Posted by Maria Dimitrova
Gain: Loyal staff with excellent performance
Cost: Setting aside the instinct to micromanage is not easy for everyone. Some time and effort is also needed to plan and implement a strategy.
Performance is considered to be a function of ability and even more, motivation. A motivated person is much more likely to learn the necessary skills to do the job.
Making your organization successful means harnessing the power of all your resources and using them to the fullest. It’s an old cliché, but it’s true: People are among the most important assets in business. Depending on the level of their motivation, they have unlimited potential either to contribute or put obstacles in the way of the company’s success.
Problems caused by demotivation are numerous.”Frustration” among employees with unrewarding jobs can lead to “aggressive”, “regressive” (childish), “fixated” (pointless) or “withdrawn” behaviour (Mullins 1996), all of which may harm a firm’s productivity. A lack of motivation increases the rate of absenteeism – generally highest among workers doing mundane and repetitive jobs (Cully et al 1999) – and the rate of employee turnover. Continual replacement of staff is bad for business, since it results in high training and recruitment costs and an inexperienced workforce.
An obvious statement in retrospect: The easiest way to get motivated staff is to motivate existing staff.
People differ in terms of character, background and experience. However, there are some common characteristics which influence people’s motivation. The extent to which they play a role in people’s behaviour varies a lot in individuals but a good manager can find the best approach to each member in their team by getting to know them well.
- Personal interests
A person who has a genuine interest in their profession is a valuable asset for the company they work for. They don’t need to be strictly controlled or monitored as they will derive pleasure in their work and will accept the challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Thus, one of the first things to be considered by managers during selecting a candidate is whether his personal interests are match for the job.
Another extremely important factor is the ambition of employees to continuously achieve higher results. People who are highly competitive by nature perform as if they play sports: they like strict rules, setting clear targets, effective and goal-oriented training, definite time limits, getting scores and regular feedback and being rewarded for reaching the targets.
It’s vital for the company to ensure the conditions for a “fair game”. Creating a clear system of targets, deadlines, assessment and performance-based rewards, leaves no room for conflicts or frustration. Employees must know why someone has been promoted and they haven’t. It also gives them a sense of responsibility for their own success.
- Need for recognition
Positive attitude in communication is a more effective way to get people to do what you want them to do than excessive criticism. An aggressive management style should be avoided because it triggers the self-defense reaction in employees and nothing good will come from it. If there is any productivity increase after such an approach, it will be only temporary and the long-term effects will be negative. Aggressive management style ruins the trust between the manager and their subordinates and they lose their sense of belonging and loyalty to the company. In addition, when people are stressed and anxious their concentration drops which leads to poor performance.
Praise staff even for the smallest progress they have made and express a positive opinion of them. For most people it is a powerful incentive and they will strive to come up to and maintain your good opinion of them.
- Sense of belonging
It’s another common human need which managers have to satisfy in order to gain highly productive staff. The main idea is to show employees that achieving company’s goals coincides with their personal goals and they will derive benefits from the company’s success in the form of a more secure workplace and better payment.
Providing staff with opportunities to be proactive and contribute to the decision-making process whenever possible also enhances the sense of belonging to the organization. Having participated in setting goals and deadlines will make them more engaged in the implementation of the decisions.
Writing down the goals they are going to achieve by a certain date in the future is a proven motivational strategy as people tend to keep their promises more often when they have stated their intentions and plans in a written form.
Don’t wait for your employees to start feeling motivated so they can think positively about their work. The correlation goes in the opposite direction too. Motivational thoughts generate motivational feelings. Create a new mindset in them by helping them to focus on their strengths instead of their weaknesses. If they exploit what they are good at and make it awesome, the results they achieve will be much higher than if they spend too much time trying to eliminate their weaknesses.
Make sure that your staff get inspiration from your personal example as an enthusiastic leader who is focused on finding opportunities and solutions not on complaining about problems or blaming someone for them. Enthusiasm is contagious so spend enough time communicating with your team expressing your positive attitude both directly and by email.
Use the working environment for stimulating the enthusiasm in employees by making it pleasant, comfortable and with motivational posters on the walls as people are influenced by visual stimuli.
Considering all these factors when planning your motivational strategy, you will have the greatest chances to harness the power of your staff, achieve high productivity and prevent your company from losing skillful and experienced employees.