucial to the company and their own success, they are motivated to work harder and stand by the company in tough times as well. Customers too are able to see the benefits of doing business with a company whose employees are willing to go the extra mile and serve the customers in the best manner possible. A motivated workforce is one where each person can clearly see that their job, however small, contributes to the welfare and growth of the company, which adds depth and meaning to their jobs.

A motivated workforce is also one that is empowered – they are given the discretion to make decisions that will affect their daily work and also the relationships with and service to customers. They are given all the information they need to do their job well and beyond and are not reprimanded for the mistakes they make. They are encouraged to learn from the errors and move forward so as to not commit the same mistakes again. When it becomes the onus of employees to succeed, they will most definitely be motivated and goaded onward.

Granted – building and sustaining a motivated workforce is no easy task but all the effort and resources invested in doing so helps a company reap benefits and rewards that go way beyond the investment made.

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