HOW TO MOTIVATE YOUR EMPLOYEES
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.Motivation means to stimulate interest or to induce a person to act in a certain way
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By MOAZAMA YOUSAF
Sep 20 - 26, 2004
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Are your employees not meeting targets, not working with enough zeal and enthusiasm? You've tried to boost their morale by giving them pep talks and spiels on hard work. Nothing seems to work. Sometimes all you need is a gentle push. Try dangling the carrot of motivation and see how their performance peaks.

WHAT IS MOTIVATION?

Motivation means to stimulate interest or to induce a person to act in a certain way. It is often referred to as a force or a drive that pushes you to action.

WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

Motivation comes form a desire to succeed and to do well in life. Look at any organization. They will have a few workers who just don't have the drive or the enthusiasm to work. They need to be constantly pushed and prodded. In other words, they require constant motivation.

Regarding the motivational factors that help people to work, we conducted a survey of 63 well-reputed organizations of Rawalpindi & Islamabad. It was a sourceful study, which revealed that at the lower layer employees are generally happy as they are given raise in the salary & some bonuses that adequately fulfill their basis needs, which made them quite contented.

At the middle level, the employees need to be motivated by recognizing their work, to provide them career opportunities and to assist them in personal development.

Some of the facts about motivation in the companies are: 70% of your employees are less motivated today than they used to be; 80% of your employees could perform significantly better if they wanted to; 50% of your employees only put enough effort into their work to keep their job

The things that make people satisfied and motivated on the job are different in kind from the things that makes them dissatisfied.

Ask workers what makes them happy at work, and you will hear about an annoying boss, a low salary, an uncomfortable workspace, or stupid rules. Badly managed environmental factors make people miserable, and they can certainly be demotivating. But even if managed brilliantly, they don't motivate anybody to work much harder or smarter. People are motivated; instead by intrinsic factors that answer people's deep-seated need for growth & achievement.

HOW TO MOTIVATE?

There are many ways by which you can motivate people. Every individual has a different motivational need that urges him or her to work.

Some of the tips to motivate people are:

1. OFFER A POSITIVE INCENTIVE: The incentive need not be really big or expensive. Try to tap the individual's weakness. Sometimes even a small thing as a chocolate helps. The point is not to start giving your employees chocolates but even something as small as a chocolate can make a person work.

2. KEEP YOUR PROMISE: While motivating an individual remember that you have to keep your promise. So if you have shown an incentive, then stick to it or you are going to lose credibility.

3. BE REALISTIC: You must be realistic while giving out incentives to motivate people. Two free tickets to London may seem like an enticing motivation but is it realistic? Can your company afford it? Keep your incentives short, sweet and realistic.

Research shows this isn't necessarily true at all. Increased job satisfaction does not necessarily mean increased job performance. If the goals of the organization are not aligned with the goals of employees, then employees aren't effectively working toward the mission of the organization.

NEGATIVE MOTIVATION

Incentives can be negative too. "If you don't meet the deadline, you will be fired." The fear of losing a job and not getting a raise may make a person work but be careful. Don't use this statement recklessly and specially if it's an empty threat. If you use threats of firing your employees time and again to every individual who is not working, you are bound to have your employees stand around the coffee machine saying, "so did you get the threat of being fired too, I just did. If he fires all the people, this company will end up with just the boss. Remember you don't want this to happen, do you?

DON'T DEMOTIVATE

If you are not careful, negative motivation can often end up demotivating your employees. This happens when you speak rashly, without thinking and choosing your words. Some of the demotivators are:

 

 

* Negative criticism or unfair criticism. Always use positive or constructive criticism

* Humiliating in public. Never humiliate anybody publicly. It is likely to result in negativity and ill-will

Rewarding the wrong person may be a demotivation for other employees. Many times you may end up rewarding the non-performer. Rewarding the non-performer is not something that cannot be forgiven but not rewarding the deserving performer is a crime.

WHY WE MISREAD MOTIVES

We think other people are more mercenary than they really are:

"What workers want most from their employers, beyond anything else, is high wages." To be sure, money still counts. But today's enlightened managers appreciate that employees seek meaning and satisfaction from their jobs that it's not just about the paycheck. The managers should understand what motivates employees and fine-tune incentives accordingly. Research conducted by Stanford associate professor Chip Heath suggests that managers are not as good at judging employee motivation as they think they are. In fact, people from all walks of life seem to consistently misunderstand what drives employee motivation.

