Employee Motivation: Do You Know What Makes Your Staff Tick?

In today’s competitive marketplace, any advantage you can muster over the competition is worth investigating, right? Employee motivation and knowing how to get the best out of your workforce is one of those areas that can yield quite significant gains and yet it’s a poorly understood and under-utilized area of management. At best most companies pay lip service to it and don’t fully investigate its potential. But there’s no doubt that motivated employees tend to be more productive and provide an enhanced level of service that keeps customers coming back for more. And so there’s much to be gained from revisiting employee motivation. In this post, we equip you with a basic understanding of how employee motivation works so that you can begin to explore its huge potential in your organization. We also suggest some simple and easily implemented ways to enhance employee motivation and morale within your workforce.

Employee Motivation: Is It All About The Money?

Ask your average member of staff why they come to work and chances are they’ll tell you it’s for the money. But research suggests that pay is only part of the story. While monetary rewards certainly play a major part in motivating employees, it’s not the only factor. The truth is employee motivation is a complex mix involving allowing opportunities for creativity, innovation, learning and advancement as well as autonomy and control. It’s also tied up with praise and recognition and feeling as though you’re making a difference.

employee career advancement

Now, it’s also true that what motivates Brad in Accounts is likely to be different from Jennifer in Marketing. In fact, employees within the same team let alone the wider organization will have varied motivators and different drivers that make them tick.

So how are managers and business owners supposed to respond to such disparate motivational factors?  Is it really possible for an organization to address employee motivation on any meaningful level when everyone is so different?

Well, those are perfectly reasonable questions and it’s tempting to stick your head in the sand and carry on with business as usual. Before you do that though consider this: Research from Gallup suggests that business units with motivated and engaged employees achieve 21 percent greater profitability than their unmotivated and disengaged counterparts. Still think that addressing employee motivation is not worth the effort? Thought not!

The truth is that for most employees it’s a relatively simple equation involving recognition, responsibility, advancement and rewards. And so while the weighting of the factors within the equation may be different for each employee, the equation itself is much the same. If you look at the issue from this angle, then it’s easier to see how organizations can introduce management practices that will make a difference to employee motivation.

Employee Motivation: Easy Ways To Make A Difference

Now we all know there aren’t enough hours in the day and when you have an overflowing in-tray and a daily schedule packed full of meetings, it’s often impossible to get beyond the daily tasks necessary to keep the business afloat.

But employee motivation is one of those management areas where it is possible to make some quick wins without a significant outlay or investment in time.

Let’s turn our attention to the factors we identified in our employee motivation equation. And let’s look at some easily implemented strategies that will have a positive impact on the motivations of your workforce and ultimately productivity.

Recognition

employee recognition

According to ground-breaking data published in the McKinsey Quarterly which still provides the yardstick, 67 percent of respondents to a survey on motivational factors at work identified praise and commendation from their manager as being a key personal driver.What’s more, 63 percent singled out attention from company leadership. This contrasts with only 52 percent identifying an increase in base pay as an important motivator. These statistics underline the importance of a simple thank you from managers and executives for a job well done.

So what can businesses do to make sure that staff are properly recognized and praised for their hard work? Well, one easily implemented idea is to set up a formal employee recognition scheme.It could be an employee or team of the month or an award decided by their peers for the office star who goes the extra mile for their colleagues. And it doesn’t all have to be about work either. How about recognizing those employees who achieve something special outside work, like running a marathon. Use your company intranet to publicize the scheme and the criteria. The rewards don’t have to be huge either. Often a certificate and a shout out on the intranet’s home page is enough, or you could award some lunch vouchers for the local deli. And for team awards, muffins at break time or takeaway pizzas for lunch usually hit the spot. In fact, the reward isn’t the issue here – it’s more about the public recognition and thank you for a job well done.

Responsibility

Giving employees more responsibility and decision-making authority increases their sense of control and satisfaction with their jobs. And once again the company intranet can assist with this motivational factor.

The intranet is the central hub for all company information, systems and processes. And the one-stop, self-service nature of the intranet means that it’s an excellent tool for empowering staff. Your employees will be able to directly source all the information they need for themselves, with just a few clicks of the mouse. The holistic nature of the intranet also means that it’s easier for staff to see how they fit into the bigger picture, providing a real sense of value and purpose.

Advancement

climbing the career ladder

All employees want to feel as though they are growing and developing rather than stagnating in a job role or organization. Providing opportunities for ongoing learning, training and development are an important investment for businesses. However, these don’t have to be expensive external courses and programs. The company intranet opens up a whole world of online learning for your staff members. Create quizzes and surveys on the intranet to test and develop staff members’ knowledge and expertise. Upload how-to videos for onboarding purposes or to develop the skills of existing employees. Have creative blogs on the intranet for staff members to share insights, debate ideas and propose innovations. Utilize iframes or widgets for quick and easy access to external professional development websites or courses. And why not even develop podcasts for staff to listen to on their commute home.

The possibilities are almost endless, but the end result is the same – improved opportunities for staff members to advance, increasing their job satisfaction and overall productivity.

Rewards

cost reduction ideasMonetary rewards and salaries are, of course, an important motivational factor for all of us. But have you considered introducing a system of monetary rewards that are more closely tied to an employee’s ideas and accomplishments? We’re not talking about performance-related pay here. It’s more about providing monetary or other rewards for those employees that generate cost-saving or process-improving ideas that will save the company money. Not only will you be encouraging creativity and innovation, you’ll also be giving staff members a stake in the financial success of the company.

Use the company intranet to invite suggestions with a blog, team forum or an employee survey. Highlight the scheme on the intranet’s home page. And make sure that you recognize and publicize employees’ money-saving ideas on the intranet.

Employee Motivation: Worth The Effort

There’s no doubt that understanding employee motivation and what makes your workforce tick can lead to increased productivity and enhanced customer service. And as we’ve seen, a few simple steps can easily make a difference, giving you that all-important competitive advantage.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how a company intranet can support employee motivation initiatives in your organization, then get in touch with the expert team at MyHub. And while you’re at it, why not take advantage of our free demo and 14-day free trial.

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