Motivating employees can be one of your biggest challenges as an employer, but learning how to inspire your workforce is the key to a successful organisation. Constant pressure to increase productivity, profitability and revenue growth can often overshadow the importance of how an unengaged workforce can negatively affect corporate performance.
This article will provide you with tips for motivating employees that will help your organisation unlock human potential. Whether you're an executive, a manager or a team leader, you too know that motivating employees is a must!
Most employees are not motivated at work
Studies have shown that up to 80% of employees are not motivated at work. Now that's a staggering number! Take a look around your office; how many people seem actively motivated and engaged in what they are doing?
Many organisations continuously face the problems associated with decreased employee motivation including complacency, declining morale, and widespread discouragement in the workplace. If allowed to continue, these problems can reduce productivity, earnings, and competitiveness in your business.
Motivating employees is crucial to the success of our rapidly changing workplaces. Motivated employees help organisations survive by being more productive. Effective managers need to understand what motivates each employee within the context of their job. Of all the functions a manager performs, motivating employees is arguably the most complex due to the fact that what motivates employees changes constantly.
Motivating employees will help you improve employee engagement in your workforce so that you can maintain a productive, successful business.
Help yourself find ways to improve low employee motivation by identifying what drives them and teach them to live up to their full potential, which creates an environment for increased productivity and employee morale.
Did you know that money is often not the biggest motivator for an employee?
A recent survey found that only 15% of employees left their jobs because of inadequate salary and benefits. The same study also found that of those who left their jobs:
- 30% were unhappy with management and the way they managed
- 25% felt they received no respect for good work
- 20% complained of limited opportunities for advancement
- 15% cited inadequate salary and benefits
- 5% were bored with the job
- 5% cited other reasons (retirement, career change, sabbatical, travel)
Benefits of a motivated workforceBy motivating employees, your organisation can gain the following benefits:
- Increase understanding, awareness, and change perspectives
- Stronger workplace relationships
- Improvement in skills and competency
- Increased confidence, job satisfaction, and morale
- Improved individual performance and self-motivation
- Increased employee retention and productivity
- Improved decision-making
When people are placed in jobs that match their abilities, interests, and personalities, employee turnover decreases dramatically, and productivity increases exponentially. This is the key to employee motivation and improved employee morale.
The fundamentals of motivation and self-motivation
Simply put, motivation is the desire or willingness to do something. Your motivation level can be affected by intrinsic (internal) factors, such as your love for your job, or extrinsic (external) factors, you work because of the rewards you will get.
Read more: Motivation - How does it work for sales?
Self-motivation is the force from within yourself that drives you to do things. Self-motivation plays an important role in an individual’s personal development as well as emotional intelligence. When you feel motivated, you tend to be more productive, more creative, and less stressed. Research has shown that people who are consistently self-motivated can be more successful in life and dare to achieve their dreams.
Motivation - Something other than money
In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the Physiological and Safety requirement can be fulfilled with money as a means. This leads to the misconception that money is the best “carrot” of all, and companies might make the mistake of designing incentive programmes with only monetary rewards, but, if we look at the rest of Maslow’s Hierarchy, we see that employees are not just concerned with money.
Certain perks, such as free lunch or paid time off, further training courses on essential skills or any other creative incentive idea, can be implemented with the aim of making employees think about their success on a personal level as well as among their peers and team as a whole.
Recognition as incentives
Using the same thinking as above, you’ll also need to offer regular recognition to boost an employee’s drive. That’s why “reward” and “recognition” usually go together, as you cannot create a complete programme with either alone.
You might ask, “What should I congratulate them on?” Recognition should not be limited to win big deals; instead, you can extend praise to your team members for obtaining a necessary certificate or for merely making the most calls in the month.
Furthermore, the forms of recognition should also vary, from dropping an email to the team or nominating one member (or a group of team members) to be the company’s employee of the month, to mentioning an achievement during a company-wide monthly gathering.
By committing to following the below four basic principles, you will be able to build and retain your self-motivation.
1. Focused and specific goals
Setting specific goals will give us a clear vision as well as guidance. It is also worth noting, that it is much better if you focus on a few goals at a time and actually achieve them instead of overwhelming yourself with everything and not getting anywhere.
2. Self-confidence/ Self-efficacy
Trust yourself and your abilities because without confidence, without the “You can do it” mentality, it would be rather hard to convince others to put their trust in you.
3. A motivating environment
Immerse yourself in an environment that stimulates motivation or finding a mentor, a role model that can help guide you through your adventure of finding yourself.
4. Positive thinking
A positive emotion might not help you to change the world, but when coupling it with self-motivation, you definitely can identify more opportunities and options in life. When you are feeling positive, you are more motivated to learn and to obtain new skills, as well as further enhance your existing ones. Furthermore, a positive perspective generally makes life easier, causes less stress, and you tend to take care of yourself better.
Just like with skills, positive thinking and self-motivating can be trained and turned into a daily habit. You just got to find the suitable method that fits your needs and wants and apply that to your work and life.
Apply the power of positive thinking in your day-to-day activities
1. Write down your thoughts throughout the day
2. Challenge negative thoughts & replace them with positive ones
3. Visualize yourself achieving your goals
4. Develop affirmations (mantras) & repeat to yourself throughout the day. These affirmations should remind you of what you want to achieve, and why you will achieve it
5. Practice positive thinking until you automatically think about yourself and the world in a positive way, every day
6. A positive manager would see the positive in any bad situation, and generally, their employees would feel much more comfortable interacting with this type of manager.
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