Five Strategies to Improve Employee Motivation
Happy, motivated employees are something every business owner wants because those employees are more productive. Job performance is a function of ability plus motivation. Assuming your people have the ability, what motivates your employees? Do you know? If not, how can you motivate them?
Motivating employees is a core component of most management training. If you’ve had any type of training in management and motivation theory, it may have, in part, been based on the work of Frederick Herzberg. He was a pioneer and a thought leader on the subject of employee motivation from the 1960′s through the 1980′s. His theory asserts that the most powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money. It’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others and be recognized for achievements.
These are important and fundamental concepts to understand if want to improve your team’s productivity and performance. Why? Because now you know where to start when thinking about how to help motivate your people. Your first job as a a manager of people is to help them be more successful. You do that first by having clear goals and accountabilities, documented systems and ongoing training and development. Then, utilizing behavioral coaching, you deliver positive feedback to recognize good work and habits. In just a very short time, you’ll see your employees’ motivation and performance improve.
A contemporary, Daniel H. Pink, has written several books on the topic of motivation. His latest is Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Watch the video below to get a brief overview of this theory.
Pink’s research shows that intrinsic motivation–doing things we enjoy, things that matter, things that are interesting or part of something important–is more motivating than extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is the carrot vs. stick approach–reward or punishment. He cites the three most important intrinsic elements of motivation as autonomy, mastery and purpose.
Applying these lessons from these two experts, below are 5 strategies you can start to use immediately to motivate your people:
1. Achievement – put your people in a position to achieve their goals; nothing breeds success, like success
2. Positive feedback – recognize your people when they do things right
3. Autonomy – understand their need to direct their own work and determine how to leverage that in your business
4. Mastery – provide opportunities for your people to learn and encourage their desire to improve
5. Purpose – connect your business purpose with each individual’s work and their own personal purpose and desire to contribute to something beyond just a job
Just by employing these strategies, you have the basis of your operating system for managing and motivating employees. Now, you have to put it into practice. Make motivating your people part of your weekly goals and activities.