Most organizations are made up of somewhat of a mixed bag when it comes to employees. Some are highly motivated to perform well to meet the expectations of their position and any to whom they report. These people generally see this as the pathway to advancement in terms of position and pay. And then there are those who have a very lack-luster mindset and approach to their job. They are often inclined to do the bare minimum to earn their pay. The challenge to any company is finding ways to motivate this group to maximize the positive impact that doing so will have on the organization.
Motivating employees to increase performance and productivity is a crucial aspect of effective leadership and organizational success. When employees are motivated, they are more engaged, committed, and willing to go the extra mile to achieve organizational goals. In so doing this employee is also on the path to potential advancement and increased compensation.
And yet, it is often likely that regardless of how successful a company is in attracting those who fit into this category, there is a big likelihood that there will be a few who are just there for the paycheck and are inclined to do the bare minimum to justify that. The challenge to any company is finding ways to motivate this group to maximize the positive impact doing so will have on the organization.
In this article I want to explore various strategies and techniques that can be employed to foster a motivating work environment and inspire employees to enhance their performance and productivity. Along the way it becomes a win for all. And to me, the best part is that none of these approaches require earthshaking changes to managing others. Rather it means to acknowledge, encourage and overall, communicate.
The Pathway to Better Performance and Productivity:
The following suggested ways to enhance motivation and the related productivity are applicable across the spectrum of all reports without differentiating between those who are and are not highly motivated. Here are some rather simplistic actions that will make a difference.
- It Begins with the Interview Process
Whereas it’s a given that when interviewing a prospect for an opening, the job itself will be described and defined. The prospective employee will potentially have the background and qualifications to make them desirable and receive the offer of employment.
However, it is every bit as important to this prospect to hear and understand the culture of the company. That they understand and feel that they fit well, they are much more proactive at the job and faster in connecting with their team and their work. A strong cultural fit also contributes to a stronger company-employee bond. This can protect the company from expenses associated with turnover and regular and unforeseen recruitment costs.
- Define and Explain the Company’s Commitment to Ongoing Training
Let your employees know of the intention to provide the training that will enable them to grow and increase their value to the company. They will see this as a partnered approach to building their individual value. They will also realize that the ongoing learning environment is expected rather than optional.
- Recognize and Reward Achievement
Implement a comprehensive employee recognition and reward system. Acknowledge outstanding performance through verbal praise, written commendations, or public recognition. Additionally, consider offering incentives such as bonuses, promotions, or additional time off to further motivate employees. Rewards and recognition not only boost morale but also create healthy competition among the employees inspiring them to excel.
- Don’t Micromanage
When it comes to increasing efficiency, a leader should avoid micromanaging at all costs. Having to
check with management for every task can seriously discourage employees by lowering their self-belief in what they are doing. Rather, tasks should be delegated across the board, not just to management. Assigning a role to each employee motivates them to complete their projects in the most efficient way. Thus, the ability to demonstrate their worth to the company. And, being given a project in the first place the employee is much more likely to further associate themselves with the company, which increases their loyalty.
- Define Job Expectations and the Support the Company Provides to Achieve Them
Have conversations with employees about the long-term plans that the company has for them. It is important that they understand how they can contribute to this growth with their work and dedication.
- Define and Discuss the Opportunities for Growth and Advancement
Whereas an applicant might be seeking a specific position/job letting them know of opportunities that are available to them as they learn and grow if a true value. It reveals the value a company places on building and maintaining a team. It allows an employee to envision the potential they have by proving their worth.
- Provide Positive Feedback and Ongoing Encouragement and Recognition
Of course managers expect their reports to do the expected job using expected procedures. Unfortunately, because this is expected some are not inclined to express appreciation.
Employees place great value on workplace recognition, and studies have shown that most people enjoy public recognition more than any corporate gift. Employees who can see that praise is connected to promotions, bonuses, and raises are highly motivated to fulfill reasonable requirements for recognition.
- Ask Them What They Want
Instead of trying guess what’s most important to your reports, sit down with them and find out what they value. Sounds crazy? Doing the unexpected might be the best thing you can do for your employees, and your company.
Employee motivation refers to the factors that drive employees to put their best efforts into their work. Motivated people are industrious, creative, dependable, and thoroughly engaged in what they do. When you find the right ways to motivate your employees, turnover becomes a non-issue and employee productivity soars.
It’s crucial to find ways to keep your employees motivated, for their well-being as well as for the well-being of your company’s longevity and bottom line. Think of it as preventive maintenance—it’s easier to sustain employee motivation than it is to rekindle it. Just know that effective management as such, like any other skill, takes knowledge and practice. There is no doubt that a leader is using some of the items above. Perhaps you consider expanding the current approach to include them all … provided they make cents!