What is the importance of employee motivation?
According to psychologists, self-realization is a very human thing. It is our basic nature to nurture something and see it flourish, it is applicable to most things we do in our day-to-day life. This is true for both social and societal spaces.
Motivation plays a very important factor in a human’s life. Whether it is about improving ourselves or our organization’s performance. Motivated employees don’t need to be told how to get things done, they take initiative, are eager to take up additional responsibilities, and are innovative and go-getters.
Motivated employees ensure:
- There is a positive atmosphere within the organization
- Co-workers are happy and feel safe at work
- Make sure clients are happy
- They always achieve better results than their counterparts
Motivation, therefore, plays a very important factor and ensures employees remain active and contribute their best toward their organization. Furthermore, a high level of motivation leads to a lower level of employee turnover. In the next section, you will learn about the 10 simple ways to motivate your employees.
Types of employee motivation
There are two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. An organization needs to understand for a fact that not employees are clones, they are individuals with different traits. Thus effectively, motivating your employees will need to acquire a deeper understanding of the different types and ways of motivation.
It means that an individual is motivated from within. He/she has the desire to perform well at the workplace because the results are in accordance with his/her belief system.
An individual’s deep-rooted beliefs are usually the strongest motivational factor. Such individuals show common qualities like acceptance, curiosity, honor, and desire to achieve success.
Research has shown that praise increases intrinsic motivation, and so does positive employee feedback. But it should all be done in moderation. If you overdo any of these, there is a high chance that the individual loses motivation.
It is well observed in children and I am using this as an example here. If children are overpraised for the little things they are expected to do on a daily basis, their motivation level decreases. Now if you are reading this blog, there are good chances you are not a child, although we encourage children to read good content, the purpose of writing this blog is to still focus on adults.
So if you are a manager, supervisor, or in a leadership role, please be intentional with your feedback or praise. Make sure it is empowering and your employees understand your expectations.
Extrinsic motivation means an individual’s motivation is stimulated by external factors - rewards and recognition. Some people may never be motivated internally and only external motivation would work with them to get the tasks done.
Research says extrinsic rewards can sometimes promote the willingness of a person to learn a new skill set. Rewards like bonuses, perks, awards, etc. can motivate people or provide tangible feedback.
But you need to be careful with extrinsic rewards too! Too much of anything can be harmful and as a manager or a supervisor, you need to be clear about to what extent you are going to motivate your employees to accomplish organizational goals.
Top 10 ways to motivate employees
If you are looking for ways to motivate your employees at work, here are the 5 simple ways of making it work:
- Employee motivation surveys: Use an online survey software or platform to conduct employee motivation surveys. Let them give candid and genuine feedback about their experience, ideas, and suggestions. This will help you identify areas that need your attention.
- Employee satisfaction surveys: Employee satisfaction depends on a ton of factors such as work environment, infrastructure, roles, and responsibilities, etc. Conducting employee satisfaction surveys will help Managers understand dissatisfaction factors and act on them. Frequent surveys will help address dissatisfaction issues faster.
- Job well done- recognize it! Recognition plays a huge role in increasing the motivation levels of employees. It helps create a healthy bond between the employer and employees. It not only fulfills our basic need for esteem but also facilitates belonging.
- Focus on intrinsic rewards: It is true some people need rewards to get tasks done, but extrinsic rewards fade very quickly. Focus on motivating your employees from within. Some may even say, “yeah this is all good but we gotta eat and pay rent”… well, that’s true, for that you compensate your employees well, but make sure you create values for your organization that are long-lasting.
- Autonomy, not bureaucracy: Micromanagement is the worst thing you can do as a manager. It is not only time-consuming but also really unwanted. If you have hired people with certain skillset let them do their job, be a facilitator, not a dictator. Human beings value autonomy gives them the freedom to get things done in ways acceptable and see the changes.
- Create an amazing work environment: No, it’s not Fussball, free snacks, or a coffee machine. According to a study conducted by Ohio State University, your work environment seriously impacts your mood. So it does make sense to invest in the work environment where people actually spend 60 hours a week. Creating a good atmosphere will motivate your staff. Just go ahead and do it.
- Be a visionary: Lead with vision. Employees need to know their efforts are driving something important. They need to know their destination and more importantly the path that will take them there. If as a leader you lack the vision for your own organization, how do you expect them to own up to your vision? Make a visual reminder of your organization’s road map, and encourage your employees to add to that. You will be surprised by how innovative they can get.
- Solicit ideas and suggestions, and act on them: Now that you have conducted surveys, you have received feedback from your employees. Ensure that the ideas, suggestions, and grievances that they have put forth will be looked into and addressed in a timely fashion.
- Career-pathing: Having a career growth plan with clearly mentioned roles and responsibilities is crucial to employees. It helps them focus, and direct their efforts to an achievable goal. Make sure that you sit down with every employee and come up with a career plan that is transparent and communicated clearly.
- Provide flexibility: Not all employees are alike. Some prefer 9-5, others not much; some like coming to work daily, others not much. For some, commuting to work might be long and challenging. Allow some flexibility within reason and your employees will be happy and motivated.
People also ask these questions about team motivation:
Here are the answers to the most common questions about team motivation...
What are the benefits of employee motivation?
Higher productivity levels: If people are motivated to work faster and more efficiently, this will lead to more output. This can enable your company to do more, and even sell more.
More innovation: Not only will they produce more, but motivated employees are also more likely to make the offering even better. Being highly focused on the product or service, motivated employees will see areas for improvement and will be driven to work to enhance these.
Lower levels of absenteeism: Motivated employees are happier with their working lives and have a goal that they are working towards. These employees are less likely to miss work without good reason as they feel that this could delay their progress.
Lower levels of staff turnover: Motivated employees are more likely to stay in their roles as they can see the effects of their work and feel that there is an ongoing difference that they can make in the company. This can lead to lower training and recruitment costs for the company as employee churn is reduced.
Great reputation and stronger recruitment: As we will all be familiar with, people talk about the things they enjoy, and more notably, the things they don’t. Satisfied workers spread the word and in turn, give the firm a good reputation as an employer. As a result, it becomes easier to recruit the leading talent.
What are the 4 drivers of employee motivation?
The 4-Drive Theory of Employee Motivation is based on research by Lawrence and Nohria that states that there are four main drives that motivate employees, these are the drives to:
1. Acquire & Achieve
2. Bond & Belong
3. be Challenged & Comprehend
4. Define & Defend