What does and does not motivate employees can be somewhat of a mystery. What makes a positive impact on one person, may not have the same positive reception with another, however, experts within the field of workforce motivation will tell you there are five key factors that impact on all employees.
In fact, it gets no more complicated than having a system that consistently awards employee achievements, whether that is hitting monthly sales targets or a 100% attendance record in a given stretch of time. Making sure that every employee can achieve the same rewards is also an underpinning factor in employee motivation.
But, as a company, what are the 5 factors in motivating employees do you need to be aiming for?
1. Build satisfaction
Every company will now how difficult it can be to attract the right people to the vacancies. And this is where you need to start building satisfaction.
You need to create an atmosphere within your organisation that encourages employees to aspire to excellence; you want and need talented employees, thus providing them with the platform from which they can develop and progress is one factor within employee motivation. A satisfied employee is a motivated one.
Don’t just aim for the ‘happy workforce’ scenario as this is paying lip-service; when the chips are down and you need everyone to pull together, you may find the ‘happy workforce’ is superficial…
2. Genuine appreciation
We hear it all the time; whispers around the water coolers, rumors in the staff room and tittle-tattle round the kettle that all point to one thing – some employees in some organisations only ever hear from the upper management layers when they have done something wrong!
Year after year, month and month, week after week there are faithful and loyal employees who are never late, don’t cause ‘issues’, follow policies and protocols as dictated to them and yet… something is lacking.
However, note the word ‘genuine’. A packet of biscuits or a gold clock are great but, employees like to be told they are appreciated and valued. Anything from a heartfelt message delivered verbally, in a card, via email etc. has far more of a feel good factor and be genuine!
If that employee ‘saved the day’ by working diligently on a new account to get a monster load of information over to the prospective new client, then tell them this! Without them, it would not have happened, so why hold back with genuine appreciation?
Know you have satisfied and appreciated employees, your workforce is starting to develop wings. Recognising individuals within this larger workforce is important too, as is blanket praise and satisfaction.
Everyone has a different style; some employees, for example, are motivated by ‘seeing their name in lights’. Some industries, especially sales-driven, will have ‘sales person of the month’ etc. in an attempt to motivate people to gain the coveted award. And, this is no bad thing.
In other industries or sectors, having a genuine coveted title each month may take more imagination but, the aim of such an award is one thing – creating emotional payoff for employee’s actions. Relatively inexpensive but with a huge impact, what recognition award to system could you create?
Now we are beginning a journey into the ‘basics’ of a company but yet, despite these ingredients being fundamental to the recipe of success, leadership and company ethos are not always something that are immediately obvious within a company or business.
Employees need and want strong leadership, from someone who is fair and consistent. The company needs a mission, it needs a goal and every employee needs to understand these goals and aims. They need to appreciate their role within this firm and how they drive it forward too.
If they are inspired and ‘on-board’, then this clear vision also acts as an important ingredient of employee motivation.
In the main, employees are motivated to give their time to a business and are compensated for doing so financially. The majority of employees are motivated by money; from earning handsome commission each month on top of basic salaries, to being paid over time and bonuses.
There are other tangible benefits too, such as X number of weeks holiday and additional benefits such as a company vehicle, free or reduced travel, staff cards for % off purchases in certain shops etc. In fact, there are a whole heap of rewards that can be used to ‘compensate’ employees, and thank them for being part of your company, contributing in the way that they do.
However, at the start of the article, we alluded to the individual nature of employees and how some actions will motivate some, and yet leave other employees feeling a little ‘cold’ or ‘not bothered’. These 5 motivation factors will not suit or motivate everyone – experts agree on this point – but, combining them and using them to underpin the company attitude towards its workforce will not have a detrimental effect.