EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION 101

The ideal work environment is one where the employee can feel trusted, happy, and most importantly free to work autonomously without being micromanaged. Working environments high in conviviality benefit the organization as a whole, by increasing staff loyalty and commitment, as well as their willingness to give more and work harder. A motivated employee is an organization’s most valuable asset. Motivation results in long term passion and sustained enthusiasm. So here are some ways to revive employee motivation, inspire successful performance, and reinforce fulfillment in the work space:

ACKNOWLEDGE ACHIEVEMENT AND PROVIDE FEEDBACK

Recognition and acknowledgment from upper management means more to employees than you think. The Hawthorne Effect was first described by Henry H. Landsberger in 1950, when he noticed a tendency for people to work harder and perform better when they were being observed by researchers. The original purpose of the experiments was to study the effects of physical conditions on productivity, such as lighting or desk placement.


However, his researchers found that all environmental changes they made resulted in a productivity spike. Therefore, the team concluded that it was the process of observation that led the employees to heightened productivity and motivation. To apply these findings to your work place, you can provide regular feedback, letting your team know that you are involved and aware of what and how they’re doing, and by encouraging employees to give you feedback about their work and environments.


START A REWARDS PROGRAM

The Expectancy Theory in social psychology proposes that we choose how to behave depending on the outcomes we expect as a result of our behavior. In other words, we decide to do what we do based on the outcome that we think we will get. For example, working longer hours at work because we expect a pay rise. The Expectancy Theory also illustrates how motivation is linked to the likelihood of receiving a reward. Therefore, introducing clearly defined rewards will enhance overall motivation and moral.


The rewards don’t have to come in the form of pay rises, bonuses or vacation days. Praise, opportunities for progression, and employee of the month style rewards all go a long way in motivating employees. There are many fun and casual rewards you could try, such as giving away a desired parking spot, a new desk chair, a public thank you, filling the fridge with their favorite drink, or an official letter to a person that talks about how beneficial their contribution to the company has been.


EVERYONE IS INTEGRAL AND PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE

Employees feel more confident when they know that their voices are heard, and their time and efforts are making a difference. One way to help lead employees to higher levels of motivation and productivity is to help them understand the importance of the work they do. Chip Conley, the head of hospitality at Airbnb, helped his staff realize the importance of their job while on a staff retreat.


He asked the housekeeping team an abstract question: “If someone from Mars came down and saw what you were doing as a housekeeper in a hotel, what name would they call you?” The housekeepers came up with, “The Serenity Sisters,” “The Clutter Busters,” and “The Peace of Mind Police.” And they realized they were doing more than just cleaning a room — they were creating a space for a traveler who was far away from home to feel safe and protected. By realizing the value of their roles, the team were able to feel respected and motivated about their job.


CREATE A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT

No one bears the blues of working in a dull office. The workplace is where you spend most of your time, so if the general atmosphere isn’t cosy or inviting then people will feel disconnected or uninspired. You can post pictures of inspirational leaders and quotes in areas with high traffic. It is also important to encourage laughter and sociability in the workplace, as we are social beings at our core, so having a recreation room or break room that employees can unwind in is a necessity.


INVEST IN TRAINING

Personal growth and development is a great positivity booster. Giving your team a novel activity to try, or a new personal skill set to learn, will make them eager to apply what they’ve learned to their workplace. It also helps them to discover new dimensions and depths in their personality and work style, and perhaps reveal untapped skills.


“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise, and rewards.” Dale Carnegie

© 2018 by Evolve Magazine