Motivating employees to perform at peak levels is a job shared by managers and executives in every industry, because higher productivity leads to greater profitability, which is the bottom line for producers and service providers. So what is at the heart of a successful motivation programme?
While there are a variety of factors influencing work ethic and productivity, good old fashioned incentives remain one of the most prominent motivational forces for increasing efficiency and output among staff. Competitive salaries, for example, stimulate loyalty and employee satisfaction, which lead to low turnover rates and high levels of productivity. But successful employers also initiate rewards and recognition for employees, beyond their standard salaries. Cash incentives can be difficult to sustain, so organisations commonly seek other ways to recognise their employees’ efforts. The key to motivating staff, without breaking the budget, is to find a balance between employee needs and motivations, and the organisational resources available to address them.
Engage Employees for Motivational Success
Expectations vary from organisation to organisation, so engaging employees means different things depending on your perspective. It’s agreed, however, that staff loyalty and shared values are two key components of employee engagement. Perhaps more than any single motivational technique, building consensus and employee engagement leads to consistency and long-term success. Over time, employees take on organisation missions as their own, attaching a personal sense of pride to the things they do on the job. The more they are recognised and rewarded for their commitment to company values and objectives, the more dedicated employees take it upon themselves to fulfil them.
Lead by Example
The simple fact is that employees are motivated to work for individuals and organisations exhibiting high ethical standards. Furnishing worthy role models for employees to emulate, keeps the organisational message intact at all levels of employment. When higher ranked employees are held to a different standard than their subordinates, however, morale and performance quickly slide. The value of a positive culture is felt in every aspect of business, including reduced turnover, lower recruitment costs and less need to discipline employees. Positive workplace practices and employee relations can even stimulate brand goodwill in the marketplace, as your company becomes “the” place to work.
Formal Incentive Programmes
Structured, professionally organised incentive programmes add credibility to the employee recognition process, and furnish tangible goals for employees to work toward. The programs are consistently executed, so employees know an even hand is at work distributing performance benefits and other incentives. In the end, these programmes are more efficient than piecemeal approaches and their cost is lower than traditional cash rewards. As an added benefit, non-cash rewards provide a fresh source of motivation for employees, who are inspired to reap the practical returns of their hard work.
Communication Goes Both Ways
The transfer of information is at the heart of almost every business activity, so employers that do the best job of communicating have the most success motivating their staff members. And it isn’t enough to simply issue directives and corporate policies; effective employers also tune-in to the wants and needs of their employees. By listening, and responding to employee concerns, managers motivate their staff to innovate and devise creative solutions to organisational problems. On the other hand; workers who don’t feel heard are likely to grow complacent and bide their time on the job.
Positive Reinforcement Motivates Workers
Despite the importance of steady pay, employee motivation grows from internal forces other than greed and pragmatism. Work fulfils a basic human function, so recognition motivates employees to perform at high levels. Whether through formal employee recognition programmes or other means, employers see better results using positive reinforcement, rather than punishment.
Guiding organisational success relies on several proven strategies for motivating employees. Among them: employee recognition programmes furnish incentives for efficiency and productivity, offering tangible rewards for employees reaching designated benchmarks.