Keeping employees motivated is a job you should review daily

There could be no truer statement! Whom have you motivated? Your kids, adolescents, domestic staff, departmental staff or possibly the spouse! There are so many skills involved in each of these spectrums, never the same ladle for every dish.

Does one need a sound education to be able to motivate others?  Is it a learned skill? Should we despair if we feel somewhere deep inside that we are hopeless at motivating? If so, read on…

In commercial circles, motivation is understood as the act of inspiring people to achieve the desired goal willingly and enthusiastically. The success of the entity depends on its personnel, and the manager rests the task of keeping staff fired up enough to work without supervision, yet perform brilliantly, or at least, almost brilliantly. 

Of the many strategies are the most common:

  • The paycheck, which, if slightly higher, is a motivator;
  • The benefits structure, which could sometimes offset the slightly lesser paycheck;
  • Job stability;
  • Good promotional prospects and the chance of climbing the corporate ladder within a reasonable period. Here, it is important that employees are not left in suspension for indeterminate periods;
  • Training and personal development opportunities;
  • Environment, fellowship and team spirit

What’s missing? Appreciation – an important facet of motivation?  One of our employers, a genial being who traveled much was apt to call each employee to his office at different times after such visits and pop a little gift into the hand with a conspiratorial whisper “for You….”  giving every indication that this employee was cherished. He had their total loyalty until one day his plot fell through, leaving him to think of alternative ways of inspiring his staff, which he did, by engaging in little personal chats with each member when the official proceedings were done.  Once again, every member felt included.  

Another one of our organizations, run by non-nationals once did a survey of staff, and were amazed that every local employee stressed on one point – that of being unappreciated! The monetary aspect had seemed unimportant.  That year end, everyone got a flowery letter and half the salary increment, based on overall feedback. 

Or take the case of some State agencies whose employees are naturally motivated to report to work every day, not particularly to work but to engage in maybe - 75% camaraderie and maybe 25% work. A sit-in at one of these institutions would reveal much of their personal lives through cross conversations over one’s head while their work gets desultorily done. 

Here are a few pointers that the experts use to keep motivation at an ongoing level:

  • The employee feels his job is meaningful, challenging and has value to the company
  • His employer is fair, trustworthy and transparent;
  • Whole jobs are incorporated that involve responsibility and accountability
  • The desired outcome is clearly articulated and measured;
  • The desired outcome is linked to better pay and benefits;
  • Performance trackers are used so that employees are aware of the effectiveness of their attaining the set goals
  • Individual behavior is taken into consideration. No two employees have the same personality hence two-way communication on a continuous basis is necessary to identify whom you are working with;
  • The company uses positive language 
  • There are good opportunities for training and development
  • The company trusts him and does not micro-manage;
  • The company appreciates good behavior, never ignores it;
  • Certain codes need not be engraved in stone, e.g. dress code, flexibility during off-peak season with every emphasis on hard work and long hours during peak season

Does this mean that managers have the onerous task of constantly keeping tabs on the work of a batch of employees and regularly driving motivation?  Sadly, yes. Nevertheless, there are plenty of “short cuts” that produce the desired results without the laborious processes. Technology has immense benefits, and its resources are beyond imagination. Life could be much easier and comfortable once one gets accustomed to using even some if not all of the different devices and tools available. 

For example, if there is a need to compile information for clear appraisal in order to implement a structure of internal evaluation that could be regularly updated, there is no need to browse old records or send out teams anymore. There are excellent, inexpensive and software systems to deal with such matters. There are many software packages that allow managers and staff to identify the time spent on an activity, optimize time, record accomplishments during the day and even distractions. Managers can manage time and attendance the smart way. There is only one hurdle, getting to know what’s out there and who can implement it best for your organization.

Created: July 21st, 2016


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