A common finding is that extrinsic incentives are bias. That term refers to our tendency to assume that others are more driven than we are by external rewards for work. We think those around us are more motivated by extrinsic rewards like pay or job security and less so by intrinsic motivators like a desire to learn new skills or contribute to an organization. Research has shows that this widely held assumption is false.

A 1995 survey of 500-law school as-pirants showed evidence of extrinsic incentives bias.

By stressing extrinsic motivators while over looking intrinsic ones well, means managers may be pushing the wrong levers and developing incentives that don't reflect employee's needs. People certainly appreciate bonuses but money alone won't have the desired effect if managers overlook their employees, desires to contribute to their organizations in meaningful ways. Managers can't divine every person's real motivation. Assume what motivates you motivates others.

MOTIVATING EMPLOYEES STARTS WITH MOTIVATING YOURSELF

It's amazing how, if one hates his job, it seems like everyone else does, too. If an employee is very stressed out, it seems like everyone else is, too. Enthusiasm is contagious. If employee is enthusiastic about his or her job, it's much easier for others to be, too. Also, if he or she is doing a good job of taking care of himself and his own job, he or she will have much clearer perspective on how others are doing in theirs.

A great place to start learning about motivation is to start understanding your own motivations. The key to help motivate your employees is to understand what motivates them. So what motivates you? Consider, for example, time with family, recognition, a job well done, service, learning, etc. How is your job configured to support your own motivations? What can you do to better motivate yourself?

EMPLOYEES MOTIVATIONAL STRATEGIES

There is no definitive way to motivate staff. Competition between employees is also commonly used as a motivation strategy. However the key to an effective employee motivation strategy is to provide a range of incentives that will appeal to different personalities. While one individual may be highly money motivated another may find job satisfaction or creative opportunities are more powerful factors.

Some of the employee motivation strategies:

* The employee is always right
* A safe employee is a motivated employee
* Motivating Your Sales Team
* Supporting Your Sales Team
* Establishing Staff Values
* The Power of Acknowledgement
* Actions Speak Louder than Words

These employee motivation strategies focus on how to praise, acknowledge and give positive feedback. These employee motivation strategies focus on what you DO as a leader, rather than what you SAY. Giving verbal praise is sometimes not enough. You have to create an environment where people feel acknowledged and appreciated. The intention is to create an environment where employee gets motivated, it is not only important but also necessary. Some of the tips for creating such an environment is

 

 

1. CREATE AN "OPEN DOOR" ENVIRONMENT

Many managers SAY their door is always open but in reality the door is normally closed. Realistically you can't always be available to discuss issues with your team. But you can set aside time specifically for this. And during that time you need to be really present. This means making eye contact, paying attention and not jumping to conclusions.

2. CREATE A SAFE PLACE FOR GROWTH

Do you encourage your staff to be the best they can be? Or are you worried they'll get so good that you're not needed any more? If employees are insecure about your position you might find the teams in organization back-stabbing, unhealthily, competitive, secretive and unwelcoming to newcomers. Handle employees insecurity so that the team members can grow.

3. PROVIDE INFORMATION

Does your team know why it does what it does? Or is there a "need to know" culture in your department? Secrecy zaps employee motivation. Trusting your people to understand and respond to the full picture encourages employee motivation.

4. AVOID OVER INVOLVEMENT

If you are involved in the minutiae of your team's work you are demonstrating that you don't trust them. Imagine if your work was checked continually. Would you be able to originate creative ideas, learn and improve, get your work done?

5. DO WHAT YOU DO BEST AND VICE VERSA

Part of your role is to help people identify their strengths and work to them. Notice what your team members do best and move them in to areas that make the most of their natural gifts.

CONCLUSION

The important thing that could be extracted from the above discussion is that motivation could be used as a tool in companies to improve the performance of employees and organizational productivity. Motivation is force that acts both ways and could have positive effects if used in a proper way and could result in a negative way if it is not used and if the right levers of motivation are not moved.

Maintaining employee motivation is just not that difficult if:

1) You recognize that you can't "buy" it, and what are the different motivational factors working in your organizational employees.

2) You think about your employee's needs at least as much as your own.

Good companies give the reward after every year. This reward is mostly in the form of cash, bonus, and medical benefit and raise in salary.